Humankind Vs. Nature In The Extinction Game

Humankind being locally oriented creatures we tend to notice the surface ripples of life rather than the far more important underlying tides. And being social creatures we often become distracted by soap opera goings on around us, particularly when it comes to politics, rather than focusing on critical but much less dramatic facts of our existence.

Moreover, hope, like almost everything else in life, is a two edged sword that cuts both ways. It helps us plow through near impossible situations, but it also causes us to bury our heads in the sand as to the possibility of mortal dangers that we would rather not contemplate. To further complicate matters we humans love conspiracy theories based on noting more that a wild imagination coupled with a crude manipulation of the facts.

I believe that I’m a realist and not just a kneejerk pessimist, and I believe that dark facts justify that I am, indeed, a realists and not just a diehard pessimist. Now here it is, and it’s not like most of us aren’t somewhat aware of it.

Scientist estimate that over the last 500 million years a half dozen mass extinction events have occurred killing off 50 to more than 90 percent of all species on earth in a geological blink of the eye. To make things even more scary, it is always the more advanced form of life that are the easiest killed off, like when the Dinosaurs were wiped out some 65 million years ago by what is thought to be a giant asteroid strike near the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.

In other words with any naturally caused mass extinction human kind would be at the top of the list to go bye-bye. But for the first time in the 4.5 billion year history of planet earth a living creature — us — have gained the power equal to nature for wiping out advanced life forms.

In the past nature has attacked earth’s life forms not only via large space items colliding with our planet, but also by mega volcano eruptions a thousands times greater or more than Mount St. Helens, severe temperature changes both hot and cold and conditions causing the earth’s oxygen level to drastically fall and likely by other mean as well. But, alas, we can now add mankind’s advanced technology to compete with nature in the realm of future mass extinctions, also, in the blink of an eye.

For a time it seemed like a colossal nuclear exchange was going to beat nature to the punch in finishing us off, and, indeed, the possibility was narrowly avoided during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and then again later on when numerous instances of false signals of attack brought the world within minutes, if not seconds, of letting fly the means of humanity’s final demise.

But in addition to nature’s and man’s nuclear threats to humankind, a mass extinction system is already underway, manmade climate change, you know that thing that Mr. I know everything but yet manage somehow to screw up everybody and everything, Donald Trump, calls a hoax.

Yes, folk after first running though 413 billion dollars of his father’s fortune, many American bank loans and finally rescued via Russian mafia money in exchange for providing money laundering services to cover his colossal business failures, the Donald has decided to add messing up all attempts to combat disastrous climate change. To be fare to our fake president, by the time he stumbled into the White House, the manmade forces of climate change were already a runaway train. But the fact remains that by his moronic actions (think pulling out of the Paris climate agreement as just one killer), Trump has guaranteed this doomsday scenario, if nature or the nukes don’t get their first.

In regard to climate change, that man of marvelous insight, Umair Haque, has a fascinating piece about how capitalism devolving into fascism is driving climate change — How Capitalism Torched the Planet and Left it a Smoking Fascist Greenhouse. This article is way beyond the Donald’s comprehension, but surely not beyond yours my well read friends.

Here is a brief sample of his article: “…Maybe progress was going in the right direction, generally. After all, slowly, the world was making headway, towards less carbon emissions, towards a little more cooperation, here and there.

And then — Bang! America was the first nation to fall to the neo ascist wave. Instead of a President who might have taken the country into a decarbonized future, Americans — the idiots they are — elected the king of the idiots (please don’t give me an apologia for the electoral college.) This king of the idiots did what such lords of folly do: he lionized, of all things…coal. He questioned whether climate change was…real. He packed the government with lobbyists and cronies who were quite happy to see the world burn, [even] if it meant a penthouse overlooking a drowned Central Park. Do you see the point? The idea of a decarbonizing future was suddenly turned on its head. It had been a possibility yesterday — but now, it was becoming an impossibility.”Trump

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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