Do You Have Hope for the Future?

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So...yeah.

I must admit that at this point, if you were asking me this, the answer is no. And the main reasons is down to climate change, the problems it'll cause, and the issues that are driving it.

It's reached the point where I've found it difficult to engage in hobbies - like, I've found myself actively forcing myself to comment on this site, because I just need some level of relief from this constant sense of despair I've had ever since the last ICCC report. And for every bit of positive news, there's about ten bits of negative news. That's not even going into how my country's just elected a prime minister who brought a lump of coal into parliment to show everyone that there was nothing to worry about. Or how we could be facing 3 degrees warming by the end of the century, or societal collapse by 2050. Or how throughout all of human history, we've never lived in a world that's been 1 C less or more than pre-industrial times, whereas even a 1.5 C warming would be a period unlike anything we've seen. That's not even taking in the moral issues of flora and fauna.

That said, I guess I wanted this topic to be more inclusive - I'm sure we all have our own fears and hopes for the next century, or half century, or however far you want to look ahead. So I guess the question is what's your outlook for the 21st century, and what are the issues that keep you up at night? You know what issue weighs down on me the most, but it's still not the only one. Like, is it the end of the world as you know it, or do you only fear fear itself?

Or both? 0_0

Nah, I got no hope for anything, really. Escapism is what keeps me going. We live in a world where the bad guy always wins in the end, all change is for the worse, and nothing means anything. Nihilism isn't healthy or intellectual, I'm not one of those internet edgelords who's proud that I feel this way, but, I mean... how am I supposed to feel any other way about the world?

A few months ago, I was laying in bed, drifting off to sleep as I had countless times in my three decades of life, when a thought entered my head and refused to leave: I'm going to die at some point, most likely without warning, and when I do, I'll be gone. By all observable evidence, nothing of me will remain.

I don't know what it was about this particular moment... thantophobia is *not* something new for me. It's always been something rooted deep inside my mind, triggering constant anxiety attacks and discomfort... but I was always able to function and lead a somewhat happy life in spite of it up to this point.

This was different, though. The thought wormed its way into the center of my mind, and it murdered by ability to enjoy anything about life. I started rapidly losing weight because I had no appetite. I derived no pleasure from my hobbies anymore. even my loved ones were of no comfort... everything felt like an illusion. I'm going to cease to exist one day, after all, so how can I see the fact that I happen to exist at this second as anything but meaningless? Everything is just an illusion, a distraction from the fact that time is racing by, and will only feel like it's going faster and faster as I get older. Today is already yesterday is already a memory from a year ago... so even saying "I'm young, I should have decades left if all goes well" couldn't buy me much peace.

I felt trapped and helpless. I knew I wasn't in a healthy place, but what could I do to help? See a therapist? What in god's name was a therapist going to tell me? That I'm not going to die? That they happen to have objective proof that death isn't oblivion? 'cuz those were the only two things that could possibly save me from this despair. Mom wants me to find religion, and I *wish* I could. I wish I could honestly believe that there was a just and loving god behind the world, and that heaven awaited after death... but you can't believe something just because you want it to be true. The body of evidence we have to analyze is strongly against religion, and I can't pretend it's not there. I can't believe in religion any more than I can in Santa Claus, or that the moon is made of cheese.

Fortunately, I've been getting better since I hit my lowest point about a month past. Kinda like how a traumatic memory gets more and more repressed, and hurts less and less each time it's revisited, my brain has started to numb the despair when those thoughts force their way back into my head, and I'm almost back to the baseline I was at before that night happened... but yeah.

Sorry, that got away from me a little bit. The TLDR is that nah, I have no hope anymore. I wish I did.

Its strange, but I do have hope. And it comes from a super weird place, general misanthropy. The reason climate doesn't bother me is because we are so insignificant (cosmically) it really doesn't matter if we as a species "go on" or all die out and our sun goes supernova before anyone else discovers we were ever here, erasing all traces of our entire existence. And because our existence is so insignificant... we'll probably go on forever. I wouldn't worry about our survival as a species until we actually COULD affect things on a wider scale. We'd be worth saving if we ever do develop FTL capabilities. If we die out before we do... "ehh, someone smarter than us will do it; the universe didn't need us anyway."

That's where my hope comes from. Realizing that we as a species are more like an infestation, an infection; than just inhabitants. And like an infestation or infection... we're harder to get rid of then one might imagine.

I have hope for the future, for better or worse, we're a resilient species.

