2003-06-18 - 10:26 p.m.
I forgot to talk about this and Vero is still on the phone so ... I read this book that bothered me so much that it changed how I felt about everything. It robbed me of my joy for a couple of weeks, and even now it's still influencing how I look at everything. It's called The Life and Death of Planet Earth: How the New Science of Astrobiology Charts the Ultimate Fate of Our World by Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee. I always knew that the world would end and I even knew all that stuff about the expanding sun, etc. but this book lays out all the steps along the way and it's awful.
I never thought about how things that I regard as integral to our world would vanish one by one long before the ultimate destruction of the world. Plants, animals. oxygen, the oceans, continents, almost as if time is moving backward --- evoluition and the development of the physical geography running backward.
I would go outside and look at my garden and all I could think was how tragic it was that plantlife was doomed. Or I'd feed the birds and think about how, all conservation efforts to the contrary, they and all other creatures are doomed to extinction. And the thought that there may be no physical record of humanity left (or anyone left to know of it) is terrible too. We go to all of this effort to preserve things, record thing, write things down (like this diary), and what is it all for? Nothing, in the end. "No human thing is of the slightest importance." It's my old nihilism, come back in a pleasantly scientific guise.
Do I recommend this book? Well, it's interesting and challenging and a good read. It's also deeply disturbing. So I guess I do.