Do we live in denial?

‘The glass is always half full’ goes the adage.

It has a hidden meaning – half full in itself insinuates half emptiness.

When a bar of chocolate, just a normal one, with nougat, chocolate, caramel, nuts and the like is broken in half explicitly and packed, the first thing that is obvious when a consumer opens it is that it is indeed half empty, the cover.

Point I am trying to make is: Global Warming, Rapid Urbanization, Deforestation, Overpopulation, Depletion Of Petroleum are often overlooked due to our assumption or, presumption, if you would like, that we will overcome it in some way, some day. We have alternative sources of energy, and global warming is affecting mainly the glaciers in the polar ice caps – not my neighbourhood. At least not for the time being. The ‘future me’ will know what to do. The ‘future us’ will know what has to be done. Actually, on a different note, that mindset does remind me of How I Met Your Mother’s first season if I am not mistaken wherein Ted comfortably says ‘The future me will look after that’. Or maybe it was Marshall – my memory betrays me. I can bet you, the ‘future us’ will have greater problems to face – and I am sure many would nod in unison as they read this line.

The universe is rarely too lazy for anything to be mere coincidence. The inter-dependency of global warming, rapid urbanization, deforestation, overpopulation, and depletion of petroleum, hence is no coincidence. They are inter-connected with at least one of the other, if not more.

I hate standing in queues – and the indirect cues we get that we need to form one. Everybody hates it. Well, what is enjoyable in waiting in a queue? Even the most easy going, non-workaholic person shall agree that it is an unproductive, but politely correct way of handling waiting. And by queuing, I do not just mean human queuing. Vehicular queuing – traffic jams are equally annoying (Put your hands in the air).

Human Population in 1800 – 1 billion worldwide

Human Population in 2011 – 7 billion worldwide

Projected Human Population in 2083 – 10 billion worldwide

Yes, I know. I raised my eyebrows twice – once whilst reading the data, second time as I am writing this down.

And as nations develop, GDP’s rise, propensity to consume rises, numbers of middle class rises, and the end result is massive growth in the population of vehicles too. Wait, wait. I am being too pessimistic and dystopian. Yes, traffic jams might be longer in the future. But, on the bright side, roads will increase too – well they have to – to accommodate more vehicles. Satellite cities – smaller versions of cities have already started coming up, and will distribute congestion.

Despite the gloomy, more irritable picture of the future that we might portray, we must not forget that necessity is indeed the mother of all inventions. ‘Adjusting to the surroundings’ does become a necessary invention in ourselves many a time. Relocating to a new place, and adjusting to the nuances, et al is just one example.

Depletion of petroleum is a queer case. Queer because, the claim that it will run out in the next 50 years has been running around for 20 years. I know, right? The mathematics just does not seem right. 50-20=30.

What is happening is a clash between an ideal and the fact. Ideal being that if I were to give you a chocolate and tell you that this is the last chocolate in this solar system (Mars has water, maybe, chocolate – not sure) you definitely will try to relish it for as long as possible – but of course not for ever. I can empathise – who does not like chocolate? But if I were to tell you the truth that it is in fact not the last piece of chocolate in the world, again, I empathise, you will gobble it up. I certainly will. Fact is the fact that there might, just might be enough left to last for more than a good 50+ years. There you have it. Behavioural psychology as an ideal against the fact of sustainable development?

Deforestation and Global Warming. They are cause and effect in the same order. Effect follows cause – unless ‘retrocausality’ is considered, but that will be for another time. So yes, they are detrimental to human, animal, and plant life. But to what extent? And is that extent outweighing the ability living beings have to adapt? People living in a higher altitude have far greater stamina than the ones residing at sea level – for the air is thinner higher we go and hence the stamina. This is only a small example to show living beings adjust to their surroundings over a period of time. Oh of course, a couple of generations might be severely affected by the changes that global warming brings along, but one must not be too surprised if the third generation embraces it like any other good day. It is all a matter of perspective, is it not?

Summing it up, all these concerns are actual concerns, but not with disastrous consequences as it appears, it will all be alright. Nothing will change.

There. I got myself. Denial. I was denying the inevitable. This is what we all do, no? Convincing ourselves that it will be alright when it may not, if we do not take action. Do not get me wrong, I am not endorsing pessimism, but merely portraying the human psychology. Actually, talking all positive does indeed yield positive results, due to the power of our subconscious mind, but then again, only to a limited extent.

So are we living in denial that the future will not be more worse than the present? Or are we spiritually and intellectually well versed to know that science will save us in the future from any fathomable harm? The answer has always been with us, and will be. The calendar and the wall clock in the bedroom. Slowly, progressively, we move into the future. And will tell us that a better ‘present’ awaits us in the future or at least a less worse ‘future’ is what we are travelling into.

Again, denial?


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