Researchers say Mama Earth is entering a period of mass extinction. According to a scientific study by Berkeley, Princeton, and Stanford universities, the globe could be undergoing a phase that will wipe most of its surface clean of life. Through the analysis of fossil records, researchers have found that vertebrae species are vanishing at a rate 114 times quicker than normal, mimicking the five extinction periods that took place before our time.
Since the turn of the 20th century, earth has said farewell to the passenger pigeon, the Bali tiger, the cry pansy, the golden toad, and hundreds of other populations that were once abundant. If this rate continues, it’s possible that even the almighty human race could soon be on nature’s chopping block.
Unlike the cosmic cluster that killed off the dinosaurs, human activity is said to be at fault for this mass event. Reading through the study, you can almost feel Mother Nature slap a fat “I told you so,” across humanity’s face. However, this news also poses a question: can we, in fact, nurture the earth back to a healthy state, or is earth’s depletion merely a part of its natural evolution?
Carl Sagan, the late astronomer, once said:
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.”
As with any natural cycle, all life on earth must eventually come to an end. The planet has already experienced five events in which nearly all living species were completely destroyed. Surely, another is inevitable.
It’s likely that our answer rests somewhere between nature and nurture. Earth, like every life it fosters, will eventually burn out. Humans’ conservation efforts can influence the process, but so can human ignorance and greed. Mass media is telling us that our species could be at risk of annihilation–no more feeling, no more creation, no more life– yet there’s barely a crack in our daily routines. The reality is that the human race, for the most part, won’t make a change until our bare backs are pressed against that dreaded chopping block. By then, it’ll be too late, but maybe that’s okay.
On that note, I leave you fellow homo sapiens with a word from George Carlin, the ultimate lover of all things human.