Goodbye to Wildlife and Soon Thereafter to Humans
This is not something anyone will want to hear. I may get blasted for this post more than any other I have made. But the conversation has to begin. We cannot avoid it just because it makes us feel bad.
To the Millennials of the world, it is my very sincere belief that if you have not already had children, you should consider not having any. And certainly, any children still below child-rearing age should think very seriously about avoiding child birth. I make this suggestion because I don’t think you will want your children, or their children, to face life in the world we, as in ourselves, as in human beings, are about to leave them.
A new report from the World Wildlife Fund via CNN tells the story better than I could. By 2020, they tell us, two-thirds of the planet’s wildlife will be gone. This should not come as a surprise. If it does, then you just have not been paying attention. The full import of this is that human beings are in the process of destroying all other forms of life on the earth, except perhaps bacteria, viruses and amoeba. Instead of turning back or even stalling the process, we have accelerated it with every generation and continue to do so. And that means that we will drive ourselves to extinction within the foreseeable future.
The assault on the environment also continues We undermine and poison our land and our rivers and our air with massive amounts of pollution. (Thanks to Republicans and sheer greed, the United States sponsors the attack and contributes to it massively.) Scientists tell us that the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is now at levels not seen since dinosaurs roamed the earth. In our own nation, profit motive and greed prohibits any meaningful movement toward restoring or even delaying the denigration of the environment and the assault on other species. It’s the same in other countries to only slightly lesser degrees.
The world’s nations, led by the United States and Russia, continue to expand ever deadlier nuclear arsenals and force all life on the planet to teeter daily on the very edge of a radioactive apocalypse that would not only kill all of us (take your choice, quickly from the blasts or slowly from radiation poisoning).
Animal murderers all over the world, from poachers in African nations to so-called “sport” hunters in America, continue to kill wildlife for fun and profit. I use the word murderer because there is no other name for people who enjoy killing animals because they would go to jail for killing humans.
Our Government, and virtually all others, allows the killing and polluting and assault on the planet, and ultimately ourselves, to continue unabated, because they are owned by the profiteers, the richest and greediest among them. The largest, most organized civic groups capable of raising their voices with sufficient strength to possibly make a difference, the religions, stay quiet. Christians in America who believe their religion is so special, stay quiet. They say things like, “Well it’s God’s will,” a convenient way of blaming the Almighty for their own catastrophic lack of responsible behavior.
Worst of all, by far, today’s adults, like the adults of all previous generations, make big, grand, and empty talk of preserving the world, from the water and the skies to the wildlife with which we share it. We pronounce that we must save it for our children and their children. We declare it with our mouth, and prove we don’t mean it with our actions.
In short, homo sapiens, which I have for a long time referred to as an extinction level event on a worldwide scale, are destroying virtually all other life forms, and will invariably pronounce extinction upon itself in the process. You don’t want to hear it. It may ruin your day. You’d rather have your fun and your comfort, your license to kill and pollute, today, and those children you speak of so grandly and sanctimoniously can damn well worry about themselves.
I believe the latter half of the 21st century will further speed this process because the human species is incapable of behaving in any other way than it does. We are speeding the destruction of the world’s life forms as never before. I think we will be seeing the beginning of the final agonizing slide of our end during the last half of this century. Any children produced between now and then, your children, my children, and certainly their children, will know little but suffering. So much for preserving the world for them, eh?
Mankind was placed here on a marvelous world full of teeming, magnificent life. A world of incredible beauty and variety. A world capable of supporting almost infinite life. I believe we were to be, could have been, caretakers and benefactors of all that is here. Christians like to brag that God gave mankind dominion over this wonderland. And we take that word, ‘dominion,’ to mean license instead of responsibility, freedom to abuse and destroy rather than responsibility to nurture. We keep insisting, so many of us, that we have the only such amazing world as this in the universe, even as we continue to do everything we can to destroy it. Yay, us. We have done nothing but abuse this world and eliminate its other life forms, not to mention our fellow man, since our first breath of life as a species. We do it for profit, and for fun. Even as we see clear and undeniable evidence that we are destroying all that is around us, everything including the very things we need to live ourselves, we continue to do it. Our motto, the real one, not the good sound bite version, is ‘live for today and the hell with tomorrow.’ So much for our children and their children. We claim intelligence. We prove daily that we are the most ignorant and selfish and unintelligent and detestable life form on the planet.
Take a very hard look without your rose colored glasses. The writing on the wall is telling us we will have reached the endgame by the end of this century. At the rate we are going, we humans, our motto by the time the next century arrives will have changed to “try to get through today for tomorrow will be worse.’
I’m not spouting biblical predictions. I’m talking about scientific reality that scientists have warned us about for decades. God, whichever one you believe in, is not coming for us, and will not bother to save us. We have earned the finality we are bringing upon ourselves. We have no one to blame but ourselves. We are the villains. Pray to God if you want. I think you’ll get an answering machine message. We like to boast that we were made in God’s own image. If you were God, would you bother to answer a phone call from people like us in the twenty-first century?
And so I’m suggesting you do not pass on the terminal stages of our existence to children, for them to live and suffer through the death throes of the species. I would not choose to subject the children of the future to the world that will be theirs as our species spirals into oblivion.
Oh, I know the adage, the one that says hope springs eternal, hope for some miraculous redeeming actions or discoveries. But that can only happen if our species, as an entirety, can suddenly, and I mean within the next decade, become something that we have never been, and that is a responsible and conscientious people.
And you say, oh, but what can I do? The answer is to revolt. I don’t mean grab your gun. I mean revolt with your presence. The only thing that has a chance of saving our species for our children and grandchildren is a chorus of raised voices. A gathering, growing, staggering collection of voices, a coming together of people and religions joining the activist voices that are already out there. I’m talking about the raising of a chorus of voices to stand against the destruction of wildlife and the environment for fun and profit, a wall of voices with the will of all the people behind it, saying ENOUGH!
ENOUGH willful killing. ENOUGH willful assault on the air and the oceans and the rivers. ENOUGH with fuels and conveniences and entertainments and easy comforts at the expense of the very air and water that sustains us. ENOUGH destruction.
We can accomplish amazing things, we homo sapiens, when we really want to. We are capable of discoveries, and some have been made recently, that go a long way to treating, if not fully curing, the environment. We are capable of technologies that can clean our waters, our air. We have it within us. But it can only happen under one condition. We have to really want to, for our children and their children. We have face the fact that if we don’t follow through, the future is bleak, for our children and their children. We have to accept, to truly UNDERSTAND, that this is the most important thing in our lives more important than our next gas guzzling car or land destroying all terrain vehicle or ocean cruise oil pipeline, if this wondrous Earth is to remain one that will nurture humans, and other species, in the future, for our children and their children. We have to get it through our thick, selfish, grasshopper heads that ‘dominion’ is a responsibility, not a license.
And if we can’t….or won’t….do that, then we have to quit pretending that we give a damn about the future of our children, and their children, and just not have any, because the earth of the near future won’t be a fit place for them.