“I write to you from the middle of the greatest mass extinction in the history of life on Earth, and soon there will be a meeting of our leaders to discuss saving the planet.”
Binyon Family Survivors,
I lived in a time of staggering arrogance, when humanity was mentally ill. Since we discovered oil, our numbers have multiplied seven fold, we've destroyed half of the world's forests, poisoned the oceans, and changed life on Earth forever.
We mined rare minerals in sites all over the world at horrific costs to the Earth and built thinking machines out of all of it in energy-sucking factories. We connected all of the thinking machines with an enormous electrical grid and used that network to communicate to each other so we wouldn't feel alone, all while barely knowing our neighbors. I know this all must be hard to believe but it's just the tip of the iceberg. Icebergs were ice mountains in the sea, by the way.
We are infected by the normalcy bias, a phenomenon that makes us believe that whatever happens in our lifetimes, is normal. I write to you from the middle of the greatest mass extinction in the history of life on Earth, and soon there will be a meeting of our leaders to discuss saving the planet. The Earth is half destroyed already, and its ability to sustain our civilization is near the end. Yet we cling to this belief: Our civilization can and must be saved. Many believe we are evolving to become demigods powered by technological miracles that will save us all. But for every technology we've developed, we have damaged the Earth more. For every efficiency we create, we consume more than we save. We so desperately want a loophole, a way to feed our infinite appetite on a finite Earth. We are deranged.
Fossil fuel civilization was an orgy. The intoxication of that opulence brought us to the alteration of our planet and the ruin of our civilization. But what we will call calamity, you will call normal. I'm sure by the time this reaches you, humanity is living in its means again, in the dirt, under the shade of the new trees in the recovering forests.
Do not rebuild what we lost. Our lives weren't as good as it may sound when the stories are told around your village fires. Remember that you are one of the lucky few alive to read this only because your forefathers weren't afraid to return to the dirt. Through their meekness you have inherited the Earth.
Your Great-Great-Great Grandpa Binyon