Morning pessimism

As the world literally burns, half a dozen of the summer's wildfires are near enough that Sunday's air was gray like fog, and smelled faintly of smoke. By Wednesday the smoky smell and hazy view were gone, but the climate catastrophe is still here, always a little worse than it used to be.

And no matter how bad it gets, it'll always get worse, which seems obvious but is consistently overlooked.

Even the most pessimistic news reports say things like, water levels will rise six inches by 2030 and a foot by 2050. That implies that 2030 or 2050 is the end of the line, but it's not, of course.

Water levels will continue rising, until all the world's ice is melted. Increased heat will continue making more and more fatal weather, killing more and more people, making life more and more tenuous. There's no end of it, not in 2030 or 2050 or ever. This is as permanent as anything mankind has done.

Here and now, the world is still survivable, and there's plenty that our overlords and oligarchs could do to prevent that oncoming hell. There is not, however, anything they're willing to do, and there's nothing you or I can do.

Instead we've all agreed to go on about our lives, for as long as pretending everything's normal remains possible.

Speaking of looming disasters... 

At this moment and for the past half hour, my flatmate Dean has been in the kitchen preparing something no-one should eat.

Caught a glimpse of it when I came out for a glass of water, and it appears to be shrimp, but shrimp should not have the breathtaking, pungent odor that's followed me back from the kitchen. My door's been closed for five minutes, and still my eyes are stinging.

To stink so strongly, the shrimp must be old enough for preschool, and whatever microscopic situation is causing the stink probably can't be cooked away. Which worries me, not about Dean because fuck Dean, but my flatmate Robert usually accepts Dean's invitations to dinner.

I'm not sure whether airflow through the kitchen would carry the shrimp stink into Robert's room, so I've texted him a warning. "Don't eat the shrimp Dean's making, man. Seafood should not have a smell that hits like a punch in the nose."

OK, enough with the chipper and happy stuff, like the climate catastrophe and some severe stomach cramps for Dean. Let's move on to something serious.

I became internet-connected circa 1999, and over the 24 years since then I've received and sent thousands of emails from and to my buddy Joe. When I check my email, by habit I scan through it looking for something from Joe. There won't be anything from Joe, though. He's dead.

Joe and I were both on Reddit for years and years, and his Reddit posts are in my bookmarks for a daily visit, to see who he's insulted and what questions he's given smartass answers to. There'll be no more smartass posts from Joe, so this morning I've deleted that bookmark.

I'll always miss that fat bastard, but no worries about me, please. I'm as OK as I'll ever be, which is basically OK. You know how death is — the sadness will be with me always, but so what? You just add it to the pile of all the other sadnesses, and you go on.

And with that cheerful thought, I believe I'll shower, get dressed, and take a long bus ride.


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