It is we who are the damned. We who have to live with the shame. We who must struggle day and night – especially at night – with the memories of how we saw all this coming…and did nothing. We did nothing to stop it.
A billion people on a dollar a day? Nothing. Two billion on less than twenty bucks per day? Nothing. The last drops of oil, the last sheets of ice, the last trees of rainforest? Nothing. We cannot claim ignorance. We knew about everything. We had the information superhighway and citizen journalists. We had satellite phones and 3G connections. We were the most developed, most knowledgeable, most equipped generation the world had ever known. All we had to do, was share.
Eighty-five people with the combined wealth of the poorest three-and-a-half billion. Half of the entire globe’s wealth owned by just one percent of its population. Nine out of every ten people the world over becoming poorer, year on year…while the few at the top get richer and richer and richer. Inequality without end, amen.
Except that it does end. We knew it would. We watched our HD televisions and drove our fancy cars and it’s not like we were stupid, for heaven’s sake; we just didn’t care. ‘People lived on cents-per-day and some even died in order for me to have this iPhone? Pah, fuck ’em. Sure what else are they gonna do for a living?’ Five million people died in the Congo in a fight over who gets to mine the precious Coltan – a mineral used in ninety-five percent of all electronic devices. Martyrs for a consumerist age.
In the end, with a humorous slant, it is the drying up of our most abundant liquid that does for us. You would think that the Earth being about seventy-one percent water would be enough, right? Wrong. Peak water comes…and goes. None of us pay the slightest bit of notice. Not at first, anyway. Not until our own crops begin to fail at a rate that impacts on our beloved bran cereals, and those among our own privileged class begin to die drinking water sourced from a contaminated aquifer. Not until the water wars in West Africa, India and Peru begin to deprive us of our basic needs i.e. coffee, marijuana, cashew nuts.
We live the same lives that they did, now. Lives of scarcity, precariousness and desperation. The difference is that we are alive, and they are dead. We always survive, you see. We always last the distance. Why?
Because we are parasites.
Solidarity, brothers & sisters… ★