This week, I was in a particularly doleful mood when I woke up one day and I decided to watch the first two episodes of Apple’s new show, Foundation. I must have been in a particularly susceptible disposition because I thoroughly enjoyed the escapism offered in the out of world CGI of the show. I even shed a few tears in the first ten minutes when the main character was saying goodbye to her mother, leaving behind her world forever. I have always thought that I would be more than willing to leave Earth behind to go on to new horizons somewhere light years away. The truth is that I would absolutely miss this planet. Not only is there unmatched beauty here on this perfectly habitable planet, but there comes a comfort with where you grow and flourish that can never be replaced. I do love this planet, and I do want to live here the rest of my life. I want to raise my children here. So what can I do to stop its demise?
Unless you have been quite literally living under a rock…. actually even in that case: we all know that the climate crisis is approaching its climax. More and more everyday, we hear in the news and media about the urgency necessary to address the problems of too much carbon emissions, atmospheric deterioration, and ocean pollution. We hear time limits like, “in twenty years” or “by the year 2030” that scientists have estimated the crisis will reach an irreparable point. It isn’t hard to feel like impending doom is looming. Many young adults, myself included, are feeling less and less like there is a future for ourselves. Even if we somehow can survive to old age, what about our children? As a young woman, I already have reservations about having children because of the current rate of crime, the rising cost of living, and the stress that raising a child obviously brings. Now I also need to worry about the state of the planet that my hypothetical children will grow up in. I no longer feel excited about having a family. I feel guilty, scared and ultimately angry. I am angry at the corporations who are ignoring the climate crisis. I am angry at my parents’ and grandparents’ generations for not being more conscientious of the climate crisis. I am also angry at politicians for not taking the climate crisis more seriously and doing more policy to address it. In the last case, I saw some relief this weekend in correlation with the German elections. Not only did my generation come out to vote, but there was a historical flip towards the Green Party for seats in the parliament. However, as progressive as German politics are compared to American politics, they still are facing indecisiveness on how to move forward to address the climate crisis. Watching the several different parties come out and address what is important going into this new parliament, I even thought about how in the world it would be possible to introduce a new third party in U.S. whose only concern was preservation of the planet. Whatever option’s we do have, it always feels like not enough.
In any case, I feel constantly in search of a way I can help. Being in the process of moving to Europe, I try to stay in the mind set of recycling even while I am in the United States. I often go weeks at a time without eating meat or diary. I try to support local brands over corporations, and I am conscious of being wasteful. I do believe the first step is to stay informed. I will continue to stay reading about what is changing in politics and society. In the books that the show Foundation is based on, the author Issac Asimov dissects the theory that there is mathematical processes that outline the behaviors of society over time. The show also quite climatically outlines the inevitability of demise for society unless there is change in certain aspects. I am excited to see just how Friedman and Goyer tie in our current situation with the stories from Asimov’s novels. I would recommend the show to anyone else out there who is also feeling as anxious about climate control as I am. Maybe we will be in time to save our planet, not just for our children but for a planet to go home to one day.
(Quote in title by Issac Asimov published in Foundation, 1951)