Is A Mass Extinction Of Humans A Possibility?

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Pablo Edronkin

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Nature is seldom politically correct and everything indicates that this time it will not be particularly polite with those meddling with her, and that is nobody else but us.

All the discussion about global warming, the ozone layer, and climate change seems very abstract for most people. But the processes implicit in those paradigm shifts are already in motion and one of the most visible consequences that we will have to endure is the displacement of large numbers of people that will no longer be able to live in certain regions.

Lowlands like the Irrawadi delta have already become lethal for tens of thousands of people just due to natural causes likely to be related to climate change, and other regions threaten to become authentic natural weapons of mass destruction of the sort that will make any mad general blush with envy due to their killing efficiency.

What we have seen in Myanmar or in the south of the United States in recent years are just like "demos" - to put it in a modern parlance - of what nature has to offer in terms of wholesale destruction and what awaits us if we continue stubbornly thorough this trail of apparent progress. And one of the first and most visible manifestations of that will be the displacement of authentic climate refugees.

However, since land is not as available as in past centuries and the numbers of displaced people could potentially become very significant, it is likely that such moves will generate inconveniences ranging from the increase of prices in the real estate market to plain and simple territorial and ethnic wars.

And this leads us to a single and simple conclusion devoid of any political undertones: If such things happen many of us now on top of this planet's surface will become redundant for nature in the same way as workers become redundant for companies and corporations undergoing major cutbacks. For nature this means reducing the number of individuals of one species - us, humans in this case - and in extreme situations, wholesale extinction.

Is this the course set for us? Is this what we want? Indeed, aside from some suicidal or apocalyptic minds, that is not the case; we want to live and prosper but if government leaders around the world don't stop looking just at their own bellies and seeing the whole world as a financial market, the future looks bleak. If they continue to take advantage of each situation to increase control over travellers, or to - allegedly - fight money laundering and so many other abstract issues that only have consequences in the way in which authorities collect taxes, we will soon be confronting a very complicated situation.

This course has been set a couple of centuries ago with the leadership of some countries that indeed produced much progress for the whole world but now it seems that their leadership has become a problem because it is that leadership and the inability to change course what is causing so many climatic problems: The United States is one of such countries, providing the world with a myriad of advances but at the same time causing a disproportionate amount of contaminating factors in relation to what it represents as a percentage of the total human population.

That leadership is for now a fact of life; the question is, considering that causes of problems are hardly at the same time their own solutions, whether that leadership is still healthy for the planet and humankind.


The climate changes and so does the weather.





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