End of Days?
You’ve probably seen the photo of the Golden Gate Bridge in red-orange smoke. It’s about as apocalyptic as it gets. I’ll eat my sunscreen if that doesn’t become the picture of the year. As I write, outdoor sounds have been deadened by the 6000-foot-deep hazardous air created by the wildfires in Clackamas County, Oregon. Just when we thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse…well, that’ll teach us.
The lessons continue to be offered but I’m not sure we’re learning. The cataclysmic weather-related events of the past two months (fires, hurricanes, massive flooding) are increasingly frequent, destructive, and deadly. This is climate change. It is not an opinion; it’s not a political stand. To believe the situation will improve by doing nothing is denial. A roll back of environmental protections and withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement is worse than doing nothing; it’s an active choice backward.
One recent morning as I was writing in my daily journal, my left hand was misaligned on the keyboard. Instead of typing 2020 I mistakenly hit 3030 which brought me up short. What will the world be like then? Rising oceans will change today’s geography. Animal populations will have moved to whatever verdant areas are left. The big question is whether the genus Homo sapiens will still be here.
About fifteen years ago, I took a class taught by the late Barbara Marx Hubbard, a futurist and spiritual leader. “You didn’t think evolution ended with Homo sapiens, did you?” Frankly, I’d never considered the question—a lack of imagination on my part. Hubbard’s point was that there were many precursors to today’s human, so it only made sense we’d keep evolving. She named the next iteration Homo amore universalis. You might remember that Homo universalis refers to a polymath, one of great learning (aka Renaissance man). Hubbard added “amore,” or love. She envisioned the joining of our compassion with our creativity.
During the period of time our species evolved from Neanderthal to modern humans, the two co-existed for about 5400 years. They commingled and their genes combined. Do you suppose our more evolved cousins are currently walking among us? I wish they’d wear a logo or glow in the dark so we could make sure to give them more credence than the rest of us lesser mortals. Evolving into a wiser, more compassionate being who isn’t headed toward extinction and takes action to save our home. Now that's hopeful, isn’t it?