One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic
Be it from social unrest, economic upheaval, or environmental collapse, forced human migration is at unprecedented levels. According to the UNHCR, there are more than 65 million displaced people in the world today. Of those, more than 22 million are forced refugees. Over half are under 18 years old. Nearly 20 people are displaced from their homes every minute.
That is a debate best left to those smarter than I.
I suspect attempting the self-reflection of our place in the order of things, for which we are given only a momentary glimpse, is fraught with bias. Even if well-intentioned.
All men are liable to error; and most men are, in many points, by passion or interest, under temptation to it.
John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
On the one hand, caution and skepticism are warranted before we assume we are or can impact Earth on a geological time scale. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, to paraphrase Carl Sagan.
Claiming we live in the “Age of Man” may seem antithetical to the beliefs of most spiritual traditions. But many offer a sacred reverence for nature and a sense of place.
If that is the task, then urgency-of-purpose must balance caution of action. Whether we like it or not, we must literally shape a new world. We are shaping a new world. It’s too late to back out now.
The longer we allow short-term accounting, manufacturing of doubt, and willful ignorance to dominate the narrative, the more time is lost. Caution thrown to the wind. Left only for future generations to ask why?
And then there’s figuring out what’s for dinner tonight.