1. Will there be hummingbirds?
2. Sometimes I comfort myself by thinking in geological time, astronomical space. When humans die out on the planet we call Earth, what other species will be rising? What suns just warming up to the right temperature for life on one of the planets enthralled by their gravity?
3. Books and movies have been preparing us for decades. The future may be bleak, they warn. Tyrants and dictators abound. Danger comes from the sky. As a child, I assumed the powerful grownups had read the same books, watched the same movies. I figured they saw what these writers had imagined—and the easy-to-trace trends that suggested these futures—and were making decisions based on avoiding that. If someone told me, “Hey, if you keep walking on this sidewalk, you’re going to fall into a deep hole,” I sure as hell would look ahead to see if they could possibly be right.
4. A ten-year-old television show that I watched featured an episode involving a scientist who worked for the government on the issue of climate change. Reporters—the stars of the show—kept asking him questions like What if we changed all cars to electric? and What if we immediately stopped all pollution being dumped into waterways? and he responded That might have helped if we had done it 20 years ago.
5. It’s a wonder we are not all running around in a panic screaming The sky is falling!
6. I mean, I still recycle, drive as fuel-efficient a car as I can afford, plant native species. I have no idea if anything I do will make any difference. But I do it because, well, what if we all did it?
7. If we all did it, we’d still need to get corporations to do it.
8. I really, really hope there’s some kind of an afterlife. I am spending too much of this life worrying.
9. I read once that pessimists are actually far closer to seeing the world as it really is than optimists. However, humans must be optimists—and unable to see their own traits clearly—in order to function.
10. Optimism about the future when it comes to climate change and the environment is beyond me. But I can easily persuade myself to believe that human experiences matter. That we are part of something greater, bigger, connected. That art nearly always contributes to the multiverse in positive ways. That how much you love and laugh, support and empathize, is more important than how much money you make. That the ordinary—hummingbirds drinking from the feeder outside my window, the invisible lines they make in the air as they hover and dart—is also spectacular, astounding, and worth all this.
Categories: Katie's Voice