2006/11/20

Doomsday and rebirth

As I read what the scientists say and watch what the politicians and the lords of industry do, I wonder which of us will perish first: I or the planet. As things stand now, I'm the one in better health. But if Earth continues to sicken, that's it for me too.

Unexpected things could happen. They always do. The planet could survive by some as yet unforeseen reaction against all that our race has been doing to it. Some great cataclysm, more powerful than any tsunami or eruption we remember, may free it to survive without us. If intelligent life eventually reappears, will it find any trace of who we were? And will it care? Or will it be doomed to repeat the same mistakes?

4 comments:

Dik van Nouhuys said...

Well put.

gef said...

Thanks. It gives me no solace to think that you and I might outlive the planet. I mean, where will we retire to?

Dirk van Nouhuys said...

And what will we do for readers?

By the way finished Molina’s Sepharad (in English translation). I recommend it. It is a thoughtful and poignant embodiment of the consequences of totalitarianism in various forms in 20th century Europe, and of exile. Technically it is remarkable for fluid changes of point of view. In the same page a character may be called he, (“He watched us from his balcony”, I, (“I returned to my balcony…”) and you (“You look down form your balcony on the family across the street.”) - all so smoothly I hardly noticed it. It echoes the theme of the vulnerability of identity.

gef said...

Thanks. I'll look for it (Sefarad). I used to just feel overwhelmed by thinking of all the books I had not yet read. Now I think it's wonderful that such an inexhaustible resource exists. BTW, for a "human book" (personas libros) project inspired by the movie Fahrenheit 451, in which our Carboneras library group is participating, I have committed to memory and can now recite a wonderful, longish section about the conquistadores, in Pablo Neruda's Canto general. One small, satisfying personal accomplishment last week.