Feb 032007

Global climate change is “very likely” to have a human cause


Gee………..Y’think? It’s not only a question of climate change.

What Homo Sapiens Sapiens (HSS) has done to its home planet, the only place in this Universe it has to live, is nothing short of stupidity, yet we keep right on doing it. David Attenborough defines the solution admirably:

“The only way to save a rhinoceros is to save the environment in which it lives because there’s a mutual dependency between it and millions of other species of both animals and plants. And it is that range of biodiversity that we must care for – the whole thing – rather than just one or two stars.”

“It’s not just that we are dependent on the natural world for our food and for the very air we breathe – which is, of course, the case – and that the very richness of the natural world continues to provide us with all kinds of assistance. But it’s a moral question about whether we have the right to exterminate species and leave a world that is more impoverished than the one we inherited – simply because of our carelessness and greed – to our grandchildren. People must feel that the natural world is important and valuable and beautiful and wonderful and an amazement and a pleasure.”

Climate change is a mere symptom of the impact our short-lived species has had on the planet in the brief time we’ve existed. 130,000 years barely deserves recognition compared to this planets previous rulers – the reptiles – which held sway for 65 million years. Yet in that brief period, we’ve managed to make more species vanish from the face of the planet, destroyed more environments, created more problems ecologically for ourselves as well as other inhabitants than any other species which has ever existed. HSS is supposedly a smart species because we make and use tools. We communicate in a myriad of ways. We use symbology. But are we a wise species? On any scale of intelligence when comparing all forms of life on this world, HSS comes out on top in every example. But being intelligent doesn’t automatically imply wisdom. This article from the journal of the International Society for Philosophical Enquiry points out that while HSS might be intelligent, it doesn’t rate very highly in the wisdom stakes. An opinion borne out by the black_and_white evidence being presented almost daily by science of the destruction of our homeworld. And what do we do about it?

Bannerman has always been of the opinion that HSS is an experiment. A randomly created experiment, but one which the Cosmos in its diversity has permitted to come into existence. It’s purpose is undefined and it may yet fail by its own hand, so to speak, before the experiment reaches any logical conclusion. The signs of that failure are clearly evident. We’re aggressive, territorial, ignorant of our own failings yet arrogantly proud of our so-called intellectual level in comparison to other life forms on the planet. We rape and pillage our homeworld of its resources thinking only of the immediate future, our own comfort and convenience.

Perhaps the logical conclusion will be our species failure? Perhaps, as the ISPE essay points out, we won’t have failed IF we lay the ground work for the next possessor of this world, enabling it to build upon the stumbling efforts of this cosmic experiment?

As Attenborough has stated many times in his fifty-odd years of presenting the wonder of the natural world, preservation of our planet in a fit state for sustained human habitation, in concert with the remaining life forms, will take courage and willpower. The big question is……do we have those attributes?

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