Benedict Cumberbatch can read a grocery list and I will listen to it with rapt attention. Above in this 2019 video he is reading Vonnegut’s letter and considering the apocalyptic content, I am glad I am hearing it in Sherlock’s voice.
In 1988, the late Kurt Vonnegut wrote a letter to the people of 2088 for Volkswagen’s TIME magazine ad campaign. Although there’s a seven point advice nicely suited to today’s list-heavy content, I would rather highlight this beautiful scary paragraph on Nature and how minacious it can be!
For me, the most paralyzing news was that Nature was no conservationist. It needed no help from us in taking the planet apart and putting it back together some different way, not necessarily improving it from the viewpoint of living things. It set fire to forests with lightning bolts. It paved vast tracts of arable land with lava, which could no more support life than big-city parking lots. It had in the past sent glaciers down from the North Pole to grind up major portions of Asia, Europe, and North America. Nor was there any reason to think that it wouldn’t do that again someday. At this very moment it is turning African farms to deserts, and can be expected to heave up tidal waves or shower down white-hot boulders from outer space at any time. It has not only exterminated exquisitely evolved species in a twinkling, but drained oceans and drowned continents as well. If people think Nature is their friend, then they sure don’t need an enemy. – Kurt Vonnegut