Mass Extinction Event
Remember twenty-thirty years ago when they told us to reduce, reuse, and recycle?
It’s not enough.
It’s not nearly enough.
Ali and I saw a film tonight at her Cineculture class called Call of Life in which it is stated that the scientific community is seeing drastic drops in animal populations the world over, and if current trends continue at this rate, we’ll see as much as half of the world’s species GONE within the next half century. What is driving this Mass Extinction Event? Global warming, pollution, overpopulation, the indiscriminate transplantation of species…but the biggie? Mass, rampant consumerism. Growth economy. Corporate Conglomeration. “For every person in the world to reach present U.S. levels of consumption we would need 4 more planet Earths.” (Wilson, p. 23) [from http://www.speciesalliance.org/facts.php]
And we thought An Inconvenient Truth was bad.
George Carlin said it with much more irony, comedy and satire in his bit “Saving the Planet”:
I’m getting tired of that shit. Tired of that shit. Tired! I’m tired of fucking Earth Day! I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists; these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. They don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.
Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. Difference. Difference! The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We’ve been here, what? A hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we’re a threat? That somehow we’re gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun?
The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles; hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors; worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages… And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet… the planet… the planet isn’t going anywhere. WE ARE!
[See Carlin’s full, wonderful rant here: http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/videos/130-george-carlin-saving-the-planet]
The sad part is, we’re not the only ones disappearing. We’re taking hundreds if not thousands of species with us. George said nature extinguishes species naturally, that’s what it does–but humanity has grown to such levels and meddled with nature’s affairs to the point that nature has no choice but to push back! We don’t live in a vacuum, but an ecosystem, and not a delicate one, but not an invulnerable one either, and if we don’t do something NOW to not just stop the consuming of resources, but reversing the process to give back, then we’ll be causing irreparable harm to the environment and species we were entrusted to protect.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. -Genesis 1:28 King James Version
So what can we do? Spread the message. Let scientists know it’s okay to admit the truth. Let politicians know that jobs don’t always trump the environment (and that’s the toughest part of this, for me personally, let me tell you!). Buy locally. Grow your own garden. SHARE. Get out of the house. HIKE. Get back to nature. Because it needs us more than ever. Especially if we want to have the privilege of “dominion” over it for a little longer.
Learn more at http://speciesalliance.org/index.php