It’s the End of the World, As We Know It
I’ve been painfully cognizant of living in the end times my entire life. I was raised by a fundamentalist mother who taught me that, according to the Book of Revelations, Jesus was coming back soon. If I was good, I’d be swept up in the Rapture before Christ brought on the end of the world.
According to my mom, the bad people who were left would have to suffer terrible punishments, like the coming of the “antichrist”, who would impose authoritarian rule and prevent anyone who wasn’t loyal to him from working or buying food. To prove your loyalty, you’d have to get the “mark of the beast” on your forehead. Of course, the catch-22 is that once you get the mark, your soul is doomed to hell.
Thanks to all of that religious indoctrination, I had a pretty fearful childhood. This shit would keep me up at night. I’d toss and turn, hoping I didn’t get “left behind.”
As I got older and more educated, I rejected Christianity. But the more I started learning about politics and the environment, the more I started realizing that we ARE indeed, living in the end times. However, it wouldn’t be “god” who destroys humanity. We’re doing it to ourselves.
As for the “antichrist” described in the Book of Revelations? It’s odd to me that the patently insane American evangelical Christian cult is holding up Trump as their “savior” who will bring about the predictions in the Bible.
Will Trump bring about the end of the world? Evangelicals sure hope so
Evangelical Christians overwhelmingly support President Donald Trump because they believe he'll cause the world to end…
Yeah, he’s accelerating our apocalypse, alright, but not for the reasons they think. He’s just a greedy grifter selling us all out for the almighty dollar. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t picked up a Bible in his entire life.
I really hate to be a Debbie Downer. But I’m a pragmatist. And as a writer, I can’t help seeing the bigger picture of the human condition. At the moment, we are simultaneously observers to and participants in our own demise.
Don’t believe me? Here are the multiple threats we face:
- Climate change is finally getting the serious attention it should have received 30 years ago..yknow, when it wasn’t too late to fix it?
What many people refuse to face is that we’re already suffering the damaging effects. We’re already seeing a record number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes; regular, catastrophic flooding from multiple “once in a hundred year” floods all throughout the midwest and south; apocalyptic fires in the west that last WAY past what used to be brief “fire seasons”; a record number of tornados, even outside of “tornado alley”; heat waves happening earlier and earlier in the summer…nobody can deny that huge swaths of our country are becoming hellscapes on a regular basis.
Every day, there seems to be horrific climate-change-related news. At this rate, we are heading for the 3 degree rise in global temperatures a lot earlier than scientists even expected. Such a rise will certainly ensure our doom.
In the meantime, things are gonna get difficult (understatement of the year).
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Young people are even going on “birthstrike” and refusing to have kids.
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You would think the ramping up of natural disasters, costing us billions of dollars annually, and all the scientific studies crying out for us to DO SOMETHING would force the U.S. government to actually..maybe do something? To wean us off fossil fuels and regulate carbon emissions?
This is the biggest, most dangerous area where Trump is leading us to disaster. Instead, Trump is killing government climate change science. This is the worst time to have the leader of the free world be in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry, but..here we are. Thanks, Putin!
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I guess the wealthiest among us are building spaceships so that, after destroying our planet, they can go find another one. What hubris. Stupid humans. We emerged from the primordial sludge of this home and evolved evolutionarily in harmony with it. It has supported us. Fed us. Nourished us. For all we know, there is no other planet like it where we could thrive as well as we did on earth.
They really don’t seem to care.
Jeff Bezos is one of them. He’s planning to spend the bulk of his fortune figuring out how to blow this popsicle stand, even while his company hides how badly its business model is exacerbating climate change.
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The 1 percent who aren’t building spaceships are considered a ripe market for companies like Arkup. I’m predicting many entrepreneurs will get rich selling products they claim will protect the uber-rich from the effects of their greedy, capitalistic ways.
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How cynical do you have to be to build a $6 million yacht to dupe the dumbest billionaires into thinking they can actually survive climate change?
2. Super bugs and drug-resistant fungi
The development of new antibiotics is failing to keep up with the ability of bacteria to evolve to overcome them.
