By Scott Richards


coliseo_romanoMankind’s unfathomable ability to consume, destroy, endanger and control his entire environment has fascinated and saddened me from childhood. As we unconscionably harvest the Earths resources to the brink of extinction and beyond in our congenital belief of self-entitlement, ignoring the billions of inhabitants of this planet on a scope capable only of humans, we refuse blame, point fingers, ignore facts, throw another shrimp on the barby and decide how to best waste tax money on finding the culprit.

As Rome burns, they have another meeting, schedule another luncheon, create another task force, network personal agendas, swap pork and use more smoke and bigger mirrors as the world and nature disappear around us silently screaming in their lack of lobbyists and congressional status.

The animal called Man began his slow descent from the trees to the savanna and almost immediately into control of the flora, fauna and the future of the entire planet. We didn’t have a meeting or a vote on world domination with the other millions of species for the rights to harvest any and all other rightful, legal inhabitants to extinction. We are only one mammal and nowhere near the majority, so who made us top animal? Money, guns, and lawyers?

We are the only mammal that can, has, and continues to ignore the safety and rights of all living things not designated as pets. In our unconscionable climb to Alpha status, we blindly eradicated many species before the past, present and future world could even know them. Extinction, unfortunately for the rest of nature, is a bad thing. You can’t schedule a meeting for it. You can’t pour million of misdirected funds into a ghost, it’s over, it’s forever and the unknown ramifications of their loss will never be fully appreciated.

We’ve blindly created “missing links” or holes in the natural eco systems as man developed tastes and desires for this animal or that bird, as early man permanently and completely absorbed another whole species forever. In our pre-Darwinian understanding of nature, we have irreversibly altered the entire planet’s original perfect design.

The image that comes to mind to describe this bizarre, uniquely human behavior is a man high up in a tree standing on the limb that he is sawing off. Being a pessimistic realist, I won’t put my money on mankind to succeed much longer. Fairly soon, I think, we will be just another hole to be filled by the next in line for control of the planet’s resources.

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