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Is mankind in jeopardy of extinction?




MARK PAVILONS

As we tiny human beings scurry to clean up the mess we've made, we need to look at the bigger picture.
We've known, for decades, that our use of fossil fuels, pollution, waste, litter and over-fishing has taxed our poor, little globe. It's all we have and yet we haven't treated it very well since the industrial revolution.
While our billion-dollar telescopes are pointing outward, we still need to focus inward. Helping one another is always paramount, but cleaning up our act is vital, too.
The “Doomsday Clock,” created in 1947 to illustrate global nuclear weapons threats, is now poised at 90 seconds before midnight. At the stroke of 12, kaboom!
In the Book of Revelation, Armageddon is described as a gathering of armies for a battle during the “end times.” Most interpret this Bible prophecy to be symbolic of the progression of the world toward the day in which God pours out his just and holy wrath against unrepentant sinners, led by Satan, in a literal end-of-the-world final confrontation!
Wow. Here and now, the outlook is also bleak. A paper published by an Australian think tank says if nothing is done to combat climate change, we'll all perish by 2050.
Steve Luby, an epidemiologist and the director of research for Stanford's Center for Innovation in Global Health, ponders whether we can avert imminent extinction.
Luby says we can, but along the way and without intervention, the future looks pretty grim. By 2100 – a short 77 years in the future – he sees three potential outcomes: human extinction, the collapse of civilization with limited survival, or a thriving human society. The first two outcomes could be the result of population growth coupled with the increasing destruction of our planet.
Demographers have estimated the total number of people who ever lived at about 100 billion. Currently, roughly 130 million people are born each year and at that rate, it would take perhaps 760 years for another 100 billion more people to be born. That's the basis of the claim that there's a 50 per cent chance that humans will become extinct within 760 years.
Not sure why this figure is the ultimate tipping point, but there you have it. Maybe it's some sort of a “reset” number, like Y2K was supposed to be.
Paleontologist Henry Gee says the most insidious threat to humankind is something called “extinction debt.” This refers to habitat loss – running out of space. Since we occupy the entire planet, we're most at risk.
In a discussion among 17 experts and scientists from several nations, the consensus was that our planet is in a much worse state than we think.
“The scale of the threats to the biosphere and all its life forms – including humanity – is in fact so great that it is difficult to grasp for even well-informed experts,” they wrote in a report in Frontiers in Conservation Science, which references more than 150 studies detailing the world's major environmental challenges.
NASA has also tossed in its two cents' worth on the “Last Day Of Life On Earth.” The existence of planet earth is the sole reason humans have thrived since the beginning of time. Scientists predict that our planet is dying and we don't have a lot of time left.
NASA claims that humans are at a very real risk of extinction. Scientists fear that if they cannot locate somewhere else in the solar system that can survive human life, we are in serious trouble.
Experts claim that the end of life as we know it will be caused by solar radiation. The sun's damage to our ecosystem is the most threatening environmental issue. Computer simulations give scientists mathematical predictions on the state of the earth's health, and they claim that it's not looking good.
They forgot to mention alien invasion, getting hit by an asteroid, and overdosing on stupidity.
Pretty bleak, but what do they know?
The answer, my friends, may indeed be blowing in the wind to speak.
If you glance through the pages of humankind's history book, you will find many thriving, advanced civilizations who perished, or mysteriously disappeared. Some were brought down by disease and natural disasters, others, well, who knows.
One only has to look at the mighty Greek, Egyptian and Roman Empires to be awed by the societies, structures, temples and places of worship our ancestors created.
Archaeologists are continuing to unearth evidence of advanced societies tens of thousands of years old, with the ability to carve massive stone buildings and monuments. Many were expert astronomers before telescopes or any real knowledge of the universe existed. Some built structures so big, and so perfect, that we cannot replicate their techniques to this day.
We are still mystified by the great pyramids, the Great Sphinx, Stonehenge, Gobekli Tepe, Ggantija, Teotihuacan, Derinkuyu and one of my favourites, Machu Picchu.
Are we due for another great “reset” – leaving the modern mysteries of Kingdom Tower, Burj Khalifa, The Shard, Sydney Opera House, Taj Mahal and even our own CN Tower or Mississauga's Absolute World highrises – behind for the future generations to ponder?
As we have seen with many recent natural disasters – floods, forest fires, earthquakes – we are at the mercy of our planet. Maybe it's the earth's way of saying “enough is enough.”
Just like our own short lifespan, our world's existence is but a flicker in the massive expanse of the universe. Our world's entire history, our human impact, could come and go, with hardly a footnote in the Great Big Book of Everything.
Before that happens, though, maybe we should do what we can to shore up the storm shutters, rebuild, replant, restore and reassure.
Hope, along with concrete action, and a lot of luck, could give us the future we deserve.

 

 

Excerpt: As we tiny human beings scurry to clean up the mess we’ve made, we need to look at the bigger picture. We’ve known, for decades, that our use of fossil fuels, pollution, waste, litter and over-fishing has taxed our poor, little globe. It’s all we have and yet we haven’t treated it very well since the industrial revolution.


Post date: 2023-08-02 11:03:08
Post date GMT: 2023-08-02 15:03:08
Post modified date: 2023-08-02 11:03:10
Post modified date GMT: 2023-08-02 15:03:10

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