Humanity - gone without a whimper
Humans are the odd duck in the animal kingdom.
We evolved to have a combination of features that allowed us to prosper and thrive over time: being bipedal, having opposable thumbs, and of course our brain which expanded energy towards developing our reasoning and cognitive ability. However, when we dive into the anatomy of man we begin to see the trade offs as well as the detrimental attributes we accumulated.
Humans, for instance, lack the thick fur or blubber/fat deposits necessary to survive in cold climates. I can attest because Minnesota winters are bitter and awful, while our Whitetail Deer seem content. We relied on the hides of other animals to sustain us, as well as the necessity of constructing or utilizing shelter to shield us away from the natural elements. This is merely one example, and while this list could go on there is one trait that is more prevalent for this discussion.
Throughout the animal kingdom, various species have the means of detecting and understanding their environment. This isn't referring to the standard conception of sight or hearing, but something more attune to a connection with nature as well as survival.
Elephants have shown erratic behavior before natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes, hypothesized to be due to low-frequency waves that the elephants can detect. Bees can detect shifts in air pressure and thus adjust their work to avoid incoming storms. Cows, another mammal, have shown a peculiar response to predicting earthquakes as shown in Japan in 2011 when researchers recorded cows having decreased milk production before the earthquake occurred. The theory for reduced milk production is the increased stress levels induced by the pending natural disaster.
What does this mean for humans?
Humans are more distant in their connection with the environment, ranging from a lack of a spiritual connection down to the anatomy of our being. We don't have the means of predicting storms, save for Grandpa's knee that acts up before the big storm. We don't sense an impending earthquake and act accordingly. Humans have come to rely on their cognitive prowess to make up for the deficiencies we have with regards to understanding our environment.
Our reliance on our cognitive abilities, which should be our most powerful tool, will ultimately be our downfall it seems as a species.
Climate change, along with humans' destructive capabilities towards the environment itself, is creating positive feedback loops across the planet. Massive CO2 buildups, the acidification of the oceans, the extinction rate of species slowly mounting, and more are happening under our watch. These events that could severely impact not only us as a species but Earth as a habitable planet go by without concern. Whether it is us being oblivious, being so steeped in ignorance (which is disappointing considering that reasoning is our strongest card in our deck), or arrogance that we can fix it one day somehow, or perhaps simply the result of an uncaring species towards an environment that is a commodity, not a necessity.
We abdicate our responsibility as a species by hiding behind our paradigms of thought. We continue our destructive path throughout the world simply because not only can we, but this misguided rationale of "someone else".
We adhere to a religion of technology. An odd combination of words but the meaning is sound. We have this belief of a technology that will be created that will save us. Or that an individual, a group of individuals, an organization, a government agency will also somehow through magic will save us. This extends far beyond even just our current environmental doomsday that is approaching. We destroy our bodies because we enjoy the taste of certain foods, all the while in the back of our minds believing that something can save us from the consequences. We smoke for 40 years and develop Stage 4 Lung Cancer, only to go to the doctor and wonder what they can do to save us.
The thing is they can't.
We as a species, for all our creative ingenuity and individuality, are quite easy to prod into a herd formation. We all hunker down, with blinders attached to our heads, for no other reason than we ourselves putting them on. For a species built upon reasoning and problem solving, we blindly follow orthodox and lies. We follow rigid structures of bureaucracy and inefficiency, for no other reason than "that is just how it is". Any voice that rises up to say "This isn't working." is either silenced or ignored. That voice looks around to see everyone with their head down, plodding along. A species with such talent and knowledge, reduced to nothing more than lines and lines herded farm animals.
Phrases such as "late-game capitalism" or "ending phases of capitalism" have popped up more frequently in articles I have read. On how everything is slowly collapsing and then from there that somehow people will revolt.
I don't see this. It is hopeful, perhaps desirable even. But, to me, not at all what will happen. To me, the end will not be as revolutionary or even admirable.
The social bonds that adhere everyone to everyone else seem quite strong, even if the shiny coat has faded. Any type of disruption or shift in the bond diffuses horizontally, not vertically. What do I mean by that?
Let's go through the scenarios of our rapidly-approaching end times here:
1) As the climate worsens, various resources will become more and more strained or simply used up. The top-down clamps will keep people in check simply because they won't actually look up from their yokes.People will still scurry along with misguided beliefs unfounded in reality. "The government will fix it.", "It isn't as bad as they say.", or other rationalizations and delusions the people come up with.
2) When things hit a critical mass so badly that even the people have to react, they won't do it effectively or with power. This is where the horizontal diffusion comes in. This resonates with spectacles we see after football/soccer games. No matter who wins or lose, a group of people will riot. They destroy anything they get their hands on. Why? Because they can. Is it meaningful? No, just primal aggression for no reason then juvenile tribalism. The point here though is the same. When resources dry up, the people won't revolt upwards towards the power structures. They will revolt horizontally. They will perhaps riot, destroy, and loot from neighbors and shops. But they won't take a few seconds to wonder why it had to come to this. They won't revolt vertically -- just horizontally.
3) When the fires burn down and the dust settles, you will have a mass of people I believe will be in a stupor. The rich and powerful will have been long gone at this point, sequestered into luxury hidey holes. The people will be dazed, wondering who is coming to save them. The answer is simple -- no one.
In the end, humanity will not go out with a bang.
Humanity will not go out with a whimper.
I fear that humanity will go without even that.