Who will miss us?
Apart from the bad news this Corona-situation brings, there is also positive news. What is becoming perfectly clear is how fragile our social and political structures are and how the current economic model of the free market economy is on the brink of imploding.
The very good news is the reappearance of wildlife in our man-made world. Yes, we are living in the Anthropocene, a posh word for a man-made world since almost everything we see, smell, touch and hear has been touched, built, designed, developed, modified or even destroyed by humans. But as soon as the humans leave the streets to stay at home, nature bounces back and wildlife recaptures lost territory.
My brain was triggered by a short but beautiful video of a jelly fish swimming in the canals of Venice. Did it think: “Hey, where did all these humans with the boats go?” Would it miss us when we would never return to the streets and canals of Venice? I doubt it and it is right since we never seem to think: “Hey, were did the flowers, trees, or animals go?”
We are the main cause of extinction of many other living organisms of which we think they no longer deserve a place on this planet. We behave like Masters of the Universe and regard any other living organism as being there for us to use, to exploit or to destroy. (Jensen, 2003)
In the end this will turn against us, as explained in a recent report by the WWF: The loss of nature and the rise of pandemics – protecting human and planetary health. (Jeffries, 2020)
Some scientists like to compare the human species with a cancer cell. A cancer cell is characterized by unlimited growth at the expense of limited resources, which in the end leads to the death of the host and the cancer itself (McDougall, 1996).
We pollute the atmosphere and the air we breathe. We pollute the oceans, if it was only with plastic. We pollute our soil with herbicides, pesticides. We pollute the environment with continuous noise, with electromagnetic fields, (Collier, 2010). We destroy the habitat of our innocent relatives the primates, and once gone they will never return We destroy the rainforest, this beautiful habitat of animals and plants ,(Kaiser, 2010). Erased forever from the planet as if their existence had no purpose and was useless. All for the sake of efficiency and greed, and then only for the benefit of a handful of people. We even have no problem killing our own species at a large scale. The interesting thing is that humans don’t seem to learn a lesson whereas a simple virus does.
Intentionally or not, this Corona situation might be the moment for reflection. The rest of the living planet is kind of punishing us, not out of revenge. Nature doesn’t know what that is. Not because it wants to but due to our stupidity and arrogance and our destructive way of life, (Carrington, 2020) & (Watts, 2019).
And there is no other planet to escape to.
- Carrington, D.P: Halt destruction of nature or suffer even worse pandemics, say world’s top scientists;; The Guardian. April 27, 2020
- Collier, P: The Plundered Planet – Why We Must – and How We Can – Manage Nature for Global Prosperity; Oxford University Press, 2010
- Jeffries, B: The loss of nature and the rise of pandemics –Protecting human and planetary health; WWF, March 2020
- Jensen, D: Strangely like war – the global assault on forests ; Chelsea Green, 2003 (a)
- Jensen, D: McBay, A: What we leave behind; Seven Stories Press, 2009
- Kaiser, R: Scent of the Vanishing Flora; Helvitica Chimica Acta Verlag, 2010
- McDougall, A.K: Humans as Cancer; Wild Earth, fall, 1996, pg. 81-88
- Money, N.P: The Selfish Ape – Human Nature and Our Path to Extinction; Reaktion Books, 2019
- Ward, P: The Medea Hypothesis: Is Life on Earth Ultimately Self-Destructive?; Princeton University Press , 2009
- Watts, J: Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth’s natural life; The Guardian, May 6. 2019