The discussion about how to deal with climate change consists of two rough perspectives: one of sacrifice (we need to reduce travel, purchase less, …) or one of techno-utopianism (creating ways to keep doing what we do, without negative impact). While the techno-utopian extreme might seem desirable, the extreme position of sacrifice would be suicide, which isn’t quite so desirable. As always, the solution we truly find is probably one in between: some regulation to avoid stupid waste of energy, but also create a lot of new opportunities.
What I often miss in the discussion, though, is this: What are we doing this for? What’s the point? I don’t like the goal of saving the planet. I don’t care much about the planet – what good would earth be, if no human lived on it? Without anyone to conciously experience the beauty of life on earth, the planet’s not worth much in my view. The ultimate goal, why we fight climate change, should be to preserve experience in all of its beauty. Here are a few examples of that beauty:
- Risking one’s life just for fun, doing extreme activities.
- Driving a Porsche 356 through Antarctica.
- Try to learn everything there is to know about everything in the universe.
- Dedicating one’s life to learn a weird, complicated musical instrument.
- Building a miniaturized brick castle from millions of parts, spending many years doing so.
- Meditating on the side of a mountain for 20 years.
- Spending one’s life travelling the planet, meeting a plethora of cultures.
- Organizing huge events where millions of people meet & share experiences.
- Paddling a canoe across the Antlantic Ocean.
These quirky and weird experiences often don’t seem to have a point, as it’s visualised beautifully in The Culture Series, where other (alien) races miss the point of The Culture (= humanity). Not having a point is – in my view – exactly the point of it all: realizing the full range of (human) experience.