I wish I was a nihilist. I also wish I had invested in a pair of noise cancelling headphones because frankly, I’m more often distracted from chatter in the office then from existential dread. But not today.
So here’s the thing: The world has a lot of issues. For example, the world’s population is at risk from the catastrophic consequences of global warming within the next decades (“Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5°C and increase further with 2°C”). We know the cause of the problem (an increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity), and we have the tools to solve it (green energy tech, nutritional plant-based food). Yet, we are not implementing these solutions quickly enough, and on a large enough scale, to avoid disaster.
On a personal level, it makes me 1) fear the future and 2) hate people. Putting aside for a second the discussion on whether my information is correct and my logic is sound, but I’m pretty confident that *things* are going to be *really bad*. That doesn’t put me in a good mood to start with.
It also leads to the second point: Why are so many people around me still pretending that preferring public transport over cars, thinking seriously about not taking trips by plane, and not eating meat are for altruistic hippies who want bonus points on their karma cards? You’re metaphorically maintaining a heroin addiction except you are affecting everyone else’s body just as much as your own, it’s legal and socially acceptable, and you actually have control of changing your behaviour.
I know we are all just faulty computers made of meat. I also know that a lot of what we do is determined by our environment and that it would be nice if the government took responsibility for this. But I’m not friends with the government so it doesn’t hurt as much in the feels.
Oh sure there are plenty of people who are working on solving this (and other) problems. There’s also good stuff in the world like the advancement of humanity since the middle ages and peanut butter. But that doesn’t negate this issue, nor stop me from caring about it and thus making me feel a little bit down today.
Referencing is not about referencing, referencing is about signalling:
 From the UN report http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf