Am i Dead Yet?
Last night I got to thinking. Always an iffy situation. I noticed that lots of people seem to die before their body stops working. They just stop doing what was always, in their youth, the most important thing they could think of. What it was doesn’t matter much–even though I would hardly agree with many of their choices. The ability of each person to make his/her choice is most of what we mean by the word “freedom.”
Trouble is; it seems a bit like that is happening to me. Last week I wrote about terraforming Mars, but, looking back on it, I wonder if I did so with any of the energy I used to bring to the task.
I recall, when I was young, thinking that what I thought would change the world, if not directly, at least tangentially. Like a wave receding on a pebbly beach, every man’s thoughts would change the charge of the onrushing sea until the accumulated impact was felt in the collapse of the cliffs closer to the continent’s interior beyond the shore. Now I just feel small, tossed about by the surf, and powerless. Makes me wonder, am I already dead?
One of the things that always comes up at times like this, is the realization that we can never know how the collapsed cliff will look. It is one of those questions that cannot be answered.
And there is much coming that I care not to see. Sooner or later, people will realize our future, if there is to be one, lies in the stars. But there is no hope that I will see that time. It will take a long time–a very long time–to terraform Mars, and my hope is not to go there, but to see the process started. The length of time required to terraform a planet is so great that doing it at all demands we start the project long before the alternate living space is needed.
What is coming, though, is coming soon. It is named President Trump. Or so I fear.
Of course, there is still hope that the American electorate will come to its senses. But if it doesn’t, I have small hope for American democracy after Trump’s election.I cannot imagine him voluntarily stepping down, and, once he is president, I don’t see how he will miss the opportunity having an army working for him will present for avoiding having to. If I can see the possibilities, so can he.
But the future is a blurry place. As Yogi Berra once reportedly said, predicting it is hard work. So, what might be the good to come of all this? Maybe the loss of American democracy might not be such a bad thing. Imagine, if you can, a world in which America was truly capable of leading when it came to confronting climate change. The extreme influence the fossil fuel industry currently has makes the present another place altogether
But, the absence of the American democracy might allow a different reality. Perhaps a dictator might realize the truth of climate change and its immensity in terms of the accommodation it will require, A dictator might be in a position to bring the country to some kind of realistic response. Not that there is any indication that Trump would ever be that kind of dictator. Still, the future is hard to predict.
If anyone is apt to get us started on a task of terraorming Mars. though, it may be Trump.