In this nonfiction essay, the author argues that the climate crisis is the number one issue of our time. It overshadows every decision we make as individuals and as a society, and has forced many of us to ask, “What is the point in trying/living/building a future?” Many of us have severed our connection to nature so thoroughly and become so reliant on technology that we’ve forgotten what it means to be part of a greater ecosystem which doesn’t exist solely to prop up our existing way of life; only now are we slowly starting to wake up to this again. However, outside of a few movies and novels, the subject has yet to be tackled in any great depth in the world of fiction. In this piece, the author argues that the cyberpunk genre can be retooled to confront our fears surrounding global heating and revitalise itself in the process.
What makes us human? Is it our opposable thumbs, omnivorous diet, and ability to wield tools? Our individual and collective ideological belief systems and Earth-bound nature? What about our ability to empathize and (simultaneously) our inability to and the resulting creation of “us vs. them” group dynamics? Does our violence, domination over nature, technological innovations, and need for advancement make us human or will these traits one day lead to our demise? Are we more human today than we were at the advent of homo sapiens sapiens 125,000 years ago, or less?