relative to a single human lifetime things don’t change all so fast

Steven Welzer
1 min readJun 24, 2024

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There is an unfolding ecological cataclysm re: global warming, habitat destruction, species extinctions, etc.

But, from a geological perspective: These kinds of things usually play out over millennia. Industrial hypermodernity has induced such dramatic changes in, relatively speaking, so short a period of time that the cataclysm (what James Howard Kunstler calls “The Long Emergency”) is likely to play out over just decades and centuries. This is relatively very, very fast. But a human lifetime is extremely short re: geological timeframes. No human will see all so much change during a span of just seven or eight decades. And the social change we are striving for (“the greening of society”) will be so incremental that it will seem regrettably slow:

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/halfway-between-kyoto-and-2050.pdf

Nature doesn’t change very fast and social change doesn’t get implemented very fast.

Have perspective.

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So we’ll go through centuries of contraction and devolution. It will be a civilizational crisis. But it will motivate re-learning how to live more simply, more lightly, and more locally. Changes to our lifeways in those directions could eventually lead to social and ecological sustainability and, perhaps surprisingly, to a higher quality of life for the vast majority.

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Steven Welzer

The editor of Green Horizon Magazine, Steve has been a movement activist for many years (he was an original co-editor of DSA’s “Ecosocialist Review”).