All my life (I was born in 1954) I have lived under a cloud of gloom and the potential of planetary doom. I was born after the invention and dropping of the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Since then the nuclear age quickly expanded with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, not only by America and Russia but many other nations. The years of the cold war constantly sent chills down my spine. I have never felt safe. Armageddon and the apocalypse have always been on the verge of being revealed and realized.
Small groups of humans have always lived with natural disasters of droughts, ice ages, volcanoes, floods and asteroids. And small groups of humans have always felt threatened by other small groups of humans in regional wars. Even World War one and two were regional wars, limited in the scope of manmade destruction. Even human empires come and go. Never, however, in the six million year history of humanoids have we ourselves had the power of destroying not only almost all humans but almost all life forms on planet earth. In an all out nuclear holocaust very little life would survive on a planet that created life over three or four billion years ago.
Most humans have the awareness of their own death lurking in the back of their minds. Now we also have to worry about the death of the planet.
Added to the threat of nuclear annihilation we humans have gained the power to pollute ourselves and the planet to death. In the past 150 years humans have set the conditions for accelerating climate change, mainly by the burning of fossil fuels. If humans do not drastically and immediately change these conditions, life as we know it will not survive long on this earth.
I'm not sure why the death of the planet and the human species should disturb me as much as it does. I seem to be reluctantly accepting my own death. Death is part of life. Death leads to rebirth, reincarnation, new life, or maybe to a paradise in heaven. If I have to die, along with other life beings, then why not the human species or the living planet? Perhaps humans and the planet are aging and ill. Death may come as a relief, like to an old man
dying of cancer. Death may not be as bad as we believe. With death a new beginning will begin. I should rejoice and be glad. I should be happy that we have the power to make this time, our end times. But somehow I still feel sad, a deep sense of grief. Our suicidal death does not seem to be from natural causes. Death by nature is one thing but death by the hand of man is unacceptable. Humans deserve to die if they end up killing themselves, but not the planet, not almost all other species of life.
In the end surely cockroaches will survive and life on earth will evolve again. Eventually a new species of humans will be created by the Earth. Maybe in a 1,000 years, 100,000 years, a million years or a billion years. Chances are however nature or the gods will never again give humanoids the intelligence or the ignorance or the power to overrule nature or the gods.