Climate change induced existential dread

Today started off great, until the news hit me hard, which made me delete today’s entry for a chance to rewrite it.

We’re probably going to hit 1.5C+ global average temperatures in the next five years, which means the Paris Accords are nothing but a pipe dream.

Five heat domes are currently wrenching the life out of people and animals across the Northern Hemisphere.

Catastrophic floods have wreaked havoc in Europe and China.

The news surrounding our climate reads as if we’ve reached The End Times; it’s a lot to take in for a single person.

I’m not here to raise questions about climate change; I don’t want to talk science, but I do want to talk about the impact reporting on extreme weather events has on the psyche.

Some journalists argue that we must not lose hope, but perhaps we should.

All hope does is create an expectation about the kind of future you’ll have, which puts you in a state of suspense, and suspense creates fear. If you want your days to be peaceful you must let go of hope.

The future you think you have doesn’t exist.

Death hangs over you. It has always been that way. You need two things to navigate life with confidence: relative safety, and trust.

What do I mean by relative safety? There’s no such thing as true safety in our world. As history shows, you can easily be robbed of your freedoms, plunged into a world that is no longer yours to control. We live amongst dangerous animals, murderers, rapists, and all-around cruel people.

You can feel relatively safe by becoming dangerous yourself and surrounding yourself with people who will have your back. Groups are the very definition of relative safety. The pack you choose impacts how much leverage and influence you have on the world. Become their leader and you suddenly wield tremendous power.

The other thing you need is trust.

Trust in your senses, your body, your mind, and emotions. Trauma can significantly impact your sense of trust across all domains, but the damage can be remedied with long-term therapy. You can do anything when you trust yourself, and feel amazing, even in a world that feels like it’s collapsing.

I have a new message for those experiencing existential dread when faced with the news surrounding our rapidly destabilizing climate:

“We do not hope for a better future; we trust in one.”

Develop trust in yourself, join or create a group, and you’ll live happy, even when the world is ending.

P.S. This entry has sparked ideas for a much longer essay, which I’ve started work on.

Created on July 21, 2021
Published on July 21, 2021