The Countdown to Our Global Extinction is Running and We Cannot Stop it
Warning: What follows below is depressing and not my normal fare. I apologize in advance and if you're sensitive or easily upset I would recommend moving on now. Humanity is drawing to a close, our time has passed and we are singlehandedly to blame for our own demise. I do not foresee humanity surviving long enough to ring in 2050. Unlike other alarmists, the point of this article is not however to scare you into selling your television or buying solar panels. It’s far too late for that. Instead, I would encourage you to make good use of the time we have left.
The end is nigh
I’ve seen a few figures and facts bandied about over the last few months regarding altering weather patterns, global warming, melting ice caps, and a host of other events, all tied in with a global campaign to stop us in our tracks and attempt to reverse the effects of climate change. I’m here to tell you it’s all nonsense and you needn't bother listening, not that you ever did.
No matter what we do, we are still doomed.
That's right, we are all going to die, probably a horrible, slow, and lingering death, poisoned by either unbreathable air or tainted water or most likely, both. My money is on the water actually but I’m open to hedging my bets. You see, it’s too late. We are, as a species, roundly and soundly screwed and we have, by our own hand, engineered our extinction.
If you're thinking, hey, I’m okay, I’m in my forties so I won't live to see that, think again. You see, you, me, and everyone else missed an important event, the whole world did. While we were all caught up extolling our virtues, our victories, and technological achievements or otherwise engaged in trying to annihilate each other, the earth did something. It quietly passed a point of no return. And it did that perhaps two decades ago.
Earth has survived extinction-level meteorite impacts and billions of years of shattering change, all the while sustaining evolution, fed by the blue liquid that blankets her and fuels all life. No more. Man has achieved in a few thousand years, what nature failed to do over eons.
I don't mean to suggest that the earth is in danger of imploding, far from it. She will be here long after we have passed. That point of no return I was referring to earlier, concerns human life and the earth’s ability to sustain us. She no longer can.
She can no longer heal herself and the wounds we have inflicted, and continue to inflict, will simply hasten our inevitable end. An end I believe is less than two decades away. Again, to be clear, this isn't the world imploding, but it becoming a place that can longer sustain life for organisms that are dependant on oxygen and clean water for survival. In other words, humans, and pretty much most of the rest of the animal kingdom.
We have mistakenly assumed ourselves to be above the processes of nature, somehow disassociated from the very things that gave birth to us. There is a clock (which I will share later) that is counting down our remaining few years on the planet. I will also present you with a few facts which hopefully, and unfortunately, may convince you of the dire situation we face.
We’ve only been here for the briefest of time, and soon, we will be gone, the Earth becoming a mass tomb for all the life we have chosen to destroy. She will be left alone, to absorb the rotting remains, grateful for what meager nutrients remain in our diseased corpses. Nature does not waste.
Can we stop this apocalyptic spiral of destruction? No, we cannot, it is too late. The fat lady has sung, the ship’s sailed, pick one. What Texas has experienced in the last few days is an indicator of just how fragile our societies and infrastructure actually are, how dependant we are on normalcy. That normalcy is ending and we are on the point of discovering by just how much.
The events in Texas are not the result of global warming. They are the spasms of a terminally ill patient, one that's beyond the reach of our limited resources and non-existent will.
Am I judging humanity? Absolutely. I am abhorred, disgusted, and deeply shamed by our failings. I do not exclude myself from this. I am as much to blame as everyone else. We have engineered the death of our children, our grandchildren, and all the generations that will never follow.
Can we do anything?
Probably not. We lack the will or interest. No one wants to see the forest, no one speaks about it, they simply continue to wonder between the diminishing trees, living out their self-absorbed lives. We may, if we act radically, and I do mean radically, be able to postpone the inevitable but not for long.
What do I mean by radical? Well, we would need to immediately stop creating new life for a start. We would need to allow our population growth to reverse, in other words, more people dying than are born. At the moment for every two people that die, five are born. And that feat takes place globally in less than one second, every second of every day, and is likely to increase in the next decade.
We have for decades if you'll excuse the crassness, been screwing ourselves into extinction. That one single factor has proven to be our undoing. Extending our lifespans has aggravated the problem. Nature is about balance, about give and take. We simply took, cheating time and disease, to add to our tenure on earth and never thought to question the consequences. Well, here they are and they've come home to roost.
The Writing is on the wall
Here’s the evidence I was discussing. I’m not going to provide references, you can easily search online to validate any of the information below.
