Living in the Anthropocene

Lake Macbride State Park Trail, July 1, 2019

The combination of advancing age and a world heated by human-made global warming has me looking for ways to cope.

When temperatures are forecast above 90 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity I get my outside work done early then head into the house. I keep the thermostat at 83 degrees so as not to use too much electricity, but to take the edge off the hot, humid days. I manage to sustain my sanity.

I used to work outside in blistering weather until beginning to black out. It is a concession to age that I refrain from scheduling work to spite such conditions. Mother Nature always wins.

If the political failure to address global warming takes us all out, I can live with that. The extinction of humans would be fair if everyone goes together. Such fatalism serves no useful purpose if there is still a chance to slow greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate the use of fossil fuels that power our economy. What choice do we really have but to go on living? Part of that has to be political advocacy.

If we are individuals in the Anthropocene, we are doomed already. One has to wonder what Ayn Rand would have to say about the prospect of an end to humanity. One supposes as long as government doesn’t tax individuals and corporations she’d be okay with it. Although, she too signed up for Medicare and Social Security.

2019 has been a time of personal rebuilding. I made it across a career finish line and it took time for life to settle. I signed up for Medicare, then Social Security, and have begun to take better care of myself and effect repairs around the house. I spend a significant amount of time at home where reading, writing, gardening, yard work and cooking take a majority of my time. Something will be next.

I know what part of it is. The 2020 general election looms large in our efforts to engage the government in addressing the climate crisis. How to impact the election is complicated. In part I plan to band together with like-minded citizens and work for candidates, Democratic candidates for the most part. Everything from president down to township trustee requires positive change. There is more than politics.

It starts with taking care of ourselves but cannot end with the individual. That’s the outlook that brought us to today. What we know is government’s reduction of taxes and deregulation of business have played out in front of us. They fail to address the core issue: our survival in a turbulent world. What seems important is answering the question what role should government play in our lives? Finding a new answer is essential while living in the Anthropocene.

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