And it’s not just drug-resistant bacteria we have to worry about. I’m sure I’m just one of many Americans who had no idea you could actually DIE from candida. A new MULTI-DRUG resistant “super fungus” has taught us that yes, you can.
“What makes it so difficult to treat is in part due to how it is identified, often requiring specific technology and a culture of blood or other bodily fluids. Because it can colonize its host for several months — perhaps indefinitely — the fungus can spread between people and to various objects over the course of time before entering the bloodstream and spreading throughout the body, causing serious invasive infections such as bloodstream, wound, and ear infections. Its treatment is even more difficult given the fact that it does not respond to commonly used antifungal drugs and has shown resistance to those used to treat other Candida infections, such as vaginal yeast infections or oral thrush.
At least 56,000 people in the US and EU die every year as a direct consequence of infection from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, comparable to influenza, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS combined. As C. auris is showing us, fungal infections may soon contribute to that growing number.”
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Like most drug-resistant bacteria infections, fungal infections are more likely to occur in hospital settings. I guess the lesson here is to take as good care of yourself as you can, to avoid having to end up in a hospital.
According to the UN, the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a global health emergency that could kill 10 million people by 2050. We’ve all been taught that ending a course of antibiotics early can lead to global drug resistance. So can feeding meat animals antibiotics. But did you know that we now have an overwhelming level of antibiotics in our water supplies?:
World's rivers 'awash with dangerous levels of antibiotics'
Largest global study finds the drugs in two-thirds of test sites in 72 countries
Antibiotics ending up in our environment has helped this along.
“It’s quite scary and depressing. We could have large parts of the environment that have got antibiotics at levels high enough to affect resistance,” said Alistair Boxall, an environmental scientist at the University of York, who co-led the study.
Many medical experts consider antibiotic resistance as a big of a threat as climate change.
3. The end of biodiversity. One million species are now facing extinction, thanks to human activities (and that includes us, because humans cannot survive without them)
A million species are at risk of extinction. Humans are to blame.
A few years ago, a team of researchers in Europe wanted to figure out the answer to a simple question: How long would…
Every part of our ecosystem is connected. Pull one species out of the chain, and the whole thing collapses.
Everyone seems to care that we’re losing the bees, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
We’re in serious trouble here.
4. The collapse of democratic systems worldwide. The U.S. and many other countries seem to be trading democracy for authoritarian rule by corrupt sociopaths. This is facilitated by Putin, who can’t keep his grubby fingers out of other countries’ elections. Putin and his oligarchical mob have a vested interest in breaking up stable democracies, because the proliferation of far-right nationalist governments keeps the U.S. and our European allies fragmented.
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Fear of immigration. Xenophobia. Racism. Bigotry. Even people who deny climate change have the sense that something is different; we are under an increasing threat. Unfortunately, the more “poorly educated” among us are susceptible to having their fears directed at the wrong people. Throughout time, wanna-be dictators have gained support by fanning the flames of hatred, paranoia, and xenophobia. What better way to get citizens to act against their own self-interest, than to fool them into directing their fear and hatred at the wrong people?
Just convince them that they’re “superior” because of their skin color. Or their ethnicity. Or their religion. Then get them to turn against “the other.” Seems to work every time. Until the calamity and horror grows to a fever pitch, and a fascist regime turns inward on itself. Meanwhile, millions can die. Just look at the Third Reich.
Apparently, even European countries have short memories. Many of them have been installing “nationalist” governments like it’s 1933 all over again.
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5. Global refugee crises.
Climate change is causing drought and famine driven by the loss of sustenance crops in many parts of the globe. Millions of displaced people are simply trying to save themselves and their families by migrating to less-affected regions.
The UN calls this “disaster displacement.” Last year, a record 68.5 million people were considered “refugees.” One person is displaced by war, violence or persecution every 2 seconds of every day. The implications are staggering.
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Record high numbers of men, women and children were driven from their homes across the world last year due to war…
Expect more conflict and wars, as more humans compete for less resources.
