I haven’t written out the vision for the future that seems so clear to me in how preferable all will consider it compared to today, yet unimaginable to nearly everyone addicted to the comfort and convenience pollution allows. Of eight billion, nearly no one even wants to try.
Towering over all other aspects of life after we stop polluting will be the horror we look back on the cruelty of ourselves today, blithely, unthinkingly choosing to satisfy craving with hits of bullshit like flying, bottled water, takeout, and factory-farm-produced garbage to fill our maws.
Accompanying the horror will be relief at having jettisoned the guilt and shame from accepting the bullshit lies we told ourselves to suppress and deny the inhumanity and inhumane ways we treated fellow human beings. At least we will have overcome the abdication, capitulation, and resignation that have defined our global polluting culture for generations, so long we thought it was normal to consider tomorrow worse than today so why try. We will stop feeling our inner conflict eating us up inside. We will at last feel free, a freedom almost no one alive today feels, for the burden of guilt at hurting others to satisfy our craving.
Third, we will feel association of today’s culture with those creating the greatest human atrocities in history. Like people in those times we just watched it happen, complicit.
These three things—horror, relief, and historical association—will define our future culture, if we’re lucky a few years from now.
Beside the emotional and cultural changes will be physical ones. Some elements discovered and implemented before pollution so we don’t have to give up, but will keep improving.
- Lower infant mortality
- Global travel
- Fresh food
We’ll have more
- Fresh food
- Smaller government
- People working on farms
There will still be
There will be less
- Concentration of power
Not much different
I’ll keep developing this vision, fleshing it out.
When I told my mom about my friend returning from the Paralympics with a silver medal, she asked, “ah, but how did he get there and back,” as if checkmating her son to embrace or endorse a polluting behavior she clinged to. In a future where we’ve stopped polluting, we won’t lose Olympics. Olympics preceded flying.
Most people’s experiences of Olympics, sports in general, and arts and culture in general are to passively watch, what people in other eras would consider pathetic, possibly disgusting, the opposite of envy. Most people engage in sports from a couch, drinking alcohol, consuming doof. A non-polluting world will feature more sports, arts, and culture, where people actively participate instead of passively watch.
Less pollution means more activity, participation, teamwork, engagement, reaching potential, meaning, purpose, and love.
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On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees