On giving up

I’ve not been posting much recently in part because I’ve spent more time outside in the garden. But really, that’s only half of the story. I suppose the truth is that I’ve just given up. Since leaving Memphis, and to some degree before that, I’ve lost hope. I can’t help but think that it is over and there is nothing that can be done and I mean that on many different levels. The political system in the U.S. is completely fucked. Climate change is probably what I worry about most and it is on my mind constantly throughout each day. Peak oil and Iraq as well. Of course within each of these there are many layers.

I’m finding that I don’t know how to feel. I’m depressed but really that’s only part of my reaction. I feel numb. I want to hide. In fact, that is what I’m doing I suppose. I’ve come to the conclusion that all I can do is minimize my negative impact which means I don’t go out much at all. I don’t want to interact with people… we humans, at least those I know and have known in my life… we’re selfish busy-bodies. MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE. We cannot be satisfied. We refuse to acknowledge the truth of our lives. We lie to ourselves and our children and our grand children. We humans are selfish, greedy liars.

I long ago made the decision not to have children. I cannot imagine bringing one into this world. Not only for the sake of the child, but also in terms of adding to the problem. In terms of ecology and planetary recovery we need about 4 billion fewer humans, not one more. Even better, I’d guess the planet would be best served by our extinction. If I believed in god that’s what I’d pray for.

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13 thoughts on “On giving up

  1. Anonymous

    Perhaps the answer to your problem is using just recyclable energy. Sun pannels, the energy of wind. If more and more of us would take this decision perhaps things could turn for the better. If you want to learn more about climate change visit http://www.1ocean-1climate.com. I found there an interesting theory.

  2. Douglas Saddlewood

    I’ve been reading your blog for the last couple of years now and this is my first post. I reached a similar conclusion about what is to come. Particularly with the self-reinforcing mess of peak oil/global warming/imperialism/terrorism, there is nothing we can do. The crash will come, the waters will rise. All we can do is let go of the notions of the present and be ready for the consequences, the window for prevention is closed.

    Rather then try to stop it, or being worried about the consequences, I’ve focused my attention on how we can adapt after the coasts flood, and when food collection is a manual effort. Many will not be able to handle it. Those ‘MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE.’ people you speak of will not be able to accept that they can no longer be able to drive in their SUVs to Wal-Mart to buy ‘food.’ They will not react well to the change. Society will be tumbling into chaos one gas line at a time. That’s where people like you and me can help. We already know what’s coming and why. When everyone else is playing the blame game those who knew what was coming can act as leaders. There will be a need for focused individuals who understand that there is no going back. We can help to move things forward, to build a sustainable society. The changes will all be about small local solutions to survival, but most importantly letting go, letting go of the notion that more means better. Neighbors will have to get together again to work out how to drill a well, make cheese, or breed horses all over again because the skills have died out. Simply put a lot of hard work.

    Understanding what is coming and its inevitability does not depress me, I find it reassuring. Better to accept it and adapt then to live in ignorance and to suffer later. Don’t give up on everyone; they will need your help during the long emergency.

  3. denny

    hey douglas, nice to meet you. i tend to agree with you. there are many days when i’m okay with it. yesterday i was not.

    in truth, as time goes on i’m less inclined to worry about the fate of my fellow humans. what bothers me much more is that we are doing as a species. we’ve become nature’s delete key. so really, in a way, i would welcome what is coming if i knew that it meant only our demise. knowing that we’re taking down countless other species with us, that is what bothers me more than anything.

    it’s a shame really. i think that humans had/have the potential to create something far different than this mess. we took a few wrong turns in our social/cultural evolution. perhaps we’ll survive, perhaps we’ll learn.

  4. Anonymous

    Ditto. Well said. I have stopped discussing those topics (climate change, peak oil, wars, dollar overvaluation, etc..) with others and now try to find something each day that I can look forward to even though I have come to the conclusion that the near future will be full of conflict, suffering, mini-wars, or much worse.

  5. Robert

    im not very hopeful reagrding the future, either, Denny

    and trying to talk to other people about it can seem hopeless, indeed

    but i try to hang onto slim shards of hope

    i just hope you feel a bit better today and that you try to do what you can and hang in there

    even if it is with one arm sometimes

    we owe that to life, i think 🙂

  6. Anonymous

    well…to add to your gloom…
    My attitude is to get as informed and prepared as possible so that when the worst happens it won’t happen to me, but to other people. (and yes …i do do “green” things but only if they save me money).
    At the end of the day it’s like Malthus said, only slightly different lol…
    I’m in Europe not USA so need to get involved with a defence company or smth as no other (legal) access to weapons info and hopefully weapons when they’ll be needed.
    Your problem is philosophical – that you think ppl are so much more that they are. At the end of the day, a tiger’s /wolf’s etc response to the situation would be just like mine. And I still think it beats ignorance / the head in sand attitude of most ppl in the world.

  7. Anonymous

    gloom2 (i’m the same person):
    James Lovelock says:
    We are on the edge of the greatest die-off humanity has ever seen. We will be lucky if 20% of us survive what is coming. We should be scared stiff.

    (just found this again on the web.)
    Paralysis (reaction to scared stiff) is not the answer. Preparation is.

  8. Chris

    On the one hand we are all, saddled with this burden, trying to make the best of things according to our definition. It seems though that we can do something to prepare, something to minimize, and something to CHANGE things, all at the same time. I leave the world to it’s vices, I’ve enough of mine own, and try to be present all the time wherever I am. Armagedon is what we know is coming. Let us meet it head on. It is our life’s timing, and we would be dolt’s not to be in tune to it.

  9. Marc

    Denny, mate, I made the descision to not have children with much the same reasoning you chose.The problem with over population is not the fault of the starving in Africa, as so many people I’ve met point out. They are STARVING, ie they are not consuming resources like we (first world) are. It’s the first world, West and China/India that are over consuming and over populating. With all the media hype about the world in woe, it’s easy to get depressed about things, but Gaia is a smart girl. The world is excellent as a self regulating system. The human race is just a cold she has, and soon she will be taking one almighty dose of climatic Codral. In the Universal scheme of things, if the human race dies off in the next 100-200 years, it really won’t be such a bad thing.

  10. BTSO1001

    Please take a look at some of the positive things being done in the world…

    Former President Bill CLinton is currently blogging about his trip to Africa, where there are several important projects at hand…AIDS, poverty, climate change for some.

    Many uplifting stories and ways that you can be part of a positive change, even if things domestically are looking bad.


  11. Anonymous

    Hiya, I often feel the same way you do. So I fix bikes, go to protests, fight corporations, start and participate in open, non-hierarchical collectives, eat organic and dumpstered food, live in condemned patches of wilderness, read politically thoughtful books….and it still just doesn’t seem to cheer me up. I guess I feel like I’m drowning sometimes, and the best I can do is stop struggling.

    Have faith, be calm, weather the storm,and answers will come.

    The battle begins in your mind.


  12. 24Independent


    I’ve got something to pique your curiosity and turn you back on to writing Our Tomorrow: I need your help in researching the links between the new fascist Protect America Act and a court case brought by a guy named Mark Klein, who says that he say a huge “splitter” in an AT&T building, that took huge amounts of Internet traffic and dumped it into a National Security Agency computer.

    Think Total Information Awareness and you’re starting to get the idea.

    July 24, a court denied a federal government motion to dismiss the case. The court said that the government could not claim privilege on state secrets to keep the program out of the public eye.

    Guess when the next hearing in the case was scheduled? August 15th. Does that go some way toward explaining why George W. Bush, who never gave up a long August vacation before, would all of a sudden declare, shortly after July 24th, that Congress must pass a law legalizing warrantless electronic surveillance?

    I don’t know the answer, of course, but I think that this is a tree that needs a lot of barking up… and no one else is writing about this stuff.

    I put a quick article up on Irregular Times tonight right after I pieced the information together.

    See where it goes from here. Get in touch if you help me want to research this.

  13. Lawrence

    Yes… one of the downsides of devoting yourself entirely to something so much bigger than oneself.
    It does seem hopeless when you look at how much some people are doing and how powerful the opponents are. But as with most movements, it should play itself out a pretty good prize for us environmentalists.
    One of the few good things about capitalism is that anybody can get in on it, and if there’s profit to be made, somebody will take the time to work for it. That sickens me, but it’s the way of our world.

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