At the World Science Festival in June, Mary McDonnell said, with visible emotion, I no longer suffer from the illusion that we have a lot of time. On a spiritual and political plane, Id like to be of better and more efficient service, because it really feels like were running out of time.
We are certainly running out of time.
I have been feeling that way for a while. This feeling, tenuous at first, barely there, has been amplifying steadily over the past few years. It has made its way slowly to a conscious level in my mind. It really started with the terrorist attacks on the twin towers, which killed thousands of people and instilled poison in our souls, eating at our liberties and our humanity through insidious ways. Arent the best civilizations tested by fire?
I have been reading the data on global warming and realizing that our days on the planet are counted. Earth will survive, but the little wisps of biological protoplasm with some hint of consciousness that we are might not. Unbeknownst to the universe with billions and billions of stars in a vastness that is unfathomable to the limitations of the human brain, we might just become extinct.
With us, poetry, literature, art, great accomplishments of scientists, the beauty we created, what makes us human and genius, the real wonder of our existence and all of our civilization will disappear. It is not just an ecological peril; there is war, genocide, epidemics, poverty, malnutrition, torture, abuse, hate and anger: a bleak picture of the state of human rights in the world.
I have been thinking about our running out of time, when I see our society more preoccupied with petty greed and profits than justice and equity, and when I see our short term goals put forward in a materialistic society at the price of our very survival as a culture, as a civilization and as humanity.
In our very privileged American society, most of us have food, fresh water supply, soap, electricity, shoes, doctors. For most of us, our basic needs are fulfilled, compared to the majority of the population of third world countries. Still, there are many Americans for which those basic needs are lacking. We tend to take all of our good fortune for granted. It is so easy to retreat in comfortable lives and forget all about the world around us. But we cannot hide from time running out, because we have reached a tipping point, where our survival depends entirely on our change of attitudes.
Stay tuned for part two of Christine Rogers three part series, Running out of time.