The Stench of Extinction

The days of the locusts have come. Nature is taking a deadly revenge on itself and us. In our instance, the swarming locusts that eat and destroy all living creatures in their paths, are ourselves, eight billion humans who have eaten, consumed, exploited and are in the process of committing matricide on the most generous parent: mother Earth. It is a self-imposed punishment, a collective suicide, the mindless destruction of our own life source. We are, indeed, the locusts.

We are the locusts

Some of us, the ones climate-change deniers call climate alarmists, saw the Dead End signs coming for quite some time. For more than a decade we were called prophets of doom and gloom for ringing the alarm of Dying by Two Degrees. But most didn’t, or couldn’t pay attention and listen, as they were trapped in the mindset paralysis of business as usual, or in the lunacy of denial of a human cause of climate collapse, expressed by statements such as, climate has always changed. Recently, while confronted with such a denier, torch bearer of such loony Godspell, I told him that climate has always changed as much as the earth is flat.

It’s funny how quickly things can change when a large portion of the northern hemisphere, especially arrogant Europe and North America have been baking in temperatures around or above 40 degrees Celsius (104 F). Wait! This is not supposed to happen to us; we are for the most part melanin challenged! We don’t deserve this, right during our sacrosanct summer holidays! It is our birthright as the main vectors of an industrial civilization, which is killing us all, to burn more fuel, simply for our enjoyment, in planes, boats and cars. Soon, the melanin challenged will receive a lesson in humility from the brown and black people of the global south. As extreme heat and deserts move north, the melanin challenged should learn the Tuaregs’ survival ways.

Everyone should see that all of it is going south, upside down and in absolute turmoil. Don’t deny it or make projections. No. We do not need any more studies by climatologists. It is not coming, it is already here! The stench of decomposing corpses, big and small, lingers about. At 47 degrees Celsius (117 F), birds drop dead from the sky. What we need is worldwide emergency mitigation to save what we can and whom we can: to build countless Noah’s arks for the climate collapse. The arks could be small subterranean cities under the wasteland scorched by the deadly sun. Those cities could possibly be connected by tunnels, or survivors more simply could rediscover cave dwelling like our ancestors. By then, drinkable water will be the most valuable commodity.

When the air is so hot and thick that innocent birds and flying insects, collateral damage of human follies, fall from the sky, you know that the stench of death has landed among us. It is announcing the coming of our own extinction. How can any human be so stupid as to think that the death of the entire ecosystem supporting us, being wild animals, or trees and plants, may be restored through technological fixes?

In life or death the blunt power of nature prevails over us. After almost two months of temperatures above 100 F and no rain, even mature trees like majestic sycamores or oaks suffer. Dead leaves cover the ground as if it is autumn. Old sycamores even shed their barks leaving their white trunks exposed to the brutal heat. Trees and animals are crying for help! The few of us who care try to help, mostly in vain. The toys of the techies have no power over any of it. No apps will miraculously shade the sun or bring the salvation of rain.

Modern human’s quasi worship of technology, and so called progress, since the industrial revolution of the mid-nineteen century, is what has triggered the explosion of this rage of the machine: the imperative to extract and burn fossil fuels, or consume everything like voracious beasts. Some 170 years of an abysmal race into this madness, and we have become the lobotomized half man and half machine cyborg of the Apocalypse.

One can wonder why we, as a species, have not set up a giant and global Marshal-like plan to mitigate the climate collapse that is unfolding in real time? Trillions of dollars could be diverted from military and fossil-fuel extraction spending. The reason is simple. All major world powers are in reality run by the industrial military, energy and tech complex, including Russia and China. Therefore, even with the prospect of global destruction for all, the promise of immense profit for very few still prevails. The time of the Apocalypse has come. It is here right now. We won’t have Jesus to come back for the Rapture or some generous billionaire comic book heroes to spirit us away to their space stations. The hell on Earth of extreme weather, droughts, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, famines and almost unlivable conditions will be our legacy to coming generations. The likely rule will be a survival of the fittest in brutal and primitive hunter and gatherer semi-nomadic tribal communities. The old, the frail, and the sick will not stand a chance.

Editor’s Notes: Photographs one, three, four, six, seven and eight by Gilbert Mercier. Photographs two and five by Dave Straven.


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