Not only does civilization cause depression, civilization causes the extinction of 200 species daily. Civilization threatens life on earth. And, still it seems, as my friend Max Wilbert says, that we could fit the number of humans on the entire planet willing to criticize civilization in one small building.
I have been researching and writing about anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) for Truthout for the past year, because I have long been deeply troubled by how fast the planet has been emitting its obvious distress signals. On a nearly daily basis, I’ve sought out the most recent scientific studies, interviewed the top researchers and scientists penning those studies, and connected the dots to give readers as clear a picture as possible about the magnitude of the emergency we are in. This work has emotional consequences: I’ve struggled with depression, anger, and fear. I’ve watched myself shift through some of the five stages of grief proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance I’ve grieved for the planet and all the species who live here, and continue to do so as I work today. I have been vacillating between depression and acceptance of where we are, both as victims – fragile human beings – and as perpetrators: We are the species responsible for altering the climate system of the planet we inhabit to the point of possibly driving ourselves extinct, in addition to the 150-200 species we are already driving extinct. Can you relate to this grieving process?
Depression, anxiety, and fatigue are an essential part of a process of metamorphosis that is unfolding on the planet today, and highly significant for the light they shed on the transition from an old world to a new. When a growing fatigue or depression becomes serious, and we get a diagnosis of Epstein-Barr or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or hypothyroid or low serotonin, we typically feel relief and alarm. Alarm: something is wrong with me. Relief: at least I know I’m not imagining things; now that I have a diagnosis, I can be cured, and life can go back to normal. But of course, a cure for these conditions is elusive.
We have a winner: According to the American Journal of Public Health, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death by injury between 2008 and 2009. However, that dubious distinction has been replaced by a disturbing new cause: Today, the form of death by injury that takes more American lives than any other is suicide.The indicated change in death by injury is the culmination of a decade-long trend, and it appears that the primary reason may be the economic downturn in the U.S. and around the world. In the U.S., the rate of death by suicide increased by 15 percent over the past ten years. In Greece, the suicide rate for men rose by 24 percent between 2007 and 2009, according to The New York Times, and by another 40 percent in 2012. Suicides motivated by economic crisis grew by 52 percent in Italy in 2010, the most recent year for which statistics were available. What we do know is that researchers say the trend is intensifying at alarming rates wherever austerity measures have taken place and as the economic downturn continues to worsen.
The Horrific Toll Of Depression: Suicides Linked To Recession, As Budget Cuts Force Out Mental Health Professionals
Those who believe that logistical preparation alone is sufficient as industrial civilization crumbles are deluding themselves. This article gives us a clue about what is in store for us emotionally. Are we prepared to cope with it?
Warning, in short, that we’re headed into a perfect storm rivaling the disastrous political insanity of the 1930s that prolonged the depression, driving the economy into far reaching global problems that added fuel to an irrational zeitgeist and world war. And more.
A huge share of the nation’s economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244.
A three-minute cartoon that explains U.S. income disparity and its violent aftermath