Are We Plunging Into a New Dark Age?

Are We Plunging Into a New Dark Age?

Plagued by climate change–induced disasters, political turmoil, and the worst pandemic in a century, the world barely noticed when the United Nations released a report last month detailing calamitous prospects for the diversity of life on Earth. Though some progress has been achieved in the last decade, according to the report, national governments' commitments to protect biodiversity have fallen flat on the global scale. Now, "humanity stands at a crossroads with regard to the legacy we wish to leave to future generations." Due to our species' failure to act, many thousands more risk going extinct forever — eventually leading to our own extinction — unless our collective apathy can be swiftly transformed into urgency. And yet the UN report marks only the latest of a series of dire warnings swallowed up in a news cycle fatally distracted by Donald Trump's asinine antics.

What is it with us humans? Why are we so easily distracted? Why can’t we confront our existential crisis? Are we really plunging into a new dark age?

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