It is not at all certain that we are going to avoid environmental catastrophe. — Mike King in The Writing of ‘Mountain Calls’ on the Dark Mountain Project Blog
When I read these words I was struct again by the recurring realization that as people we are living in a time when the way of living our lives is killing the web of living beings upon which our own lives are entirely dependent. That we might actually succeed in killing the web of life (and therefore ourselves) is not the main focus of my shock. It is the realization that people have already been born for whom this killing is a possibility. For most of human existence it has not been possible to think the thought that we could kill the web of living beings on this planet – and now it is not only possible – it is even likely by some calculations.
At some level, though we may not wish to, we find it easy to imagine such a nightmare [as described in Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road], because it validates one of the defining beliefs of our civilisation: that life without the supermarket and the superhighway is not liveable. — Dougald Hine in DEFUSING THE APOCALYPSE: A RESPONSE TO JOHN GRAY on the Dark Mountain Project Blog
I realize this idea that the ‘civilized’ life is the only life worth living is one of the formative myths that I grew up with in dominant culture North America. This is made clear in the understanding of ‘being civilized’ as it is opposed to ‘savage’ or ‘primative’ or ‘barbaric’. The connection it seems is not coincidental.
When I hear many of the ideas that pass for ‘solutions’ to the current crises – all of them take for granted the continuation of “life as we know it”. I realize now the connection because having to live without the modern conveniences like the iPhone X is apparently undesireable, unthinkable, or pointless.
THE SENATOR: This is an abyss into which it is better not to look.
COUNT: My good friend, it is not entirely possible for us not to look into it; it is there before us, and, not to see it, we should have to be blind, which would be much worse than being afraid. — Joseph de Maistre, The Saint Petersburg Dialogues