The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – Humanity becomes infertile due to pollution
Fallen Angels by Larry Niven – Mankind causes an Ice Age
The Other Eden by Ben Elton – Earth’s residents must live under domes
Dust by Charles Pellegrino – Every insect on Earth dies
LOGAN’S RUN – overpopulation forces governments to kill citizens once they reach the age of 30
WATERWORLD – Global warming has caused the land to disappear as oceans rise
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW – A superstorm covers the Earth with snow
2012 - Solar flares cause the temperature of the Earth to increase
There is even a Disney animated film for children called WALL-E about a future Earth that is abandoned by mankind and left in the care of robots. For teens, there is the anime film series COWBOY BEBOP which recounts the man-made disaster that causes the Earth’s moon to break apart. And, for everyone’s enjoyment (?), there is a video game called THE FALL: LAST DAYS OF GAIA, which chronicles the end of humanity.
Does it really have to be this way? Is this our true destiny? Has mankind accepted this scenario as inevitable? If you are reading this and nodding your head “Yes”, then SHAME ON YOU!!! If you want to just lay down and die, then go ahead. Good riddance! But, you are not taking me with you! I’m not going down without a fight!
A Better Philosophy
There is a movement afoot called “Re-wilding” which urges us to return to a more natural state of being. The idea is - that if we could adopt and maintain a sustainable way of life as hunters, gatherers and gardeners - we could unfasten the chains that bind us to a fate no one wants. This “Restoration Ecology “ calls for us to undo our domestication and become the creatures we were originally intended to be. Yes, it’s true, we WERE …Born to be Wild.
Most people think of humanity’s evolution as a straight line of steady progression and increasing complexity. They see Man as the ultimate goal. But, evolution doesn’t really work that way. From any starting point, variation moves in all directions. There is no straight line. Evolution drives diversity.
Think about it -If evolution forced complexity, then (by now) all life on Earth would be multi-celled organisms much more complicated than us! Instead, the most abundant life on Earth consists of one-celled bacteria; and there are many, many different kinds of them. The number of species actually lessens as it becomes more elaborate. There is more plankton than there are whales.
We humans are the product of evolution, just like every other organism on Earth. Nature does not exist to serve us. We are not the objective. We are only part of this world. We are bound to nature as it is bound to us. Did you know that the substance that human blood resembles most closely in terms of chemical composition is salt water?
If we foul our air and water with pollution, cut down our forests, hunt animals to extinction or destroy their habitat, consume more than we produce, then we are ultimately destroying ourselves. We depend upon the Earth to live, but it could very easily get along without us. In fact, Earth would probably be better off if we disappeared entirely!
But, let’s not go just yet!
Different World - Same Idea
Look at some of these links below and think about what you could do to help save species by restoring their habitats, what you could do to support legislation to revive migration corridors, stop soil erosion, participate in re-forestation efforts, undam natural waterways or even little things like re-introducing native plant species in your yard. Join or support a group that promotes restoration ecology. Maybe a person’s time would be as well spent raising food as making money to buy food?
Society for Ecological Restoration
Let’s change the world back to the way it works best. Let’s act as good stewards, guarding our planet from the things that would do it (and us) harm. We must stop the insanity that permits bad decisions to go unchecked.
Another Oil Spill
Like allowing Exxon to run underground oil pipelines through Yellowstone!
When we “rewild”, we give Earth a chance to recover some of its biological diversity. This will insure that there will be more food (because there will be more varieties), more fuel (if we use renewable sources like sun, air, and water), more timber (because we won’t be cutting down the trees). The air and water will be cleaner. Wastes will decompose naturally without man-made toxins. Soil will be fertile and pollinating insects plentiful. Animal habitats will be restored. Balance will be achieved.
“In wilderness, is the preservation of the world.” --- Henry David Thoreau
Library books on this topic:
The Sixth Extinction by Terry Glavin
Rewilding The World by Caroline Fraser
Chesapeake Bay Blues by Howard Ernst