REQUIEM FOR PLANET EARTH
Story by by Jim Maxey
Her future will include hotter temperatures, wildfires, floods, pandemics, and world-wide pollution. That's the new reality. Pandemics and much warmer weather is our future. There's no getting around this inevitable fact. All we can do is hope that a huge comet avoids crashing into the earth destroying all humankind and most of the life on planet earth as what happened 65 million years ago during one of the five mass extinctions. The first extinction wiped out most life on earth 250 million years ago. That extinction was caused by massive world-wide volcanic eruptions and other factors. Humans did not cause that problem. We did not exist then.
But in retrospect, those five extinctions were good for humans because of the massive changes to the remaining life, humans were eventually able to take a foothold and survive to present day. But a similar extinction now can only be beneficial for a life form that will replace humans.
There was one chance out of 10 trillion that human life, intelligent life if you will, evolved on planet earth. And now we are effectively nullifying that opportunity for intelligent life with a prosperous future for humankind.
Only our highly evolved brains can possibly find a way to adapt to a certain dismal future. We flew to the moon; we invented radio, television, transistors, electricity, movies, the Internet. But we can't seem to stop polluting with fluorocarbons, billions of tons of plastic in our oceans, and millions of man-made particles orbiting the earth. Freshwater is disappearing. Cities are filled with waste and garbage. All life on earth relies on the supply of oxygen being created by plants. The plants convert harmful carbon dioxide into needed oxygen. But our forests are being cut down at a disastrous rate, and there also goes our fresh oxygen supply!
A group of aliens passing by earth at a great distance could easily monitor our television and internet feeds - see in horror what we're doing to our lovely earth. And they would only shake their heads in shame for us – and surely tell their home base to stay far away from these ignorant and self-destructive beings on planet earth.
The future is dark, gloomy, uncertain. We have no choice now but to adapt into a world less happy, less clean, filled with pollution, starvation, continued ignorance and stupidity. And that's the problem. It might be much worse than even this scenario.
My daughter Julia will inherit that future and so will her children. It's a fact of life. We can't get away from it. Even if all countries on this planet got together to use 100% of their energy into stopping climate change, global warming - it's too late. We've gone over the edge. There is no way back. That is absolute. And it is devastating. Too many ignorant people deny it. And that is also the biggest problem.
A great sadness comes over me as I write because of our wonderful blue-green earth we are so carelessly destroying its atmosphere, water, and soil. But it's just the beginning. Those who refuse to accept that humans are responsible for this devastation are just dreaming. They lack education or the will to investigate and see for themselves. Most of them just live for the moment not caring about the future or even the past. Those are the people who are responsible for our current problem. Some of them are elected heads of government. Actually, many of them.
It is so incredibly sad that humanity, civilization if you will, has come to this point only to destroy modern civilization, even technology, having to adapt to extreme temperatures where rising waters will flood and destroy most of the coastal cities. Food supply will dwindle and famine and starvation will be the normal way of life. And no doubt this will cause wars and other human engineered disasters.
It took billions of years for life to form on earth. And humankind evolved from a near impossibility. But we did it. Or rather evolution did it. Here we are. Humans are wonderful in many respects. But there will be no Utopia, never a world government that means anything. The United Nations is basically worthless as a government.
We need a complete total world government where rules of ecology, fighting pollution, and striving for world peace needs to be enacted and enforced. But that's not going to happen. Nationalism is the norm. People believe that just because you are born in a particular country that it is the best. And that is nonsense. I am first and foremost a human of planet earth. I was just born in America, Portland, Oregon. I love what America stood for, the way it was, helping and welcoming the people of the world.
I used to lecture on the subject of ecology and global warming in front of hundreds and sometimes even thousands of people. But eventually I gave up because I saw that I had no real effect. I'm just one little man surrounded by giants. And even they can have no real or meaningful effect on climate change. There is nothing I can do and there is nothing anyone anywhere can do to have a reversal effect. It's too late and I will not pretend any longer. All we can do is adapt for the dark future. In that there is still some hope. There is always hope, there's always tomorrow.
Humans can still reach for the stars in an attempt to find a new place to live. But at our current rocket speed in space, it would take 70,000 years to get to the nearest star system, 4.2 light years away. Getting to a new world will never happen unless we have a world government, working together to build starships where humans can last for generations in suspended animation as they travel to a new home on a planet orbiting a distant star, a sun. Most people don't even know that a star is just a sun but far away. And with such ignorance, they will probably destroy that new home also unless we learn from our history. They would be on their journey to hundreds of trillions of miles from earth.
Will the earth survive without humans? Of course. It's the surface that's damaged, not the planet itself. Earth will last for another 4 or 5 billion years before the sun consumes its surface as it ages and turns into a red giant.
Our lives are but a moment in the eons of time; we have up to 100 years or so of life. Our life is like a spark from a campfire that glows brightly for a brief moment, then our glow of energy dies before it hits the ground.
In the last 25,000 years of civilization, there have been about 100 billion people who have lived and died. And 99.999999% are totally and completely unknown. There are no gravestones to mark their existence. No records in books, no one to remember that they even existed. They lived and died - gone forever. We can never know them. It is totally impossible.
Facebook and other social media lend us the opportunity to record our daily passage of time, what we think, what we feel. Or we can write music or be creative in some other way, share our feelings, emotions, history, our memories.
But no matter how we preserve our memories, our personal history, nothing lasts forever - even the earth. And now we discover the universe itself will not last forever. All of the great music ever composed and performed will eventually be forgotten. The beautiful works of art are only temporary.
We are uncertain of tomorrow and the present is just a fleeting moment in time that suddenly becomes the past. People say we live for tomorrow. I don't believe it. And do we only live for the moment enjoying our five senses even though the moment is fleeting and so quickly gone?
Of course we do. But how important is that really? Can you show the present moment to anyone? If you send someone a picture of the current moment then it becomes the past. History. A memory. There is no present. Not really. It does not actually exist. You can only share a moment with someone, an instant in time or enjoy it by yourself.
I like creating memories and sharing them, good and bad. It's part of who I am, that fleeting moment of the fiery ember shooting into the sky from a campfire before I finally lay still on the ground forever.