Life on S.S. Titanic Earth: It Makes Me Wonder

Ami Chen Mills-Naim
6 min readFeb 12, 2020
The Australian wildfires were induced by hotter temperatures, and droughts created by climate change and global heating. Over a billion animals died. Smoke from Australia traveled across the globe. These Aussie fires are not “normal.” … And yet, fossil fuel-industry denialism continues unabated.

I’ve been deeply researching the climate and eco-crises for some time now, as well as experiencing the physical changes, extreme weather events and frightening mass extinction events happening in my own personal world. Alarmed, I even helped found an Extinction Rebellion chapter in my hometown on the California coast.

Sometimes, I have hope. Sometimes, I don’t. A lot of the time, I feel like this …

Well, folks: Here we are on the Titanic! All of the most rational, smart, compassionate and educated crew members (who I personally like, know and trust) are telling me that the Titanic is heading for an iceberg.

And actually I have peered over the side of the ship and seen the iceberg myself! I feel the coldness of it coming closer. I see other ships out ahead that are already sinking, their passengers terrified, resigned or already grieving …

I have children on this boat with me and I think: Perhaps there is a way to avert further disaster, or the worst of it.

So I run around to the other people on the boat and say: “Look! The captain of the ship does not understand that he is going in the wrong direction. I think he’s drunk! Or else, he doesn’t care! Shall we go and storm the bridge? … How about it?”

“Or perhaps we should get out the lifeboats and lifejackets? … Or, how about if we just get in a lifeboat and fill it up as much as possible and start taking off? … Or, something? Anything?


Even: “Shall we get ready to comfort people as we go down?” is something.

And here are the responses I receive. The first is:

“Oh no, the ship’s not heading for an iceberg! That is a global conspiracy organized by Stalinist UN henchmen, Al Gore and Al Jazeera. It’s called Agenda 21, and it’s meant to collar and bind us all and make us wear gray pajamas unto our deaths.”

And then: “Oh, you know, maybe the ship is heading for an iceberg, but ships have gone down before in the past. And people survived! Perhaps it will not go down. Perhaps a strong wind will arise in the future and push us in a different direction. Why worry?”

Ami Chen Mills-Naim

Global teacher, mother, author, journalist: SF Chronicle and Examiner, Inc. Mag, Metro, 3 CNPA First Place awards. See “Heart of America” on YouTube