“Give it to me straight, doc”

As the cliche goes… “how long have I got?”

And docs tend to be overly-optimistic about this, apparently.

It’s always a tough call, and when it comes to our “civilisation”, well

a) it’s complicated (or, rather, complex)

b) we are (too) in love with narratives of an abrupt end.

There’s a song by Midnight Oil which – for biographical reasons around catastrophising – has stuck with me. It’s from a song they did in the early 1980s, [read About It – from 10 to 1)about the possibility of accidental nuclear war – and the line goes “imagine any mix up and the lot would go.”

I spend too long on Twitter (“‘enjoy’ it while it lasts”?) and am probably picking up too much doom from, on the one hand, the COVID is going to give us all heart attacks/strokes/organ failure crowd and the “massive runaway warming and weather system chaos imminently” crowd. And there is a certain overlap of personnel too, because well, you can see COVID and climate as the final common pathway of a certain hubris…

Do we have five months, five years, fifteen years? Until “what” anyway, exactly. I guess until the systems on which we reply – water, power, food – give up the ghost and everything gets radically and abruptly relocalised? Will we look back on the current egg shortage, to choose an example almost at random – as the beginning of the end?

Will “future generations” (however many there are) look back on us in disbelief, shaking their heads at our confusion in the face of the Obvious Signs, at our complacency and inability to see the writing on the wall? There are mene mene such signs of the times (sorry, was there, had to use it).

Dunno. How long have we got? Dunno.

I guess the more interesting question is “assuming you don’t have nearly as long as you think, what are you going to DO?” Trying to reform the unreformable is a mug’s game, but also, there ain’t no territory to light out for.

That’s an even thornier question, innit?

Writing, juggling, juggling, writing, waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for the barbarians, for Godot, for…?

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