There is a large river in Malaysia that flows through the country, providing a lifeline to local villagers that crowd its banks with settlements. They live off the fish and drink its water, or did, till recently. Now the river boasts one of the highest concentrations of plastic waste. You can walk across the plastic mountains that flow down the river and are washed into the sea, literally tons and tons of plastic.
This is a daily occurrence. The fish in the river are no longer safe to eat and the water is no longer safe for human consumption. All across the globe, millions of impoverished people feed an ever-growing mountain of waste into thousands of similar rivers.
The sea contains five designated areas that, because of ocean currents, aggregate much of the plastic waste that doesn't sink. Some of these garbage patches — such as the North Pacific one — are equivalent in size to France, Spain and Germany put together. If you don't understand that or it didn't shock you, read it again. We have created new floating continents in the ocean by dumping our waste into it.
Every single marine creature now contains abnormal levels of plastic particulates and the fish we catch to eat is slowly poisoning us. I stopped eating fish ten years ago. There is no way of stopping this or reversing the effects on the ocean and the life it contains. As these plastic islands exist in unfrequented areas, we simply ignore them, preferring to live in blissful ignorance.
We have put 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic into circulation on a global level, according to estimates by the University of California, and the most worrying thing is that more than 70% is now waste, clogging landfills and the planet’s seas. As our populations continue to expand, so too does our consumption and use of plastic. See where this is leading?
I said I wouldn't, but to save you the effort of googling, here's a good starting point.
Everything we do, everything we use, the resources we require and the food we eat, the waste we produce, and the heat we generate, whether it be through fires, industry, or the use of fossil fuels, is directly linked to numbers. To population growth. The last time our global population contracted was in 1918, as a result of the World War and the Spanish Flu pandemic that followed on its heels. Since then, it's only ever grown, increasing exponentially year after year.
102 years later Covid struck and I watched in fascination, interested to see if this was nature's revenge, a leveler to address the human virus that has overrun the planet. It wasn't and the world sighed in relief, thinking we had dodged a bullet. We haven't. If anything, the ensuing lockdowns have led to a boom in pregnancies and simply exacerbated an already desperate situation. Just how desperate I am about to show you.
A question of numbers
Open the link below before you read any further and spend a few moments studying the numbers. This is the countdown clock I referred to earlier. The numbers adjust in real-time based on global statistics. Pay particular attention to the “Births Today” and “Deaths Today”. There is a lot more information you can see if you continue to scroll down, but those two figures are all that should concern you for now.
Worldometer - real time world statistics
Live world statistics on population, government and economics, society and media, environment, food, water, energy and…
We cannot stop these counters. The births continue unabated and will only increase exponentially over the next decade. India, Asia, Africa, and South America are huge contributors. Poor economies lead to large families. Declines in birth rates in Europe and other Western countries have no impact on these figures.
What's the problem with new births? If you still need to ask, you haven't been paying attention. Let's use the simple example of diapers. Each cute little bum born today requires a diaper, not just one a day, but many. Today, when I checked, births were at 10500 so far for the day, and it's not even lunchtime yet. Let's assume 300 000 births for the day for simplicity (the actual figure is higher). Multiply that by a conservative five diapers a day and then work it out over a year.
Today's births alone will generate over 540 million diapers used over the course of a year. Now multiply that by another 365 to work out what a year's worth of cute little bums will generate. 190, 983, 750 000 plastic diapers that need to be disposed of, and that's just from one source, one thing.
Can you see the scale of the problem now? Even if we were able to somehow wave a magic wand and stop babies for the next 30 years, we are already committed to the doomsday clock. There is no stopping it and all we are intent on doing currently is hastening the end. We are not going to stop babies, we are not going to suddenly halt plastic production and we are not going to switch over to green energy sources.
We are, in effect doomed.
I am a positive and generally happy person. I don't like to dwell on negative things and I honestly believe that we can affect our environment and the people that exist in our sphere of influence in very positive ways by doing small things. This, however, is different. It isn't something we can fix, and as I suggested earlier, even drastic action will only buy us a brief extension.
I am guilty along with the rest of humanity. I don't intend to dwell on it, however. It is beyond my control and I firmly believe it is beyond the reach of even a united global effort. It is too late. I intend to ensure that my remaining time here is well spent, as should you. Love the people you care for, be kind and be considerate. Not just to your immediate circle of influence, but to the world. We need it, and we don't realize yet, just how much.
And the next time you look to the heavens and wonder about the red planet we are now feverishly exploring, perhaps you will realize that I am not alone in having reached this terrible conclusion.