These are strange times in the culture we have allowed to be created in our name. Once the cracks are seen, there is no unseeing. Once the idea is perceived, there is no unthinking. A great wave of apprehension is creeping across a people who are beginning to question everything about the perceptions of ourselves and the very existence we inhabit. These are dangerous and volatile times, given the entrenched mindset of those who believe themselves to be with the most to lose and the weapons at their disposal to keep things 'just the way they are'.
Answers are elusive. Even framing the correct questions are fraught with complicating factors. How do you turn a collective mind, built on top-down hierachy since the days of the Roman Empire, into something non-destructive fast?
Your mind tells you it's an impossible feat.
It is not.
Our ancestors slept in a comfortable place of infinite possibilities, if they did but know it. Throughout known history, vast human civilizations have risen and ultimately, always fallen. And through these events our ancestors slept sound in the knowledge that whatever will be will be, the sun will rise tomorrow and the wonderous environment we exist in will continue to be there for us, come eathquake, flood or disease - and whether personally experienced through anger, joy, pain or indifference - the world went on.
How lucky they were.
We can no longer, as sentient beings, not a single one of us, sleep the sleep of our ancestors.
A scant 60 years have passed since our global civilisation sealed it's fate. The legacy we risk leaving for our descendants is no longer in any doubt. It is how we react to the infinitely changeable story and it's endstate that is now the important question. Will we be remembered by future existence as the people that made terrible mistakes but finally, with reverence and redemption, did everything in their power to mitigate the damage they had caused? Or venomously, will we be cursed by the dying remnants of humanity as the lunatic destroyers of sentience in this tiny corner of the Universe?
Our own civilisational 'retirement' is a conundrum that our species have never had to face before - it will happen eventually but it cannot.
To be blunt: it cannot happen because there are 439 nuclear power stations and their ever-increasing, well-documented, dubiously stored, utterly poisonous waste products dotted around our planet - that need 100% infrastruture and it's attendant processes to stop them melting down into what can only be described as Dante's Inferno. This is something new to us as a species: a man-made, non-natural peril capable of eradicating not just some, but all sentience on this planet, should a runaway, chain-reaction collapse of infrastructure be triggered by any external, natural or human-generated event of significant magnitude.
We have created our own nemesis.
We have a choice.
We could selflessly acknowledge our duty to future possiblities and rid our planet, our existence, of this greatest danger of our own making that we have ever faced. It is a Herculean task. It will require a coming together of minds on a scale beyond current comprehension. It has the potential to radically alter the mindset, lifestyle and actions of every human being on the planet. Temporarily, humanity will have a single, collective purpose on which we can agree. We have to save the future from the consequences of our own inaction.
We can experience it and see if we like it enough to keep hold of it.
I hardly need speak of a future without change.
What happens on the other side of this task is unknowable. But coming from a base of unity, a greater understanding of what we can achieve as individual yet collective sentient beings and a will to make the future as kind to us as we have the ability to control, I find it hard to imagine a return to the current paradigm. It may seen as simply ridiculous.
Our ancestors would approve. Our descendants will thanks us too, for whatever the future holds for them - a future that lies in the hands of the natural world instead of the iron grip of humankind's greatest hubris.