As we celebrate Darwin’s birthday and consider how species
survive or are rendered extinct we have to consider the future viability
of the human species.
Before we can make this consideration we must refresh in our minds
the fact that in this universe there is no repetition of an event. Each event
is totally unique, in content, in location and in time. Our notions of cycles
where the past seemingly repeats itself rests on a perspective built by
experience with celestial objects and has no foundation in reality.
The human species has adapted to enormous climatic changes,
ranging from the Ice Ages through droughts, desertification and deforestation.
The question now arises: Can humans adapt to global warming?
According to the latest predictions of global warming the
temperatures on this planet will escalate during this century to
temperatures not seen before on this planet. The production of
CO2 will increase, not decrease, as we go forward in time. Serious
scenes of wild fires and coastal flooding have been predicted by
respected scientists. However, ignoring these predictions, there
is one thing we cannot ignoreÃ¢â‚¬”the human population is increasing
If there were no humans on this planet, plant life would be
dominant and CO2 levels would be innocuous. Human life with its
need for food, housing and movement, and, with its immense technological
ability, has destroyed a large percentage of the vegetation that once
covered this planet. Where there were once blankets of forests covering
entire continents there are now denuded mountains, valleys and plains covered with short grass or human dwellings and concrete highways.
Where there once was clean pure air with small traces of CO2 and
no pollutants we now find both in large measures. Speeding through the
air are millions of vehicles, on the water, on the land and in the air, spewing
out cubic kilometers of pollution. The energy needs of humans are created
through the combustion of hydrocarbons containing accessory molecules
of sulfur, phosphorus and other noxious elements. All of these are entering
the atmosphere and creating the gasses of greenhouse warming and the
gasses that kill cells in animal lungs.
In addition, the humans of the 21st Century are not the same humans
of the last 100,000 years when humans adapted to the enormous climatic
changes. Although we are same species, we are not the same animal. The
fact that humans can interbreed, which by human definition makes them
a species, has nothing to do with their ability to adapt to changes in their
environment. The fact that humans are so numerous today is more than
sufficient reason to doubt their adaptability. A very small group has a very
small quantity of social inertia and can adapt readily to environmental
If there were only ten people on the planet and they were doing
something which was endangering their lives they would change their
behavior instantly. With seven billion inhabitants any change will take
decades, perhaps centuries, perhaps never before it is too late.