I have been away hiking in the Arctic Wilderness of northern Finland with time to reflect. Walking in the remote Oulanka National Park you can connect with the natural beauty of raw nature and be reminded that we live on a very special planet. Days spent exploring away from the infrastructure of modern society meant not having the comfort and convenience of modern facilities; but it also meant my sleep had been deep and the mental relaxation intense. There was no reception for my old mobile phone so no e-mails and no text messages to intrude into my reflection. The question is what is the point?
I could embark into a deep discourse on what is the meaning of life but I don’t see the need. You only have to wander in nature to see how astounding, amazing, tremendous, it is to know that it needs no justification. Something this special should be savoured, enjoyed, looked after and passed to our children for their enjoyment. There is no need for a debate about the purpose of natural world; it is part of our world and part of what we are; we are nothing without nature. Nature will outlive us as the world continues beyond the era of Homo sapiens. We need nature but nature does not need us. The question is what is the point of us and our civilization?
In today’s paper I have glanced through the main stories including: the benefits to the UK economy of climate change; the advantages of opening sea lanes across the Arctic as the sea ice disappears; and the benefits of ‘fracking’ to keep us warm and keep the economy powering forward. There are also the usual staple news items of who is bonking who amongst the A-List celebrities. Someone arriving from outer space would assume these are people are our greatest most capable people able to lead us to a better future. They would be sorely disappointed; we celebrate reality TV stars and pop singers more than the scientists and experts capable of showing us a safe future for humanity.
Returning form the wilderness back into civilisation I reluctantly conclude from the evidence that modern civilisation has no point, no overarching purpose than to burn itself out in an orgy of overindulgence to become a toxic layer in the geological record of our planet.