Mankind: Waster of Worlds
Earth, about 4.5 billion years old, has had no life on it for about 65% of its existence.
Approximately two billion to 1.6 billion years ago, simple life forms arose: bacteria, prokaryotes (unicells), and eukaryotes. The last form of life is multicellular, and is the domain in which all animals — including humans — live. Despite what purports to be its evolution over the last several million years, Mankind has a sad and disturbing history of being principally driven by the workings of the basal ganglia, the so-called “Reptilian Brain,” leading to territoriality, aggression, “Us versus Them” attitudes, religious hatred, racism and all other forms of bigotry, intolerance, wars, and many other forms of destructive behavior.
Our age, increasingly referred to as the Anthropocene, roughly synonymous with the term Holocene, began with the agricultural revolution about 11,650 years ago, most likely in what is now Turkey, as well as in the Levant, parts of Pakistan and India, China, and throughout the Americas. Man’s overhunting behavior almost certainly caused the extinction of megafauna — camels, wooly rhinoceroses, mammoths, mastodons, megatheria, and many others — and this led to substantial changes in the environments in which these animals once thrived. Most of those changes were negative, and caused other species to become extinct as well.
The application of brute force by Mankind has been its universal characteristic throughout virtually all of human history, with little to no restraint by the neocortex, the most recent part of the brain which masters planning, organization, forethought, and the understanding of cause and effect.
The Fundamental Natural Law
Indigenous peoples throughout the world have long understood a fundamental Natural Law: balance. We mustn’t kill more than we consume. We must recognize that we are not the owners of land; wee are merely its stewards. We must preserve and protect Mother Nature, or she will not preserve and protect us.
Militaristic cultures from the times of Sumer, Akkadia, Chaldea, as well as those in Turkey, Persia, Central Asia, China, India, Europe, and the Americas have dominated indigenous peoples through force, in order to exact power and extract profit. Over the millennia, the militarists have combined forces with the priesthood, then the nobility, then the capitalists, all of them ignoring the profound truth of the Natural Law of Balance.
Entire civilizations have been built on the savagery of the ruling class against the less-powerful: slavery, serfdom, and now the working class feed the powerful, with virtually nothing left for themselves. This monstrous inequality has persisted so long that it gave rise to the phrase: “The poor ye shall always have with you.”
If our inhumanity was confined to human beings, it would be grossly immoral. But our inhumanity disregards and disrespects all life: and that makes it suicidal.
What we have been doing since the time of the Industrial Revolution is nothing less than perpetrating the rape of Mother Earth: ripping apart mountains, boring into mines deep underground, burning down jungles, poisoning the air, waters and soils on which our lives depend, killing off entire species.
The sad truth is that with a domineering, unbalanced mentality, we forget (or ignore) the need for balance in all things, and we forget (or never knew) how interrelated species must live together in harmony in order to maintain healthy ecological systems. When species are threatened with extinction, their weakness negatively impacts the other species in the environment, setting into motion a chain reaction that wreaks havoc on the many groups of life found on Earth.
The Gaia Principle
There are those who believe in the so-called Gaia Hypothesis, the notion that our globe consists of millions of life forms, all living in mutually dependent systems, dependent on the health of our air, soils, and water, and as our natural resources continue to deteriorate the life forms, too, are undergoing extinctions.
The proponents of the Gaia Hypothesis believe that Mankind is currently facing the elimination of our species as part of what scientists call the 6th Massive Extinction, all because of our selfishness and unwillingness to adhere to the Natural Law of Balance. Fecit homine exstinctum (human-caused extinction) is what they are perpetrating. The believers in Gaia as an integrated system of microbes, aquatic, terrestrial and avian life support the notion of “deep ecology,” the idea that Earth will generate changes in all life systems that will support life in the long run, without partiality towards one species or another.
Our brutal treatment of living creatures has already led to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of species already extinct or approaching extinction.
Mankind — recklessly indifferent to the consequences of its actions — continues to destroy interdependent systems, committing waste in many different worlds: jungles are disappearing; oceans are being increasingly carbonized; temperatures are rising; wildfires are spreading; and storms are more frequent and becoming monstrously sized. The worlds of birds, land animals (mammals, reptiles, and insects), and water (fish and amphibians) are under increasing threat, through a combination of greed and ignorance.
The SARS, MERS, and now COVID-19 pandemics have spread around the world. The coronavirus is worse than the previous sicknesses and more pandemics are expected to increase in frequency and severity with each passing year.
The Covidiot Contingent
America has always had its share of cantankerous social misfits, the ones who did not join the Revolution, who distrusted central authority, who wanted to “stick to their own.” Today, these selfish fools, the so-called “Covidiots,” have violated a fundamental principle of social existence: “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” (Spock, The Wrath of Khan). Instead, with America’s intransigent insistence on “freedom” (without corresponding responsibility), the Covidiots are dooming millions of their fellows to an early death, leading to the destruction of families, neighborhoods, communities, even nations, and they don’t seem to care.
Those who walk around without masks, fail to practice personal hygiene, fail to socially distance themselves, and insist on participating in so-called “super-spreader” events, are all threatening human life on this planet. They are doing what they are doing because of their blind indifference to the consequences of their actions. If they want to commit suicide, let them. But don’t allow them to commit mass murder in the process.
Unfortunately, it is the decline in any sense of individual responsibility to the group that is leading these adamantine Covidiots to threaten America’s existence. And it is their corporate overlords’ even greater obduracy in pursuing profit over people that is threatening the world in which we live.
But it is not just profits over people that is the source of harm. It is the blithe ignorance of the impact of human avarice on the interdependent worlds which made Earth “a tiny blue-green marble in the dark velvet of Space” that is now responsible for the 6th Mass Extinction, threatening us and virtually all other living things with a global demise that may never see sentient life arise on our planet again.
To those who fondly cherish the notion of terraforming Mars, or living in the clouds of Venus, or building domed cities on the oceans of Titan, I say “Good luck. But if we haven’t cured our innate reliance on the ‘Reptilian Brain’ as a motivating factor in what drives us to do what we do, then God help us in the far more inhospitable extraterrestrial worlds on which you think we belong.”