6. The re-emergence of epidemics of once-conquered diseases, thanks to the mainstreaming of “anti-vaxxer” sentiment.
Thanks to idiots who believe new age “health” websites over actual scientific studies, we are facing a global MEASLES EPIDEMIC. This isn’t led by your typical “poorly educated” bumpkins, but by educated white women who shop at Whole Foods. I have never in my life been more embarrassed to be white.
UNICEF blames anti-vaxxers for the 300% spike in global measles outbreaks
By Worldwide measles cases reported in the first three months of 2019 have surged 300% from the same period last year…
To make matters worse, these science deniers are finding a home in the Republican party, with GOP politicians rushing to eliminate vaccine mandates under the guise of libertarianism. Never mind that they’re putting people at risk of death. The GOP, despite CLAIMING to be “pro-life”, seems every day to become more of a death cult that’s attempting to hasten humanity’s extinction.
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7. An oldie but a goodie — the continued threat of nuclear war.
Remember “duck and cover”? That’s how our grandparents and parents were taught to survive a nuclear attack. Well, the threat of nuclear anihilation never went away. After the fall of the Soviet Union, we lulled ourselves into complacency, thinking that since Russia was our ally, we wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore.
Well, wake up. It’s 2019. Here, too, Trump is making the world a more dangerous place. During the 2016 campaign, he asked “we have nukes..why don’t we use them?”
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This is what happens when you elect a president who is clueless about history. Perhaps if he’d spoken to people who survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he’d understand exactly WHY we don’t use nukes.
Now that the warmongering Islamaphobe John Bolton has unfortunately once again been given a position of power, we’re rattling sabres at Iran. This is a dangerous combo — a national security advisor gunning for war, and a president who sees no problem using nukes.
The Union of Concerned Scientists didn’t move the doomsday clock up when Trump got elected for nothing.
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Okay, so..what do we do, given this barrage of bad news?
We should learn lessons about our priorities. They suck. Sadly, humans have pursued money and material possessions as if they could ever bring happiness. The addictions we suffer from here in the U.S. (opioids, mass media, social media, the internet), despite living in a world of relative leisure and comfort, prove they don’t.
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Meanwhile, we’re killing this planet that has been so good to us, and so rich with REAL wealth. We’re destroying it because we have a bottomless need for “stuff.”
The endless pursuit of commercialism and materialism has resulted in a sick, sick, sick society. Trump isn’t an aberration. He’s a symbol of what a greedy, narcissistic, angry capitalist jungle the US has become.
Finally, people are starting to wake up to the benefits of socialism, but it’s probably too late. We need to somehow get the political will to make huge changes to our society. While this starts on an individual level, individual lifestyle changes alone can’t fix these problems.
Change needs to happen from the top down. Corporations need to be held accountable for the damage they’re doing. We need to boycott companies that are destroying our planet.
Instead of doing what’s best for all, the rich are doing what’s best for THEM. Keeping the fossil fuel profits going til the very end, so they can amass billions to protect themselves. Meanwhile, untold millions will die.
Just imagine what kind of world these wealthy sociopaths are going to create. I’m already disgusted with the society they’ve created thus far. They can leave me here to die. I’d rather die, than somehow hitch a ride on one of their vanity spaceships and watch them fuck up the next planet.
It’s getting to the point where utilitarian philosophers are even thinking maybe human extinction wouldn’t be such a bad thing, after all. We’ve kinda been a bit of a pox on the planet since we started walking upright.
Is Extinction Bad?
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Others hypothesize that a new form of artificial intelligence could arise that will not only help kill humans off, but be able to survive and thrive on a post-apocalyptic earth.
Right now, our concerns are focused on robots taking our jobs. But AI could progress to such a point that they take our place, period.
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The sci-fi plots that this theory inspires in my brain are intriguing. I could imagine a robot race that thrives, long after we’re gone, ultimately deciding to re-animate humanity, much like the scientists did to the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.
We know how Jurassic Park turned out.
Copyright 2019 S. Wade