Confessions of an Unbeliever
What are the arguments for the destruction of mankind? Why will it happen quickly? And why is there so much sympathy for the idea that we somehow deserve this apocalyptic fate?
As a member of a band called Apokaful and the author of a series of novels based on the notion that the world (modern civilization) will end in a great flood, I often find myself in a conversation where I make the argument for an apocalyptic end to mankind.
Those who believe in the words of the Old Testament say that God promised He would never again destroy the Earth with a flood. To this I respond, maybe Noah got it wrong. What God was saying was He would not destroy the world. He didn’t mean that He might not again go after our modern Sodom and Gomorrah where a species goes extinct every 20 minutes due mostly to the impact of industrial civilization (see Slow-motion v. rapid apocalypse below).
It is not only the bible that mentions a great flood. Myths and folklore around the globe and throughout history contain accounts of apocalyptic floods. Just because we are all interconnected into a global civilization like never before does not mean a flood could not wash away the whole deal. Look what happens when it rains for a couple of days or a hurricane hits. What would happen in there was an unending string of hurricanes and nonstop rain? But you say that is scientifically impossible. That is where the modern mind no longer has room for the gods and spirits who previous cultures knew so well. That is the arrogance that says we are our own gods.
In the 12 series, it is not biblical figures who are messing with the weather. The battle for the Sixth and Final World is between the nine gods mentioned in the inscription on Monument 6 of the Mayan Site of Totuguero.
Party-At-Ground-Zero: If you add up the total number of human beings who have ever lived that is approximately the size of the human population alive today. Say that reincarnation is real. That means that all the souls who have ever lived in the history of the world are on the planet right now. It’s as if we’ve all come back for one more sip of Nature’s nectar. And when Nature has had enough of our voracious appetite for her bounty she’ll say, “That’s enough of that, leave some for the rest of my creations. Bye-bye humans.”
Slow-motion v. rapid apocalypse: Who can argue that the long-term future of the human race is dicey given the off-the-charts increase in global warming, the rapidly melting ice caps, and the mass chaos that will prevail when large parts of the planet no longer sustain agriculture or are underwater. This is a slow-motion apocalypse as opposed to my fictional rapid extinction.
We deserve it: One in seven (14%) of global citizens believe the end of the world is coming in their lifetimes. If you include the End Time believers that is a healthy portion of mankind thinking it’s coming. But what about the rest of us? Do you deny that there is a prevailing sense that while we know how to live in a harmonious sustainable manner with nature, we don’t know how to halt our cultural suicide? While we know we have to give up our carbon-burning orgy we can’t stop ourselves from burning the rainforests and every hydrocarbon we can suck from the earth.
Those who have full awareness and belief in the dangers of global warming still drive their cars and take their airplane flights to conferences on global warming, build more highways and large single-family houses on agricultural land. These are the ones who look at their children and grandchildren and shudder to think of the world in which they will live. They know their arguments for saving the environment are no match to the need for short-term job maintenance and the power of corporations. Is it no wonder that so many think that somehow we deserve what we’re going to get and that only an apocalyptic event can slow or cure the carbon burning cancer that is modern civilization?
I predict that among the first tenets of enlightenment to fade will be the sanctity of human life and one-world consciousness. If there are too many of us, who needs more? There is only so much that we can be expected to do when famine and destruction ravish countries beyond our borders. And there are only so many who can live in the shrinking habitable portions of the globe.
Now, for my confession – I don’t believe that mankind will perish.
While it sounds as if I hear the four horsemen of the apocalypse approaching on their terrible steeds, and I believe future generations will curse us for our stupidity and lassitude, some form of civilization will survive. I only hope as future generations marvel at coral reefs in aquariums and alpine forests in botanical gardens, they will imagine what it must have been like to live in Eden and find a way to forgive us.
These are some arguments for the apocalypse. I would love to hear — and more to believe — in a science fiction world where genetically-engineered super trees and algae absorb carbon dioxide and we climate engineer our way out of this fix.