The sixth major extinction event on planet Earth is apparently already underway:

"The relationship between species diversity and ecosystem function is very complex and not well understood. There may be gradual and reversible decreases in function with decreased biodiversity. There may be effectively no change until a tipping point occurs. The analogy here is popping out rivets from a plane’s wing. The aircraft will fly unimpaired if a few rivets are removed here or there, but to continue to remove rivets is to move the system closer to catastrophic failure."

Echoes something I've been thinking about lately (as one does, on late nights thinking about the apocalypse), which is that our popular depiction of the End of Days befalls us quite swiftly, within the timespan of a meteor's catastrophic strike or a nuclear war destined by its nature to proceed through utter destruction at a healthy clip. But it seems also likely that the end will be rather long and drawn out, beginning in petty nation-state squabbles over resources and religio-fication (...check) and escalating at an unforeseeable pace into lawlessness, anarchy, and the quick twitch of brutal force.

In this world, no matter what the state of the natural order, women are at a disadvantage. We're not built for endless physical confrontation either inside or out; much as I loathe the essentialism, we tend to be caretakers or, at least, concerned about other beings in the world in a way that men seem to (again, certainly an over-generalization, but FWIW) reserve for objects and symbols. It's probably politically dangerous to even wade in to gender philosophy this far but, if I'm being honest, my hunch is that (most) women are both by nature inclined to foster a hospitable environment for others & are subsequently also trained by culture and society to strengthen and exaggerate that inclination.

Meanwhile, (most) men by nature lack the ability to bring a life to term on the Earth and must find another pathway to achieving their cosmic significance, their threshold of heroism required to maintain the plucky hopefulness (or at least plodding dutifulness) required to sustain a long-term relationship with one's own body, family, friends, community, colleagues, nation-state, society, religion, political affiliations, & so on. It's complicated. And tiring -- so tiring, in fact, that eventually our cells simply tire out. The telomeres can't cut it anymore; the mitochondria won't pump out additional energy; major organs are just like, totally over it.

We don't have nearly as much time as we think we do.

And I mean that both individually, as our small human hourglasses slip away, and collectively, as history keeps infuriatingly repeating itself at the hands of ever more clever and diabolical would-be Immortan masters seeking to control others as a means of filling the deep, gaping hole inside themselves telling them they're unimportant and fragile in the universe. The voice is right, and there's just no way around it for any of us -- & the best course of action is to cultivate humility and gratitude & move on. Not to enslave entire races, ethnically cleanse the inconvenient, wage genocide for spurious reasons -- all acts we collectively have agreed to deplore and yet manage to avoid lifting a finger in anyone's direction to help out when such atrocities reach our ears in Thoroughly Safe, Modern 'Murica.

On the other hand, we face quite the paradox -- for there is both the need to keep hope alive, and to avoid living in code yellow for too much longer.