We Humans Have Become Just Another Failed Experiment

There are lots of
failed experiments in the history of our planet, so don’t shed too large a
crocodile tear. Evolution is made up of the failed and the successful. Most of
the oldest species still remaining on earth are ocean creatures, but the ones
we would recognize are whitetail deer (3.5 million years), zebras (4 million
years), red pandas (5 million), sandhill cranes (10 million), hedgehogs (15
million) and—drumroll—the Virginia
opossum (an almost unbelievable 70 million).
They may not be around much
longer, because since 1972 man-made environmental change has knocked off 60% of
the animal species on earth.
By comparison, the modern
human has been roaming around for about 200,00 years—a mere eyewink in hedgehog
To make the point, the deer, zebras, pandas, cranes,
hedgehogs and possums were fine-tuning their survival skills, while we humans
kept on workin’ on larger and larger brains. Writer Kurt Vonnegut made the
observation that our big brains were killing us and he wasn’t far from right.

With too much time on our
hands after we developed farming and an industrial world, we got up to mischief
and therein lies the rub. We learned about education and asphalt, medicine and
high-rise buildings, science and Wal-Mart. Smart dudes that we were, we traded
whale-oil for petroleum and the horse and carriage for the internal combustion

Somehow or another, we convinced ourselves that the natural
world belonged to us, rather than the other way around. That very human deceit
was the open doorway to another ‘big-brain’ stumble—that by ‘looking the other
way’ all dangers would diminish over time. We ruled the planet, something
hedgehogs never contemplated in their 15 million years of hedge hoggishness.
None of the animals I’ve named had the big, well-developed
brains to understand what they were
doing. Zebras were busy being zebras and worrying about lions and tigers. 
We were different. We understood, but ignored the coming
environmental tsunami. Global climate change is no surprise. Scientists have been warning us about it for a hundred
years. Population growth didn’t catch us asleep-at-the-switch, we knew it was coming and we knew it was unsustainable.
Our false pride found us with
our pants around our ankles and now it’s
too late
. Rather than recognizing that, the conversation is about Mexican
migrants, job loss, income equality and who will win the mid-term elections.
It doesn’t matter, folks. The
game is over.
It didn’t have to
be too late. Sustainable energy has been with us for forty years, but oil was
just so profitable. An all-electric,
no-cost-at-the-source energy bonanza was within
our grasp
, but we willingly fumbled the ball. The Paris Accords are a joke,
questioning the scientific evidence is a crime, delay is impossible and the
governmental dithering worldwide amounts to a treason against humanity.
So, sit back and relax. Netflix is releasing 57 new
original shows and movies this month. There
is no tomorrow and whining about the future is a fool’s errand
If you want a little relief from all the angst, take a
moment to catch George Carlin on his take on the planet.
George is gone from us now, but this 11-yr-old video is right on the money.

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