We will be judged by how well we fought
In the Star Trek universe, there is a flight simulation at Star Fleet Academy called the Kobayashi Maru. It is designed to test cadets in how they would react in a “no-win” situation.
The Kobaysahi Maru is a stranded vessel caught in the neutral zone with the Klingons, a warrior race. Any ship that goes in to rescue the civilians on board will be met with certain destruction and death.
Near term human extinction may very well be the Kobayashi Maru. No matter how hard we try, it may be too late to reverse the decades of inaction that have now produced a looming existential crisis. There is just too much carbon in the atmosphere, and in the oceans, to sequester. It may not be possible to avert 3-5 degrees C of warming, and the various tipping points that get triggered as a result (melting of ice sheets, death of corals, ocean anoxia, ecosystemic collapse).
Even if we had the technological means to reverse these changes (which we don’t), does humanity have the political will to leave 50% of the Earth to Nature, untouched by human hands, as scientists suggest is the right balance? And even if we did these things, would it be enough?
But I say that no matter what lies ahead, we should not be judged by the outcome. We should be judged by our efforts in trying to avoid the worst.
We will be judged by how well we fought, and what we did during this time. I know this, because I can look back 20 years and I can now judge those harshly who knew what was coming, and who did very little. Those people displayed the worst in humanity: greed, short-term thinking, poor judgment.
It is up to us who know better to display the best in humanity.
No matter the outcome, let’s try what we can. We are all here at this time because we were meant to be here. We are the best hope for the future. We must look deeply within ourselves, uncover our Life’s Work, and go out and do what it is we are here to do.