Since humans sat around their coastal fires and gazed into the heavens, they have wondered and dreamed many things. As human civilization expanded across this planet traversing the cosmos, human skill and knowledge increased, especially since the 1940s.
With the release of the atomic bomb, many feared that civilization could be wiped off the face of the earth with a push of a button either purposely or accidently. Fears grip many people.
Human life is finite. Medical advances have saved countless lives which would have perished in the “old days”. Advancements in care are prolonging the life span. Centenarians are ceasing to be a rarity.
At the same time planetary resources of food and fresh water are facing a scarcity never seen before on this planet. Industrialization, especially the decimation of the forests and rain forests for agrarian pursuits, is an apocalypse of impending doom.
Greenhouse gases are the byproducts of an advancing civilization. Fossil fuels will eventually be exhausted from their tropical storehouses.
Humans stand at a crossroads in 2013. The historians of the past note that our progenitors, those hominids of ages past, lived, died and vanished from the earth.
Our time on planet earth is just as transitory as it was for those who went before us. However, our generation has had the most direct impact on our biosphere, our ecosystem, which is as fragile as gossamer wings.
Recently, Doctor Louise Leakey wrote a post and gave a presentation on—Is The Human Race In Danger Of Becoming Extinct Soon?
“The last 50 years has shown an enormous increase in human population, but also extraordinary leaps in technological innovation. The question that needs to be asked is if we can rise to the opportunity, to use our technology to better understand our impact, to stem the tide of extinction on land and in the oceans, to preserve what we have left, and to discover and understand more about our past. What the fossil record does do is to force us to contemplate our place on the planet. We are but one species of several hominids that inhabited planet earth and like our distant cousins who went extinct fairly recently, our time on planet earth is also finite. It won’t take much to tip the balance against us.”
Many believe the balance has been tipped against us. The next two generations will face a very hostile environment as climatic changes spread across the globe. We who will fade from existence in the years to come, not even a drop on the cosmic scale of time, will leave our legacy for those brave men and women to face.
The legacy of consumerism and wasted opportunities will be like the sands of the Atacama Desert, the barren, sterile and driest place on this planet. Life is a constant survival from day to day for nourishment.
I will close with this poem which sees beyond today to a tomorrow. The title is Gossamer Wings:
I had a dream, that I could fly,
On gossamer wings, in the clear blue skies.
Floating above the Earth below,
Going where the air currents chose to go.
I dreamt I soared above the sea,
Just by myself, there was only me.
Watching the sun rise over the brine,
Not one other soul could I find.
I soared over deserts and mountains high,
On my gossamer wings, in the clear blue sky.
And I was alone and feeling free,
But so much loneliness was a part of me.
The last creature on Earth, flying high,
Searching for life, and I started to cry.
What use to me were gossamer wings,
If all over the world, there were no living things.
Juan Olivarez, http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/gossamer-wings-2/
G. D. Williams © 2013
Is The Human Race In Danger Of Becoming Extinct Soon? Doctor Louise Leakey
We are undoubtedly the cause of the sixth mass extinction event that the planet has seen in its history.