(See below the long line made up of hyphens for the short article I’m talking about)
We’ve been here for merely 4 hours. Our truly destructive behavior began a minute ago. At this rate, hands up those who think that we can survive for a day?
I’m not worried for the planet though. I’m worried for us. The humans. Are you seriously truthful when you say ‘Save the Earth’? The Earth doesn’t need to be saved. Because it won’t die. Unlike yourself.
Its smart enough to induce a rise in temperature when we release too much methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Its smart enough to link temperature rises with the melting of icebergs and our inability to breathe in the water and heat strokes with the dying of crops. The protective mechanism is inbuilt.
What protective mechanism?
To protect itself against you!
So are you now quite certain about ‘Save the Earth’? Or is it a matter about saving yourself before it drives you away?
Let’s take a look at the cockroach. Its been there since the dinosaurs’ and its definitely alive and jumping right now (as long as you hear the girls scream in toilets and dark corners). Its all about keeping a low profile. Proliferating swiftly is bound to end up in a swift end, like your dot com booms.
We can depict Mother Earth as a lady of 46, if her ‘years’ are in megacenturies. The first seven of those years are wholly lost to the biographer but the deeds of her later childhood are to be seen in old rocks in Greenland and South Africa. Like the human memory, the surface of our planet distorts the record, emphasizing more recent events and letting the rest pass into vagueness— or at least into unimpressive joints in worn down mountain chains.
Most of what we recognize on Earth, including all substantial animal life, is the product of the past six years of the lady’s life. She flowered, literally, in her middle age. Her continents were quite bare of life until she was getting on for 42 (what is she? The advent of working moms? Rofl.) and flowering plants did not appear until she was 45 — just one year ago. At that time, the great reptiles, including the dinosaurs, were her pets and the break-up of the last supercontinent (so is this her man we’re dealing with?) was in progress.
The dinosaurs passed away 8 months ago and the upstart mammals replaced them. In the middle of last week, in Africa, some man-like apes turned into ape-like man (N.Calder ftw, the ultimate wit!) and at the weekend, Mother Earth (so she was ‘Lady Earth’ before that @_@) began shivering with the latest series of ice ages.
Just over four hours elapsed since a new species calling itself Homo sapiens started chasing other animals and in the last hour it has invented agriculture and settled down. A quarter of an hour ago, Moses led his people to safety across a crack in the Earth’s shell and about five minutes later, Jesus was preaching on a hill farther along the fault line. Just one minute ago, out of Mother Earth’s ’46 years’, since man began his industrial revolution, three human lifetimes ago. During that time he has multiplied his numbers and skills prodigiously and ransacked the planet for metal and fuel.
— N. Calder, The Restless Earth (1972)