Global warming might not be so bad after all.
There have been six mass extinctions over the past half billion or so years. Over 99% of species that ever lived are extinct. Each major extinction has transitioned in a new era in terms of growth and evolution. For the most part these mass extinctions did not happen rapidly, but happened over a long period of time relative to human life spans. We are now in a mass extinction period. Polar bears, spotted owls and blue whales are not the only species going extinct. These are among the most popular and visible.
At the same time humans continue to increase in population, use and abuse limited resources, and severely damage the environment. We are losing a significant number of species. Here is a short list of environmental catastrophes.
Pollution in the Pacific Gyre – a plastic debris field in the Pacific Ocean estimated to be twice the size of the state of Texas.
Dead zones in the oceans. According to the UN Environment Programme, there are 146 dead zones in the world oceans where no marine life is supported. The Gulf of Mexico has a dead zone that is approximately 8500 square miles. This dead zone is attributed to agricultural runoff from the Midwest which runs into and down the Mississippi river.
Air and water pollution have increased health problems not only among poor nations, but world wide. The increase in asthma incidence can be attributed particulate air pollution.
The use of man made chemicals such as DDT, PCB, Bisphenol A, to name a few, has taken a huge toll on the health of people, animals and the planet.
These examples are by no means the only examples of environmental catastrophe happening right now. As humans continue to increase in population, continue to live the way we do, the earth cannot sustain itself. The ecosphere we live in cannot be sustained the way we are going.
As man made pollutants add to the increasing global climate change, the earth will change dramatically. Not only will weather change, but entire ecosystems will change. What is now good farm land may become desert. What is now beach front property in Florida will become underwater recreational parks. This change will increase the rate of species die off. It is most likely that we are past the tipping point for global climate change, and the best we may be able to do is contain it and slow it down. We are in a mass extinction period.
Interestingly, mass extinctions are followed by significant evolutionary leaps. As one dominant animal type dies off, another moves in to take its place. During the first mass extinction, a significant amount of invertebrate life died off. It was the last major extinction that gave rise to mammals and birds, and eventually humans.
What will this current mass extinction allow for? Will humans and most large mammals die off? Are humans smart enough to make it through this mass extinction? It will take a long time to happen. Any human alive now, will be long dead by the end of this event. Certainly in tens to hundred thousand years, this planet will be radically different.
Should we be allowed to – do humans deserve to - survive?
Why do humans believe that we are, or should be “at the top of the food chain?” Humans have behaved badly over the past several hundred years. We have so screwed up this planet, between the environmental disasters we have created to the human disasters we have created that the planet is now trying to take it back. This is mega karma in action.