About an hour ago I had a snapchat from a very close friend of mine. It was a reasonably good picture, without the caption I still would have recognised it. The image was of the Grand Canyon. This thing:
Note: This is obviously not the image sent to me.
The thing that made me stop was this; it was taken from the bottom of the canyon. A beautiful, ancient monument to the glory and power of nature.
And people can snap from it.
Fuck sake, what has happened to the world? Yes, it is full of glorious things. Wonders created by the power of humanity, or the force of the elements. This planet has seen unimaginable beauty and horrors beyond reckoning. Every day brings something never seen before, or never heard; as the dominant race we continue to scar and change this world. And snap from the bottom of canyons.
The fact that we’re at the point where this is possible is pretty cool. We’re more switched on, connected, and aware than ever. Our technology is advancing at a terrifying rate. But what this is doing is having consequences. We’re running out of wilderness.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some greenpeace, let’s go save a tree and plant some whales bullshit, what I mean is that the true wild places of the world are shrinking. We drew our maps a long time ago. Labelled things. Eventually we were only left with the inner edges, holes where somebody just wrote ‘rainforest’ or ‘canyon’ and shaded it in. Now even they’re measured, counted, and tracked. It’s easy for me to write this, sheltered and warm, all that knowledge at my fingertips, not a shadow on the explorers our forebears were. And again, I’m fully aware that there are some extremely clever people out there, mapping and measuring planets, taking steps to put our race where (it appears) no other race has ever been before. Yeah, that’s pretty wild. But the time has passed where to go someplace new was a journey achievable by everyone with stout boots, a light heart, and an implacable will.
Because let’s face it, we’re not all clever enough to calculate rocket trajectories or approach vectors. Plus everyone is so busy simply trying to make ends meet that exploring new worlds is not a priority. At all. Food on the table is. A roof overhead is. Space travel? Idealistic pipedream. Ambitious? Yes. Practical? No.
Do I want to be involved? Fuck yes.