Let’s start with the universe and work our way in. Who cares? Not them because as far as we know they aren’t there. As far as we know, no one exists in our galaxy or perhaps anywhere else but us (and the other creatures on this all-too-modest planet of ours). So don’t count on any aliens out there caring what happens to humanity. They won’t.
As for it—Earth—the planet itself can’t, of course, care, no matter what we do to it. And I’m sure it won’t be news to you that, when it comes to him—and I mean, of course, President Donald J. Trump, who reputedly has a void where the normal quotient of human empathy might be—don’t give it a second’s thought. Beyond himself, his businesses, and possibly (just possibly) his family, he clearly couldn’t give less of a damn about us or, for that matter, what happens to anyone after he departs this planet.
As for us, the rest of us here in the United States at least, we already know something about the nature of our caring. A Yale study released last March indicated that 70 percent of us—a surprising but still less than overwhelming number (given the by-now-well-established apocalyptic dangers involved)—believe that global warming is actually occurring. Less than half of us, however, expect to be personally harmed by it. So, to quote the eminently quotable Alfred E. Newman, “What, me worry?”
Tell that, by the way, to the inhabitants of Ojai and other southern California hotspots—infernos, actually—being reduced to cinders this December, a month that not so long ago wasn’t significant when it came to fires in that state. But such blazes should have been no surprise, thanks to the way fire seasons are lengthening on this warming planet. A burning December is simply part of what the governor of California, on surveying the fire damage recently, dubbed “the new normal”—just as ever more powerful Atlantic hurricanes, growing increasingly fierce as they pass over the warming waters of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico on their way to batter the United States, are likely to be another new normal of our American world.