I think maybe too much. Reading too much, listening to too much, getting too many action alerts in my emailbox..
I was listening the other day to an achived Diane Rehm show about global warming and the ensuing glacial/permafrost melting/thawing. I expected to hear the doomsday predictions that we're all used to at this point, but instead, her three guests began to discuss the opportunities this would open for the world to drill for oil in this region. Halfway through the show, a nice tree-huggin' listener voiced my words for me - why when we're faced with a problem like that would how we can exploit the problem ever come up?
People wittingly bury gopher tortoises alive here in Florida in the name of development. People eat shark fin soup. People still kill whales. In Kentucky, they're blowing up mountains for chrissake, poisoning the countryside and the people who live there, and the law looks the other way. And this is all for money. And the money-grubbers aren't the only guilty ones here.. We have jerks out there who like to hunt elepants for fun, to see the elephant's herdmates get upset (thrilling!); we have jerks out there who think it's fun to kill snakes (4 tons worth at the Sweetwater rattlesnake roundup).. !!! Look at this bitch, pleased as punch to be covered in blood! And it's not just these easy examples of evil in people. Look at us - eating individual servings of chips & dip from a plastic carton, spending ridiculous amounts of money on our vehicles and gas just so we can drive a status symbol, and even taking that little piece of green we have in our lives, our yards, and turning them into something unfriendly to our native critters and environment. And don't get me started on the meat industry. Sorry to all the non-veggies, but by eating meat, or at least not choosing your meat correctly, you're basically saying you don't give a shit about the suffering of the animals you're eating, nor the earth you inhabit. Greed, ignorance, apathy, or sheer shittiness - no matter the cause, it's depressing what our earth is becoming and that not enough of us seem to be paying attention.
I know that bad things have always been happening on this planet; such is life. The difference now is that we know better, and we can do better; we just don't.
Anyway, while I was listening to the DR show, a thought came to mind - "I don't think I want to have children!" I go back and forth on this.. When you think about things in the world as they are, it's depressing. A generation from now, it's only going to be worse. We still all enjoy our lives, for the most part.. But by the time my kids or grandkids (et cetera) are grown up, what kind of heartache are they going to suffer when reading the daily news? What are they going to think of what their forefathers did to this planet, in the name of McDonalds, McMansions and Hummers? By 2050, Asian elephants will probably be extinct, or as good as. What kind of world doesn't have elephants? I just can't imagine I'd want to live in one.
In any case, what I'm getting around to is.. Looking at this big picture puts life into perspective.
The main crisis of my life since, oh, high school is What Am I Gonna Do With My Life. And I think I've answered it for myself, if only in a general way: something good. If I decide to have kids, and if they're half as sensitive as me, I would want them to know that I was someone who cared enough to try to be a better person, and a better inhabitant of this planet.
It has helped me answer my age-old dilemma of what to Be. I think I'll work towards being a teacher, maybe influence a few students the way some of my teachers influenced me. It's an idea, and it's certainly better staying in this limbo of what-to-be, using my figurin'-it-out time at a pointless job. Right? And during the summers, I can dive and go volunteer at the sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. :)