Nature Will Not Care

A Poem About How We're Killing Ourselves And Who Will Mourn Us When We Finish The Job

The children, first, will protest. More and more will fill the streets.
Foregoing school, and dropping out, they'll broadcast with their feet.
Protecting their inheritance, the burden of the heir,
Demand a clean supply of life, but nature will not care.

A general strike, machines shut down, there's half of us at least
To think and fight and tap the brakes, to try to tame the beast.
It's not political, we'll say, but this will lead nowhere.
The other half just wants a fight, and nature will not care.

A chance to win has brought us here, a chance to be the best,
To stand as a Colossus o'er the world, our treasure chest.
These meek would have us lose; for what? An extra polar bear?
The short game always beats the long, but nature will not care.

The wizards working overtime, prolonging the decline,
Will tuck away our carbon, taking nibbles, biding time.
Let's try to feed the fattened hordes with light and moving air.
Too hard, too late; what made us wait? But nature will not care.

Your family won't have any water left; you'll pack your bag,
And drag your children over to the border; there's a snag.
There aren't any papers you could show t'admit you there.
Go pitch a tent on asphalt, kids, but nature will not care.

How can it be that we won't feed each other, as a rule?
How can a class, a nation, race, give food to just the cruel?
We'll count the ribs on every screen that can remain on air,
Pitch in, kickstart, donate your name, but nature will not care.

How many stones have to be thrown to call this thing a war?
If losing this means going back to starving, dying poor
Why would we ever stop? At least let's die to get our share.
The haves have all the bombs, alas, but nature will not care.

It's time, some time, and some time soon, for even they, the rich,
To feel the pantry going dark, to feel the dusty pinch,
To look around and notice their employees aren't there.
They've took the big vacation, boss, and nature will not care.

How many hands have built the bombs, how many watched the lock?
Who watches when mountain burns? What soldier checks the stock?
Which rogue will take one and abscond, and send it through the air?
How long before the world responds? Well, nature will not care.

So long, so long. All minds are gone, but has the world been lost?
The boiling oceans, will they cool? If not, is there a cost?
With no one left to notice whether we can't breathe the air,
Can we consider this a death? Well, nature will not care.

To care is human, so is health, so is the use of words.
So's thought, so's peace, so's war, so's time, so's everything you've heard.
The genius of ourselves, the stuff of brains, the desperate prayer,
To miss them would be only human. Nature will not care.

Did you read that story about how there are 3 billion less birds in North America today than there were in the 1970’s? The one where the scientists say things like “this is the loss of nature” and “nature is unraveling?” When I was 20, 25 years younger than I am now, back when I didn’t think things were urgent yet but it turns out they actually already were, I figured if it came to some scientists saying things like “nature is unraveling” that’d be like a worst case scenario. That’d be against a backdrop of impenetrable smog or, you know, 3 billion birds all dropping dead and falling out of the sky.


What an arrogant thing to say. Are we running out of food and room and air and water? You bet. When we go are we going to take NATURE ITSELF down with us? No. No! This is nature itself. We’re the worst. We can’t keep big-H Humanity alive because we can’t quit meat and cars. Massive things will continue to bend space. Light will still move pretty fast. We’ll exist in the time we always existed in, and we won’t exist in the time we didn’t make it to because we couldn’t keep the game going because we’re greedy assholes. Thanks for the memories, no one will be left to say.

Anyway, go out and strike today. I recognize that I come off like a nihilistic detractor. I’m not optimistic. If it ends up changing the minds of the elite, that’ll be great. Tell me if you see any nature out there.

Image is by Johannes Plenio