Ten years,
that’s a conservative estimate,
a window where we can still impact the fate of planet earth.

A window.
A decade.
Starting now.

And when the story is told,
if there are any ears that can hear it,
any voices to speak it,
they will say
that when the countdown began,
to no-chance-of-a-future-of-any-consequence,
we, the magnificent creatures
who created smartphones and cars and jets,
left the gate running at full speed,
in the wrong direction.

We, who gave birth to Picasso, Puccini, da Vinci, and the Beatles,
We from whom Euclid, Galileo, Einstein, and Hawkins emerged,
We began the plan that would overcome our common adversary
by wagging the dog of war.

We chose War,
the foulest contributor of CO2 emissions.
that renders cooperation impotent.
Just when we,
we who worked together to map the entire human genome
and harnessed our competitive spirit to put a man on the moon,
should have been pooling the brilliance of every shining star,
in every field of endeavor,
from every corner of the planet,
to securing some glimmer of hope
on the none too distant horizon.

Not once was it mentioned on the nightly news,
of our collective, desperate tumbling into oblivion,
of positive feedback loops,
of an entire continent afire
of melting permafrost exposing ancient peat that had sequestered CO2 for millennium,
of catastrophic species extinction, including our precious pollinators.

Instead, we,
we, the scion of dreamers who designed a system of self-governance
so elegant in its checks and balances, elections and visions of equality,
so visionary that, while flawed, inspired revolutions around the world,
and toppled ancient aristocracies and oppressive dictatorships,
who surely have it in us to save the planet,
save the human race,
because we invented language and writing
and music and mathematics
and delectable cuisines
and poetry…

Oh, together we could have done this.
We, who stare in awe at the same sunsets,
the same eclipses,
the same harvest moon,
We, who can dance and sing in unison,
and play jazz without ever once playing together before,
We, who share 99.9% of our DNA,
We could have done this!

We could have done this.

But instead,
we handed over our power
to the most vile among us,
and stood silently by,
or even ignorantly cheered,
while they