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A thought for the future

I would just like to preface this post by saying I'm sorry if this conversation is a tad bit too serious. It may not be up everyone's alley.
I do feel however, it's an issue that's important enough to warrant a proper conversation and thought towards it.
 That being said. Here goes nothing.

As a deeply emotional, nostalgic human.. There are a few things that disturb me as much as climate change.
After spending countless hours reading books, articles interviews..I always reach a point of emptiness.
It isn't the lack of hope, for hope is an easy facade to stand behind.

After further probing and introspection..I came to realise...I wasn't depressed or anxious about the future (like most would think).
I just knew deep inside..
This was all very true.
There was no over-dramatisation.. No special effects.. The horror stories are true.
And its effects would be much worse.

If you believe in energy.. You will also be forced to believe.. We live in a generation of madness.. An undying over stimulated world, that's producing the next generation.. That is ideally a lot smarter and well informed than the previous generation (thanks to all the information available at hand)... But also a generation that has found a way to turn a blind eye to pressing issues, instead focusing completely on oneself and fueling a never ending ego.
If one was to ask me.. What I thought of my peers.. And the people around me..I would say fake.
I see a world full of fake people, who are forced to be politically correct in a generation where ego/self promotion is the driving factor.

8 out of 10 people hate even thinking about a topic as serious as climate change. It is too much effort to bring ourselves to reality.. And let ourselves feel the burden of the truth.. Than it is to plaster on a fake smile and click photos of oneself and post it on social media.

Suddenly those nightmarish pictures in heronimus Bosch's garden of earthly delights seem more plausible.
Suddenly those twisted demented figures in Picasso's Guernica feel more relatable.

If one notices... These paintings have been exhibited for a long time
Climate change and there demise of values is not a new discussion
We have been aware of it for an incredibly long time
Yet.. None of those paintings sparked a change in the generation that viewed it.
If it did.. Perhaps we wouldn't be where we are today.

The question arises then.. Why are we so hell bent on capturing our surroundings.. Why are we so adamant at making a point and showing people subjects, that aren't unknown.

And as an artist.. What's the point at making paintings, of the next generation can't appreciate and learn from it.

As artists.. We must be more sensitive towards these subjects.. After all.. One can't paint nature whilst ignoring how we are ruining our own subjects.
Imagine a world where your children and grandchildren would grow up.. Never knowing what glaciers were.. Or That a place like Venice existed
Imagine a world where they grow up.. Surrounded by negativity and sadness all around them.. But are told for their own sanity.. To be superficial and not care.


Imagine a world.. Where they grow up in disgusting polluted cities.
Where stepping out without a mask would mean death.
How would you tell them. Overpopulation has caused people from all over the world to become refugees overnight.
And that robberies, murders, insurgencies are going to be common place.

And how would we tell them.. That we could have changed and made a better world, but lacked the political will to do so.

Although I am an Indian.. And not Christian.
I can't help but feel in love with the illustrations from the golden age.
I feel nostalgic about a bygone era of a country that I wasn't born in.
What immense power those artists must have had to make someone feel like I do.
But the formula to their paintings were simple.

It was about hope.

The hope to have a perfect Christmas, perfect dinner, perfect neighbor and perfect human.
The hope towards a better future

As an artist, I can only hope I can invoke the same feelings.. Maybe change lived through my paintings.
And I can only hope.. We change our ways and teach our children to love and build empathy towards all animals, nature and humans and act now.
While we can still escape complete annihilation.




Comments

  • H.M.

    The history of mankind and the natural history of the world demonstrates a resilience and a determination to survive.

    In my lifetime I have endured many end of the world scenarios that threaten a dystopian future for civilisation. These have all come and gone and we're still here.

    The last twenty years demonstrates a huge transition to the awareness of the causes and consequences of climate change. Corpoate bodies, manufacturing, government and personal behaviour have all shaped their thinking and actions towards reducing global warming.

    If you are seeking some reassurance, study the carbon cycle and the powerful balancing mechanisms the globe uses to maintain homeostasis.

    That being said, I am aware that twenty one ice ages covered the globe in the last two million years. Some of the interglacials were quite hot and dry. Industrial activity for the last two hundred years has now raised some warning flags. I have faith that we are smart enough to do something about it.

    Denis
  • edited August 13
    I share your concerns, @H.M. The evidence for human induced climate change is clear and getting clearer by the day. Yes, natural climate change has been part of earth's long history but never before has warming happened so rapidly. You cannot change the composition of the atmosphere, as we are doing, without other things changing too. We've nearly doubled atmospheric C02 since the beginning of industrialization and the warming that follows from that change is simple physics.

    It is good that we who care paint the landscapes that move us. Who knows what they will soon look like. If the worst happens I'd like future generations (if there are any) to know what we did to ourselves and have an inkling of what was lost.

    Rob



  • Thanks HM for your thought provoking thread.

    For every negative incident I read about in the press, online, TV etc I remind myself that there were a hundred thousand kindnesses, for every reported theft, a million acts of generosity.

    I have concerns for the future of my children and I pay attention to current events, but I can't allow that to dominate my thinking to the point of endangering my mental health so I balance that with doing what I can do in my small sphere, reducing waste, recycling, using less energy. 

    There are many bright, intelligent, loving, brave, young people amongst this generation, and I think we do them a disservice by stereotyping a whole generation as selfie-taking narcissists. In this world there will always be givers and takers, all I am responsible for is which one I will be.


