What would you do if you were told you only had sixteen years to live? It’s not cancer. It’s far worse than that. Floods haven’t been on the news recently, but they aren’t going away and according to scientist James Lovelock extreme weather will be the norm in 2020, causing environment devastation and by 2040 southern Europe will be a desert.
With global populations continuing to rise and third world countries developing a taste for red meat, the average British millenial is in a race to the bottom. And if James Lovelock is correct you should party like its £19.99 because you don’t have long left.
“Enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan.”
– James Lovelock, March 2008
James Lovelock is convinced climate change is inevitable and ethical living a scam. Recycling, wind turbines, planting nice trees – it’s a complete waste of time, the damage is already done and paying 10p for a shopping bag at Sainsbury’s won’t make a difference.
Ethical living is akin to a smoker quitting on his deathbed, it might make you feel better, but that’s all it will do. And you thought forking out for those solar panels was a good investment. Well your Dad probably thought so. But if you’re reading this you probably don’t even have a flat, let alone flash panels soaking up rays on a double garage.
If recycling pizza leaflets and beer bottles won’t save the planet, then what exactly can we do? Start paying 35p for the plastic bags we stuff underneath the sink? Grow carrots and potatoes in our back gardens and eat less meat?
Wait, statistically you live in an urbanised sprawl and don’t have a garden or any sustainable land. Your everyday survival is entirely reliant on the mass importation of food into corporate supermarkets.
As a species we are tribal carnivores genetically programmed to eat everything we can. A risky gambit if you live on a small island that imports 40% of its consumed food. If Lovelock is correct and global catastrophe is only 16 years away then enjoy your burgerthon festivals and 2 for 1 pizzas while you still can. You can’t feed yourself on Twitter.
In that respect Generation Y doesn’t have much to live for and we’re the lucky ones. It’s your kids and unborn progeny, who are really going to suffer. Generation Z is fittingly apt because according to Lovelock “about 80%” of the world’s population will be wiped out by 2100.
You see this Buddha meme reposted on social media all the time. It’s probably a fake quote, but in the context of a forthcoming global apocalypse it’s worth paying attention to. With a decaying eco-system and billions of new hungry mouths wanting a first world lifestyle, there isn’t much point saving for a mortgage.
As your dream home is either going to be flooded or raided by starving vigilantes looking for something to eat. You only have 16 years before pale blue dot metamorphoses into a dead planet. If you fancy a career break backpacking around South America, then enjoy the precious time you have left, or hope Lovelock is an alarmist mad scientist with nothing to lose.
If you stay at home and do nothing else, then savour every gourmet burger, chicken fillet and goats cheese salad you eat and pay virtually nothing for the privilege. Generation Z are going to pay that dividend for you.