The results of climate change would work as a good humbling experience for the western world, a lot of people seem to forget how good life is at the moment and take too much stuff for granted. Have you seen how fat people are getting? Luxury is all around us and people still complain about the daftest of things.

One thing that slightly worries me from time to time is the recent rise of right wing parties, but that will probably correct itself with time as soon as economies start doing better again as people tend to not complain when they are doing fine in their lives.

Not a great deal of enthusiasm for the future.

The wheel turns and turns, and I feel it's currently turning us towards a darker world of nationalism, conflict and inequality, none of which I much enjoy. In the longer term, climate change points to a depressing future for people all over the world - my main positive being that by the time it might really go wrong, I'll be dead or have long since seen out my best years.

Yes and no.

One one hand, the world is getting worse in many ways because people have decided it should.

On the other, my own prospects aren't that bad. Sure, I'm never going to win a Nobel prize or get my own reality TV show or anything, but the millions of people suffering and dying now, and those likely to suffer and die in the near future don't happen to include me. There's a zillion ways the world/society could/should be better, but that won't affect me personally that much.

Mass flooding, changes to where crops are sustainable, and an unstoppable chain reaction once permafrost releases its carbon. People are too stupid to stop global warming, democracies aren't designed to deal with long term problems that piss off voters short term. A massive surge of anti-intellectualism and anti-environmentalism at exactly the wrong time. Global warming will do its damage and the world will change forever. People are stupid and being manipulated into not believeing in global warming by a rich elite who will never suffer from its effects thanks to their money.

Hopefully we keep the nuclear weapons out of the resulting wars for food and land. I think someday we'll recover and we wont kill everyone. But dark days will be ahead, At least in 2050 I will be an old man. And nuclear fallout can't wipe us out unless its extreme, just raise the rates of cancer, theres life in chernobyl.

But then again history is full of conflict, I've been very fortunate to be born in such a rare time of peace I think. Maybe our descendants after the oil dries up will look at us jealous of our personal cars and ability to eat meat every day, but they will still have technology powered by wind and solar, can't unring that bell. So at least it won't be as bad as medieval times, people lived through that.

After an age of chaos and war, whoevers left will keep on going. Just like we did after other catastrophes in history.

But in the super long run I don't think faster than light space travel is possible and we are just going to die when our sun dies.

I have this feeling too. But I don't think its gonna be a mass human extinction event, or even a world wide dystopia like all these works of science fiction tells us. Those tend to show extremes for dramatic effect.

Fieldy409:

But in the super long run I don't think faster than light space travel is possible and we are just going to die when our sun dies.

By that time I don't know if we are going to still be recognizably human if evolution takes its course.

And that is discounting if a Meteor doesn't kill us or the Supervolcanos.

Samtemdo8:

Fieldy409:

But in the super long run I don't think faster than light space travel is possible and we are just going to die when our sun dies.

By that time I don't know if we are going to still be recognizably human if evolution takes its course.

And we don't need FTL to get to other stars if we've got billions of years.

Thaluikhain:

Samtemdo8:

Fieldy409:

But in the super long run I don't think faster than light space travel is possible and we are just going to die when our sun dies.

By that time I don't know if we are going to still be recognizably human if evolution takes its course.

And we don't need FTL to get to other stars if we've got billions of years.

It'd certainly help a great deal if we'd be able to cross the vastness of space in shorter time periods.

Thaluikhain:

Samtemdo8:

Fieldy409:

But in the super long run I don't think faster than light space travel is possible and we are just going to die when our sun dies.

By that time I don't know if we are going to still be recognizably human if evolution takes its course.

And we don't need FTL to get to other stars if we've got billions of years.

How so?

bluegate:

Thaluikhain:

Samtemdo8:

By that time I don't know if we are going to still be recognizably human if evolution takes its course.

And we don't need FTL to get to other stars if we've got billions of years.

It'd certainly help a great deal if we'd be able to cross the vastness of space in shorter time periods.

But what if there is nothing out there?

Samtemdo8:

bluegate:

Thaluikhain:

And we don't need FTL to get to other stars if we've got billions of years.

It'd certainly help a great deal if we'd be able to cross the vastness of space in shorter time periods.

But what if there is nothing out there?

A habitable planet in a comparatively safe solar system will suffice. We can terraform if necessary.

bluegate:
It'd certainly help a great deal if we'd be able to cross the vastness of space in shorter time periods.

Absolutely, yes. But when your time limit is "before Sol burns out", no hurry.

Samtemdo8:
How so?

Slower than light travel can get you to other systems, just slower than FTL. Give me a million years to design an impressively fast (if slower than light) ship, and millions of years for people to travel the galaxy and humans will be all over the place.

Samtemdo8:
But what if there is nothing out there?

Define "nothing". There's other stars and planet. Probably few green skinned space persons who want to know about this Earth thing called kissing, but there weren't people outside Africa until people left Africa either.

Mind you, once you've built space habitats and can get all your resources in space, going down to a hostile planet and back up again sounds like a lot of work, everyone will likely live on space stations.

And it's a zillion times easier, safer and cheaper to live on the bottom of the sea or Antarctica than the Moon, say, so I'd expect to see that first.

Not much hope here, no. The Western world seems to be quite willingly embracing a trend of ever-greater hostility, embodied by the resurgent extreme-right movements throughout quite a few European countries, several of which have managed to take power.

Straightforward hatred and aggression towards various demographics-- one or two of which I belong to-- is becoming normalised, or even a mainstream political force. I feel as if a large number of countries, and a sizeable chunk of the population in my own country, are quite intentionally sending the message: you are not welcome or accepted. Difference is not welcome or accepted.

It's fucking grotesque.

Silvanus:
Not much hope here, no. The Western world seems to be quite willingly embracing a trend of ever-greater hostility, embodied by the resurgent extreme-right movements throughout quite a few European countries, several of which have managed to take power.

Straightforward hatred and aggression towards various demographics-- one or two of which I belong to-- is becoming normalised, or even a mainstream political force. I feel as if a large number of countries, and a sizeable chunk of the population in my own country, are quite intentionally sending the message: you are not welcome or accepted. Difference is not welcome or accepted.

It's fucking grotesque.

All this was caused by the migrant crisis apparently.

I'm pretty indifferent toward the future. Whatever will be will be, I guess. Ofcourse I'd rather there's a bright future ahead than a shitty one, but I'm not going to get depressed over forces I have no power over anyway.

Samtemdo8:

Thaluikhain:

And we don't need FTL to get to other stars if we've got billions of years.

How so?

Accelerate to 1/10 of lightspeed and you can reach plenty of stars within the timespan of a century. EZ. FTL probably won't happen, goes against physics and so on.

OT: All is lost xD. For most other people, I mean. I live in a country with just about the best capabilities to adapt to climate change and my personal capabilities and resources are damn good as well. If I lose against life, it's because I'll go mad for not having a gf.

Casual Shinji:
I'm pretty indifferent toward the future. Whatever will be will be, I guess. Ofcourse I'd rather there's a bright future ahead than a shitty one, but I'm not going to get depressed over forces I have no power over anyway.

Also pretty much me.

McElroy:
Accelerate to 1/10 of lightspeed and you can reach plenty of stars within the timespan of a century. EZ. FTL probably won't happen, goes against physics and so on.

Accelerating to 1/10th of light speed is no mean feat though.

If I remember right, back when project Orion ran the numbers, they figured they could get a fairly large (city block sized) spacecraft to around 0.05C by basically converting all the nuclear weapons on earth into pulse charges. But to be honest orion was incredibly optimistic about a lot of things, particularly the kinds of engineering challenges involved.

I think the most likely positive scenario is that rather than heading to other planets, (post)humans begin to harness more and more of the resources available in our own solar system. But I think the coming century or two is going to be a huge challenge and probably the biggest crisis of recent human history, and I really don't see anything good coming for a long time after that.

Yeah, I do. Once my parent's generation (the boomers) die off and my generation starts retiring (or dying, whichever), at least. Most of you millennials and gen-z folks seem to have your heads screwed on right (despite the noisy screechings coming from fringe extremist groups), and I think you'll do a lot better than we older gens did. "Greedy", "short-sighted" and "utterly apathetic" don't often come up in discussions about generational stereotypes when it gets to you younger gens. Once we're out of your way (and your therapists have helped you overcome the ways we've fucked you up), you'll change things for the better.

Just hurry up with that whole "digital consciousness" thing, would ya? I rather like the idea of being around in some form to see how humanity develops over the next few centuries.

DarthCoercis:
Yeah, I do. Once my parent's generation (the boomers) die off and my generation starts retiring (or dying, whichever), at least. Most of you millennials and gen-z folks seem to have your heads screwed on right (despite the noisy screechings coming from fringe extremist groups), and I think you'll do a lot better than we older gens did. "Greedy", "short-sighted" and "utterly apathetic" don't often come up in discussions about generational stereotypes when it gets to you younger gens. Once we're out of your way (and your therapists have helped you overcome the ways we've fucked you up), you'll change things for the better.

I hear that, but it isn't so much old people at Nazi rallies with tiki torches or shooting up high schools. Still, fingers crossed.

as someone who can't remember once said, "if you can't say anything nice, you're probably surrounded by assholes."

or in this case, "governed by assholes, voted in by assholes, defended by assholes."

"asshole" is the kindest descriptor I got right now. any further elaboration will not lend itself to pleasantries

then again, to be frank, am not best equipped to talk of "hope." quite elusive thing. knowing what is cause of a malfunction or not is only more confusion. so this is worthless contribution, fittingly

perpetuating climate change denial should be criminalised, along with anti-vax rhetoric, purely from the harm it will cause everyone. self-harm and suicide are fine (not encouragement of it), they're contained to the individual. but not all this shit. they know they're lying and they don't fucking care. they'd rather see the many slowly suffer and die for the comfort and pleasures of the few. that should not be legal. they're murderous parasites

oops, meant to refrain with "assholes"

nevermind

ignore all that

have a joyous day!

image

Would you prefer that people couldn't impact the earth's climate? Would you prefer that we were trapped in Earth's natural cycles that would plummet us into another glacial period that makes half the globe uninhabitably frozen over with no way to grow food?

Man-made climate change is baby's first step into becoming a civilization that can control the environment. It's absolutely true that you need to worry more about a walking toddler hurting themselves than an infant stuck on their belly, but we don't panic and despair and wait for the infant to kill themselves, we celebrate first steps because learning to walk is what will allow that person to take care of themselves.

Humanity has gained the ability to impact the environment on a global scale, and we will inevitably learn to use that power to maintain the climate we need to thrive rather than depend on the coincidental conditions of nature to cradle us gently. That's awesome. Have a little more optimism.

I expect really hard times to arrive, and I'm not looking forward to it.

I'm trying to remain positive, but it keeps getting harder and harder everyday... and you people aren't exactly helping...

Waining.

tstorm823:

Humanity has gained the ability to impact the environment on a global scale, and we will inevitably learn to use that power to maintain the climate we need to thrive rather than depend on the coincidental conditions of nature to cradle us gently. That's awesome. Have a little more optimism.

Unfortunately that's not the way those who are impacting the global environment see it. Moreover, changing the climate on the opposite direction to undo what has been done is impossible in the current circumstances (a massive coordinated effort is required just to slow down the current trend, and the key people aren't willing).

EDIT: I mean, it would be interesting if we eventually manage to create the means to undo the change, and manipulate the global climate to fit our needs, as the technique could be to terraform other planets; but we need to hurry, because the infrastructure that allows us to do so may be compromised if all resources have to be dedicated to handling the increase in natural disasters and the effects of extreme weather.

The world's wealthiest people are in a space race to privately develop habitable environments beyond Earth, while actively perpetuating the problems in the first place. Exactly how much hope do you think the rest of us should have at this point?

Samtemdo8:
I have this feeling too. But I don't think its gonna be a mass human extinction event, or even a world wide dystopia like all these works of science fiction tells us. Those tend to show extremes for dramatic effect.

I hate to break it to you, but the current mass extinction event is actual science, not fiction. It isn't something that is "supposed to come in the future" we are already well into it. You should understand this isn't fiction, it is our actual current reality is the problem. When people discuss "climate change" I think they keep thinking it is something that will happen in the future rather than our current and past changes that have already taking place and are currently taking place in our lifetime:

The Holocene extinction, otherwise referred to as the sixth mass extinction or Anthropocene extinction, is a current event, and is one of the most significant extinction events in the history of the Earth. This ongoing extinction of species coincides with the present Holocene epoch (approx. 11,700 years), and is a result of human activity.[1][2] This large number of extinctions spans numerous families of plants and animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and arthropods. With widespread degradation of highly biodiverse habitats such as coral reefs and rainforests, as well as other areas, the vast majority of these extinctions are thought to be undocumented, as the species are undiscovered at the time of their extinction, or no one has yet discovered their extinction. The current rate of extinction of species is estimated at 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural background rates.[3][4][5][2][6][7] The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services published by IPBES in 2019 posits that roughly one million species of plants and animals face extinction caused by anthropogenic impacts.[8][9]

Read more:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction

We have already experienced mass die offs and are living in a time where many of the animals we have known to exist are ceasing to exist. My Biggest concern is if we cannot reverse the current ocean acidification, which is threatening all ocean life. It is not just oceans however, our freshwater is doing the same. This means it will threaten all life in earth, not just our oceans. Our drinking water is becoming more polluted than ever and little is being done to protect and try to reverse this process due to lax regulation from our current administration repealing past efforts.

