Words escape me

Julian Summerhayes
3 min readJul 22, 2021


“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
Carl Sagan

For a while now, I’ve been writing about, or doing my best to write about, the age of the Anthropocene. I’m not sure I’ve captured the zeitgeist apropos the dire consequences of our actions, particularly as regards our eventual and, I’d say, necessary demise.

This is, for the record, a million miles away from where I expected to be, for if I had any plans it was to amp up and solidify my extemporary prognostications on the state of the workplace. In short, why we’ve allowed ourselves to be suckered again into building a series of anodyne Pyramids for the Bosses — or something along those lines.

For whatever reason, most likely because I don’t feel a) it’s my business, b) there’s anything to be gained by a few soft blows here and there and c) it doesn’t really matter, I’ve found myself sitting quietly and asking that interminable question:

How did it get like this?

But how did it get to a point where we’re now on the precipice, if not falling headlong into the dark hole of annihilation without so much as a whisper from our putative leaders, politicians and even our (almost extinct) elders? Why was everyone, and may still be, so damn quiet? Was it because they didn’t know about the extant, unfolding situation? I doubt it. Was it because they didn’t think it was this bad? Possibly. Or for some other, more nefarious reason? More than likely. (I’m no conspiracy theorist but it can’t have escaped your attention that the billionaire class have got a lot richer during the plague and that seems so out of whack with the rest of the proletariat to at least warrant some sort of investigation.)

Whatever the real answer, and as much as I sound like a broken record, I seem unable to stop reading about all aspects of the Anthropocene (antinatalism has been hogging the limelight for the last couple of weeks) and then sharing, as necessary, my exegesis, much to the chagrin of many people. In fact, the last time I raised it (in so many words) with my current employer I came within a hair’s breadth of receiving my marching orders — that’s a P45 in old money — which took me a little by surprise given that qua lawyer, my duty is always to act in the best interests of the company and that was all I was doing.

I’ll get over it and in time things will be different — I’ll make sure of that. The point is, I’ve learnt a valuable (but probably not universal) lesson; namely, if you dare to rock the ‘status quo’ boat, look out: you can expect, if you’re not very careful, to be on the receiving end of the backlash of someone or something telling you in very clear terms that no one is remotely interested in your human-centred troubles.

So, that, briefly, is my explanation for my current outpouring of angst and despair. At this point, I wouldn’t blame you if you stopped following me and unsubscribed from all known channels. I mean, who wants their day ruined with more bad and unsavoury news? And as for that hope meme that hovers like some New Age dirigible, well, you can count me out. I’m not hopeful. No, I’m downright pessimistic, bordering on the misanthropic that qua homo sapiens, even the most ambitious of our tribe, we’re going to effect the necessary and urgent change to enable us to row back from the increasing CO2 emissions and climate catastrophe that’s hurtling at breakneck speed in our direction.

Over and out for now.

Until the next time.


— Julian



Julian Summerhayes

“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?” ― Dogen