Richard's Letter

My apology to future incarnations of humanity, like myself,

You will be like me, you will live after me in what is my future and I will be of your past.

We are born of the same genepool, our brains are similar, you will think like me and you can see what I can see, I write to you as if to myself.

Dear friends I am so sorry. I tried to help them think. I tried to change their priorities. I tried to help my brothers and sisters embrace the need for change without fear, based on knowledge and reason. But humanity are creatures of habit and could not let go of the ways which had served so well in the fossil fuelled industrial era, which doubled our number in its first century and then quadrupled it again in the next, taking the population of humanity from one to eight billion souls in two hundred years.

At this time it seems only material disaster will prove enough to persuade them to change.

I know you will understand because you are like me, the genes which create us evolved to make us compete for survival if we could. Those who could, produced the next generation and so our genepool became more and more competitive. Like the megafauna of a bygone age, when an evolutionary spiral ran out of control and nature could not sustain what she had created. Our spiral is destroying the very nature we depend on for life.

There is a flaw in our kind, it is the psychological equivalent of antlers that grew so large heralding the doom of the giant Irish elk Megaloceros giganteus. We are too competitive, too wrapped up in ourselves and perceptions of our place in the great game of life. We live in a fantasy world of self image and paranoia, sexual impulse and greed, bequeathed to us by our evolutionary inheritance.

The industrial revolution was possible when we invented and taught science as a discipline to help train abstract reasoning, which evolution also created, to overcome our fears, urges and delusional prejudices and perceive the precious truth.

This was hard, because our competitive instinct is a search for power, which overwhelms abstract reason and was given the crown over our motives by our evolution in the world we once inhabited.

This is why power cannot relinquish power to serve reason, which is in turn why reason must take power by means of power. Our revolution of reason has to date failed, many cannot even see it is needed and think social outrage more fun, fighting vainly to take another's power and territory more important, than building renewable energy generators. It is in our nature, it is what our genes made us but today it is wrong.

We vie with each other and with reality itself to fulfill our instinctive impulses and have become so used to success we cannot believe the danger we pose to ourselves. Our genes have not evolved to manage a planet, they developed in small tribes with tiny populations, fostering fierce rivalries in a seemingly endless world. Never before have eight billion of us tried to live in the same world together.

Many saw global warming as propaganda, a ruse from wily shamanic academics. Powerseeking overcame reason. As with the hunting of witches, which do not exist, yet were the perfect foil for our instinctive paranoias, humanity chose perversely to follow the run of its imagination, to blame the very voice of reason for its discomfiting message, to obey Apollo's curse and ignore Cassandra's truthful warning.

Foresight is informed by hindsight and it looks like it will take physical disaster on a global scale for humanity to realise there is a problem. At the time of writing reason tells us it is already too late. Thus we created the world you must live in, destroying half the life that was in it when we were born, because although we could see the future we were creating, we could not act on our vision. We simply could not believe we were the ones who had to make that choice, that we were so powerful and could do ourselves such harm by failing to take responsibility for it. In this we were paralysed by our genes and the spiral of megalomania which our evolution created within us.

Look within and you will see the seeds of the tragedy which is unfolding. I hope you can forgive us and in so doing forgive yourselves.

Once again I am so sorry and am bitter to the pit of my stomach at the folly of the great family of humanity, which I love and on whose existence my life depends yet who will not listen to reason. I did try to help us understand but the madness our genes create would not allow it and I can only apologise over and over again for the state of the world you will inherit.

Judge us as you must to learn from our mistakes and make a better civilisation than ours. One which recognises truth as more precious than vanity and can act accordingly.

Good luck.

Always your friend, Richard.

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