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/acidification.html
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/like-oceans-freshwater-is-also-acidifying/?redirect=1

Water is life, without it we cease to exist. I think people are being terribly unrealistic in thinking that we can just move to another planet if people destroy this one. In reality, we will never thrive on another planet if we cannot save this one as a base. We will not last to make it to that point if we do not act now. Not little changes, but big changes otherwise it will get ugly fast when we lose our waters. We already know what happens when the waters go, it has happened in our past.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32236676

There is a reason why they have now changed it from "climate change" to "climate emergency" is that it is actually happening much faster than scientists previously thought.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/05/10/ireland-britain-declare-climate-emergencies-will-it-make-difference/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6299627cfcd3

https://www.apnews.com/89bdd96ba86a445b93a53df09db784b4
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/oceans-are-warming-faster-than-predicted/

With all that said, I do have hope that people will pull together and make the necessary changes, they just have to realize they have to do so now, not "some day". For some reason people think this is something that isn't already happening right now and is not extreme. It is and people need a wake up call. I am hopeful they will answer it.

I have hope for the future.. though I am sure people here already know about my <3 for future jungle cities.

Eacaraxe:
The world's wealthiest people are in a space race to privately develop habitable environments beyond Earth, while actively perpetuating the problems in the first place. Exactly how much hope do you think the rest of us should have at this point?

We should be hopeful they are stupid enough to leave off into space so the rest of us can fix what we have here. Maybe we will get lucky and rogue hackers will redirect their ships into the sun.

DarthCoercis:
Yeah, I do. Once my parent's generation (the boomers) die off and my generation starts retiring (or dying, whichever), at least. Most of you millennials and gen-z folks seem to have your heads screwed on right (despite the noisy screechings coming from fringe extremist groups), and I think you'll do a lot better than we older gens did. "Greedy", "short-sighted" and "utterly apathetic" don't often come up in discussions about generational stereotypes when it gets to you younger gens. Once we're out of your way (and your therapists have helped you overcome the ways we've fucked you up), you'll change things for the better.

Just hurry up with that whole "digital consciousness" thing, would ya? I rather like the idea of being around in some form to see how humanity develops over the next few centuries.

Wouldn't the whole digital consciousness thing pretty much screw up the plan of getting rid of the greedy, wasteful, polluting, "refusing to change their ways" people that broke everything and make it so they can break everything forever so that nothing can ever be fixed?

tstorm823:
Would you prefer that people couldn't impact the earth's climate? Would you prefer that we were trapped in Earth's natural cycles that would plummet us into another glacial period that makes half the globe uninhabitably frozen over with no way to grow food?

Man-made climate change is baby's first step into becoming a civilization that can control the environment. It's absolutely true that you need to worry more about a walking toddler hurting themselves than an infant stuck on their belly, but we don't panic and despair and wait for the infant to kill themselves, we celebrate first steps because learning to walk is what will allow that person to take care of themselves.

Humanity has gained the ability to impact the environment on a global scale, and we will inevitably learn to use that power to maintain the climate we need to thrive rather than depend on the coincidental conditions of nature to cradle us gently. That's awesome. Have a little more optimism.

We actually do already have the ability to do quite a bit but due to capitalism, greed and lack of consolidation and coordination of efforts, very little is being done. Being for the good of mankind is in opposition to "increasing investor profits". We already have the ability to end drought and hunger all over the world, to rehabilitate soil, to help reduce the pollution in our air, water and soil and capture carbon from the air, but greed prevents it from happening. If people were to focus their money and time on actually using the tools we have to make the world a better place for all instead of building football stadiums,gilded skyscrapers and having investors milking planned obsolescence to dry up all possibility of community funding for projects we might actually have a chance. As long as it is " get mine and screw everyone else" as it currently is, it will not be able to happen.

I am actually very optimistic that people will eventually wise up and realize that this "every man for themselves" BS mindset isn't getting them anywhere and will eventually put the trumps of the world that are ruining everything out ion their arse and actually be able to put to use what we have already learned to help everyone, not just the " wealthy".

I have some hope it's not gonna be as bad as I expect it to be. So there's that.

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