Coming of Age in the Anthropocene

Illustration by Victor O. Leshyk

The Holocene Extinction Event:

In a press release dated July 18th, 2022, the Pentagon announced that the United States had successfully tested a Raytheon Technologies air-breathing hypersonic weapon, capable of speeds faster than 6,200 km/h (five times the speed of sound) making it the third successful test of that class of weapon since 2013. This test is just one of many scheduled tests in a competitive run up between Raytheon Technologies Corp and Lockheed Martin — one of which which will be awarded the final contract from DARPA. With a price-tag from upwards to $50-$100 million each, these missiles once deployed are able to reach enemy targets faster, leaner, and more effectively. How terrifying!!!

I also learned that China, Russia, and other countries including India, Japan, Australia, France, Germany and North Korea have also developed hypersonic missiles.

What exactly is this Global Military Industrial Complex trying to achieve?

In response, last night I had a dream — a nightmare of sorts. I was traveling east of the Cascades in an RV and I had a Rottweiler, a brown bear, and an orange tabby cat in my care. I was trying to find a safe place to pull off the road where they could all get out, stretch their legs and relieve themselves off leash. We pulled over and parked in an eastern pine setting where I set up a chair and watched them explore their new surroundings. It was a beautiful day.

Then, we heard a boom far-off in the distance, a long ways away — for that, they stood alerted for a moment, and then relaxed back into play. I turned on the radio to see if something was being broadcast. And that’s when I learned that a nuclear bomb was detonated over Greenland and its ice-cap melted instantaneously. There was a tsunami fast approaching every city on the Atlantic coastline, with a lesser one now racing through the Pacific. The biggest wave, the announcer said, was advancing unobstructed towards Antartica… and then there was silence on the radio.

And now, I have to go to work.

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