Warning–this may be depressing

I keep coming to the conclusion that we have reached the point of no return. The earth is being destroyed and that can only be done once. Most of the damage can’t be restored or repaired. Species can’t be revived from extinction. Mountain tops are irreplaceable. Exhausted deposits of coal and oil can’t be replaced in less than several million years. Valleys with their streams can’t breath buried under tons of human garbage, nor other valleys and streams under tons of coal mining waste.

Thinking like this has depressed me, not stare for hours at a wall depressed, not clinical depression, just a comparatively mild funk. Clinical depression is probably held at bay by the joy of being the first grandson in a large family of five aunts and a grandma applying limitless love.

Of the probably infinite number of options, I come up with two—be depressed, be sad, despair or what the hell, if there is no hope then quit reading about all the horrors being inflicted on all of nature and have fun. Being within about a month of my 78th birthday, I am likely to end before the whole thing collapses, so I can do what brings me pleasure and leave this thing to burn down after I’m gone.

Or I can have fun (is this my second or third option?) with the idiots who are ruining everything, by giving them as much shit as I can on the way out. The fun might be in watching them squirm and celebrating with fellow travelers,to whom I cannot offer hope. That will be tough—celebrating some burning stick of victory, when there is no hope of blowing the fire out or restoring the stick.

(author unknown to me)
Why should I tell you everything,
when everything has been told and you have done nothing?
No, I will tell you only one thing
But what shall that be?
Youth is not innocent.
Old Age is unwise
Love Corrupts
Power weakens.
Victims rob.
Populists dictate.
Progress retards
Virgins abort
There is more than one infinity.
And only ashes will rise up out of ashes.
But these do not diminish your insignificance.
I will tell you something.
Smile days. Sleep nights.
There is no reason why.

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to Amazon.com to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (wvhighlands.org), and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation (ksff.org). I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at martinjul@aol.com or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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2 Responses to Warning–this may be depressing

  1. sigiocom says:

    Julian, I am consoled with this: Life of on Earth survived the Permian-Triassic extinction event, 250 million years ago. Estimates are that 96% of marine life and 70% of terrestrial vertebrates went extinct. I don’t think we can really destroy the Earth or render it completely inhospitable to life. There are, after all, some strange species of slime molds living in the sarcophagus at Chernobyl.

    It does look like we are in the midst, perhaps at the beginning, of another mass extinction. These happen from time to time, even before there was human influence.

    • Sam's Branch says:

      Jason–being consoled by mass extinction is interesting. You are right of course, major changes will and did happen without our influence.

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