Sunday, December 13, 2015

Are humans Earth’s biggest enemy?

The Earth was once populated with beasts such as the woolly mammoth, illustration pictured. Over the last two million years many of these giant beasts, known as megafauna, have been wiped out completely. The debate on exactly what caused this mass extinction ranges from changes to hunting by humans

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  1. We're the top of the food chain, LD. We are the first species to establish dominion over the entire planet. No other has achieved anything approaching human civilization. We have used our systems of organization, our ability to access resources and our intelligence to grow our overall population more than seven-fold in just two centuries. We now consume our planet's renewable resources at 1.7 times their replenishment rate. In just four decades our voracious consumption of resources and habitat has reduced both marine and terrestrial life by half. We, mankind, have brought a very premature end to an entire geological epoch, the Holocene, in just 12-thousand years, replacing it with a man made geological epoch, the Anthropocene. No species has ever come close to shaping the global environment before.

    We always reveled in our strengths, our prowess to bend everything to our immediate advantage. That allowed us to avoid seeing our vulnerabilities, the fragility of our resilience. Now as we've moved into the stage of "early onset" climate change impacts, the nations of the world have scurried off to Paris to sign a list of hopeful promises but do they really have the will to follow through? Will they have that necessary will to transform our civilization, our societies in so many required ways in the years and decades to come? Are we willing to re-invent our very way of life? I know of a lot of people who won't hear of it. They're fine with action on climate change so long as it doesn't interfere with them in any way.

    The thing is, LD, there's no meaningful response to climate change that doesn't also address overpopulation and man's over-consumption of resources, our rapacious demands on our environment. Sorry but I don't see it happening - not voluntarily, not peacefully.

  2. Mound, thank you for a comprehensive comment. I agree with you. I am going to post your comment so that others may get some idea that we are walking on a dangerous path of self-destruction.