The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Humanity: One Step Closer To Extinction
Everyone who is currently alive at this time will never know what a population below 1 billion people means, as we all have never experienced such an Earth. Many of us were on this Earth around 4 billion or 5 billion people ago. I remember in elementary school, when it was a surprise that the Earth was approaching 6 billion people. This number has long been surpassed and there are now just over 7 billion people existing in the world. In 2050, there will be close to 10 billion people on Earth.
In a previous confession, I wrote about Human Greed: The Downfall of Humanity. If you haven’t read it, it is encouraged that you do so before you start reading this article. This article is a continuation of the The Downfall of Humanity. If we continue on the path we are on now, we are headed for our own destruction.
With a world full of people who are still starving in many countries, where the chances of living a long life are not a reality, we are far from being ideal humans on Earth. Whereas the richer countries are consuming resources that are not even a dream for poorer countries, and massive food production leads to most of it going to waste, we are not only destroying our planet, but we are destroying ourselves.
There are billions of us on this Earth, with diminishing drinkable water, forests, natural resources, and yet we use them as if they will last forever. We are several generations of people who no longer think about the resources we will have in our own future, our children’s future, nor do we even think of our grand or great grand children’s futures. We consume so much and while there are plenty of countries who are trying to make a difference by recycling, using less resources, reusing many resources, there are still too many countries using entirely too much.
If the world continues to consume energy the way it does, with the top consumers being China, United States, Russia, India, Japan, Canada, the entire Earth may be depleted of its resources in just a few decades from now, likely completely depleted within the next century. If all countries were to depend solely on oil, lumber, and other natural resources for their means of energy and heat, instead of using alternative sources, such as solar energy from the sun, or growing alternatives to our native trees, such as hemp, than we are all doomed as a planet.
China and the United States alone have consumed more than enough of its share of the planetary resources and while this might piss off most other countries, very little is being done to curve the energy expenditure. This energy and oil comes with a cost from the companies that provide it, and the top consuming countries are more than willing to pay the dollar amount to continue their energy and oil addiction. Take a look at the Earth at night through satellite:
These are just the visible lights at night, which are not seen throughout the day, however, most buildings are running with their lights on throughout the day. Day after day, month after month, year after year, these lights continue to run and burn the resources from Earth. When do we shut off our light addiction and learn to use candles or other light sources that might conserve the Earth?
We are not the only ones who suffer when we consume natural resources, but in cutting down forests, creating unnecessary buildings, shopping malls or large community centers, expanding to lands beyond our needs, we are forcing animals to find new homes, adapt to new areas, or die out because they have no where to go.
Several species that were once thriving only a decade ago are now facing extinction or have become extinct, and for each species that goes extinct, we are one step closer to extinction ourselves. When we no longer consider the lives of all animals as valuable on this planet; when we no longer view all animals on this planet as sentient beings, just as we are, than we lessen the value of our own lives. Every animal on this planet serves a unique purpose and when the ecosystem is threatened, the balance is thrown off, and we see the Earth trying to re-balance itself in the form of earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, etc.
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Greedy corporations, allowed by our political leaders, who are very much kept monetarily compensated, at the cost of the planet and all of the people living on it, are drilling for oil, minerals, and other resources at an unprecedented level, without allowing the Earth to recover, leads to a planet that will eventually turn hollow or be incapable of giving anymore. Those companies are spilling and dumping into our oceans, our water, cutting down trees, killing a massive amount of animals, wasting and polluting beyond an acceptable level. When we continue to take and take and give nothing back to Mother Earth, our planet, what can we expect other than more natural disasters to happen, global warming to occur, or a planet that seems to be changing at an extremely rapid rate than it ever has over the past millenia.
We are the invaders of planet Earth, the only species on the planet that is a threat to the planet itself. While we look to other planets in the universe in hopes to find that they can support life, we tend to forget that we are living on the best planet in the entire known universe, one that is able to support, and has supported life for over a billion years. It is because our planet is billions of years old and has supported so much life, that it is able to support the existence of humans, and provide us with everything we need, specifically oil and other energy resources.
Individual people themselves are not exempt from the damage they are doing to the planet, from littering, not recycling, hunting for sport instead of food, and not allowing for animals and fish to repopulate, or the planet to heal or not re-planting trees and forests, is also affecting the entire ecosystem. The entire balance of the Earth is off and unfortunately, it is possible that it will hit a critical level of the point of no return.
At this point, there will be famine, starvation, etc., and no amount of money will be able to save the planet, nor will humans be able to save themselves from all the harm they have done. If nothing changes, than we can expect to see a change we all could never imagine: A future for no one, a future that cannot possibly sustain life for billions of humans.
Recently, a drive through the western United States and the desert has shown that it is far more greener and has had more rain than ever before. While this might be a great thing for the desert and those areas to receive so much rain, this also greatly supports the theory that the entire Earth is changing beyond our control, and it is likely our own fault. This may be a great thing for the desert, but what about other areas around the world? Other areas that once received more rain will become more dry, dry areas will become more wet, and the weather that people were once used to where they live is going to change beyond anything they have ever known in their lifetime.
It is up to humanity to face their reality, for greedy corporations and people to finally realize the harm they are doing to the planet, and change things. Every individual human must play their role in saving this planet, from recycling, using less water, conserving energy and resources, wasting less food, eating less food, and helping to feed others if they have too much food. The planet does not need us, but we definitely need our planet. To put it blunt, human beings are a virus to the planet.
This entire planet has the ability to support billions of people, but only if we start understanding that the planet has a limited amount of resources, while the sun has an infinite amount of energy, and learn to utilize that energy. It is predicted that the sun will burn out in about 5 billion years from now. If this worries you, I ask that you don’t worry too much, because that is a very long time from now and all humans will likely be extinct by that time.
Regardless of whether humans cooperate and care for the Earth or not, the planet has been here for billions of years before we existed and it is going to be here for billions of years long after the last humans die on Earth. The Earth is indifferent to the resources it gives, the resources that are used, and the resources that are depleted; the life that it sustains, the natural disasters it produces, and the lives it gives or takes. The Earth is going to continue to do what it does best until our very sun no longer allows for life to exist on Earth, and no longer allows the existence of the very planet itself.
Please share the planet. This is the only planet we have and know that is capable of supporting human life. Be courteous. Stop being greedy. Stop acting like everything is going to last forever because it won’t and it doesn’t. Conserve energy and resources. Make an effort to recycle, especially plastic items. Use less plastic. Invest in a Brita water filter rather than buying water bottles. Buy less stuff. Think about the future generations of people to come, especially the future for your children. Whether you have children or not, this is only your planet from the time you are on it to the moment you die, than you will only use one last resource: your very last resting place, whether you are cremated or buried in the ground, but while you are alive, you do not have the right to destroy the planet. Live as if there were very few resources left for anyone on this planet.
Live simply, so that others may simply live. – Mahatma Gandhi