The rapid “Collapse” of civilization started one hundred years ago or so if we want to ballpark beginnings. We could go back thousands of years and analyze human beings’ impacts on ecosystems. Many great writers, scientists, and academics have for many decades. Only recently, some of us have begun to pay attention to issues surrounding rapid changes across many domains of inquiry regarding ecosystems, health, and sustainability.
We have been poorly conditioned to be myopic consumers, and the way out is a generational project that requires radical cultural change. All that is left for us to do is to keep trying to raise awareness, intelligence, and knowledge of the many issues surrounding our predicament, sing out a secular prayer from time to time, and hope we catch on fast.
As far as we know, all systems have their duration.
Our species had an exciting run. No machine can match the way people remember. The Universe is a wonderous mystery that may have to run sans Earth’s living consciousness sooner than we may have hoped.
If we had only valued wisdom over everything else, we might have had a longer run. Humanity has around one billion years before the sun expands into a red giant and spends billions of years transforming until: “When a star dies, it ejects a mass of gas and dust — known as its envelope — into space. The envelope can be as much as half the star’s mass. This reveals the star’s core, which is running out of fuel by this point in the star’s life, eventually turning off before finally dying,” — astrophysicist Albert Zijlstra. Life and Death are human concepts and can be apt metaphors when confronting a star.
After we disappear, life and death are of no consequence anymore. When I contemplate this, I am thrilled.