  • @dencal : as a 19 year old. I'll take it from you, I have much less life experience.i am sure humans will survive.. But the rate at which we are degrading the planet is a quite a bit faster than our actions to prevent.
    For as smart as we are. Fundamentally we are still horrible at long term planning. (Not the type where one plans to buy a house and retire).
    I am sure we'll fight our way through this..I am just not very sure about the conditions we'll live in.

    Although it may be of no consequence.. And probably too early to speak of such a thing..I decided not to have children.
    I'm sure I'll have no major problem in my lifetime. So whatever I can do.. I'll do for the next generation.

    @tassieguy
    That's exactly what I thought. I'd like my paintings to document what we are lucky enough to see.
    Too often I see artist paint political issues.. Or something disturbing.. All that did was cause more fear and more hopelessness.
    So if that's what art is all about...
    I don't know

    @Boudicca: thank you for reading.. It's near impossible for me to coherently put together so many vast subjects that are interlinked, in the end to art.
    One of the many reasons I've stopped following such news. I only read articles by people I trust. You raise a very good point.
    I try to do my best to be as responsible about the things I buy or how I travel. I wish I could do more.. As of now. Certain things aren't in hands

    I would say in my own short life. The people I've met and seem to be in that stereotyped category.
    That is not to say there aren't excellent humans
    There are a lot of good people.

    I think it's good to sometimes step back and have such a discussion.. Although it is a dry and dreadful thing to talk about.
    The ancient Greeks used to have tragic plays every now and then.. They believed it was a catharsis.
    I believe it is necessary

    Thank you all
  • @H.M, you say you are 19, well, you must be one of the brave, intelligent, loving young people I was talking about  <3
  • Personally, as a layman with limited but thorough training and experience in measuring atmospheric conditions, I can tell you that global warming or climate change as they have started calling it since they proved we were getting cooler not warmer, is a natural process and man-made green house gases account for a lot less than 1%. Oxides of Nitrogen from fuel exhaust is purported to be one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gas but by the time these nitrogen compounds get about 100 feet in the air, they breakdown and recombine with normal nitrogen and oxygen again. The water vapor from exhaust also considered a pollutant evaporates and condenses to ultimately provide humidity and rain. These factors are never accounted for in the various reports. In the mid 1700s a couple of French chemists and later a German chemist/physicist isolated several of the elements found in the atmosphere and by 1800 had determined the composition of the earth's air. By the 1950s many scientists were able to determine from geology, ancient artifacts and plant fossils that the present day composition of the atmosphere has existed for more than a million years and possibly as much as ten million years. By modern day State of the art measurements I've witnessed with my own eyes I'm glad to report that they are the same today as they were before the industrial revolution got rolling. We can no more control the climate changes than we can solar flares. Maybe the carbon measurements and CO2 measurements wouldn't be so alarming if they would get their samples a little further away from active volcanoes. I worry a lot more about the political environment. While painting may not help conserve water or increase crop growth I think good art can have a positive affect on the political outlook but we have to have art judges who are honest and know what art is.
  • Very thoughtful post HM, this topic has been on my mind for a while.  

     Not being a scientist it is hard for me to come to any accurate opinions on climate change, but being out on the fringe I listen to a lot of "experts" that claim the situation of global warming is a lot more dire then even some of the worst forecast. What makes it worse for me is that hardly anyone wants to talk about it.

    I have been listening a lot to a scientist by the name of Guy McPherson whom thinks that due to  positive feedback loops that have been activated that there will not be any habitat for humanity to be able to survive on the planet within ten years.  What is going on in the Artic with the melting of the sea ice is very concerning for me, also all of the methane that is being released from the thawing permafrost is very concerning.  

    There is a great dillusion in humanity right now to where we think that because we have cool technology we will be able to solve any problem with the same technology and mindset that has gotten us into this postion in the first place.  IMO belief in technology and humanity's ability to solve any and all problems with tech is the underlying faith of the day regardless of what religious tradition you come from (at least in the west).  

    Ironically it is Dr Guy McPhersons prediction of near term human extintion that has really motivated me to try and create the best art work with the limited time we may have left on this planet.  

    There may be very little that we can do to turn this ship around at this point, no need to dispare,   live everyday that you have to it's fullest, treat everyone including yourself with love and compassion, and don't wait to create that masterpiece. 

    Cheers 


  • Take EVERYTHING 'experts' claim with a giant grain of salt.  That goes for absolutely every subject.  Read both sides of the issue, not just the one that conforms to what you already believe.  When I was in college (late 1980s) the 'experts' predicted there would be hundreds of millions of people starving to death every year within the next 5 years because of our inability to grow food to feed them.  The earth simply couldn't sustain 3 or 4 billion people or whatever the population was back then.  It is close to 7 billion now or there abouts.  Climate 'experts' were absolutely sure that within the next 10-20 years we would be in the next ice age.  When an 'expert' on climate can tell me accurately if it is going to rain today or tomorrow ,just where I live, I will worry more about their predictions for next year or the decade after that.  I should have been a weather man.  It is the only profession where you can be wrong almost all of the time and keep your job.
    BOB73
  • There's a whole subculture of people out there who are hoping the earth will kill off all the humans (except them of course) and only then will the environment be safe. Don't ask a marine biologist or even a meteorologist about climate change, ask a geologist or paleontologist. 
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