Perfect Blue
Kona Macphee
« Previous | Index | Next »

Commentary: Exit hymn

In my short time on this planet, apocalyptic anxiety (in the West at least) has shifted from popular, much-discussed fears of nuclear holocaust to popular, much-discussed fears of environmental meltdown.

We may well be headed for a catastrophic global environmental crisis. We may yet fall victim to a global thermonuclear war (all those weapons haven't gone away, even though we don't fret about them so much anymore). It's nonetheless difficult for us to gauge the severity of these threats, because there's such a large irrational component in our fear of coming end-times.

As a species, we do love to forecast the apocalypse. Human cultures throughout history have prophesied that their own moral decay will shortly bring about The End Of The World - via everything from divine retribution to self-inflicted technological annihilation. Is this tantalizing worry really just our fear of our own individual deaths, in a conveniently externalised disguise?

It's self-obsessed and short-termist to think that what happens to us over the next 200 years is very important on a cosmic scale. However, it's even more self-obsessed and short-termist to crash our planet's interlinked global ecosystems into the ground, just because we're too lazy, greedy or in-denial to clean up our act.

« Previous | Index | Next »