Humans, Earth’s Greatest Pest!

Taking a cue from supermarket tabloids this morning, hence the eye-catcher.  Kind of sums up most humans in my opinion:  hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil;  which has various interpretations in my mind, likely yours also.  Kind of hard to find an image of a “human pest” however, hence the stretch on linking imagery to today’s subject.

I was reading this morning an article having to do with early humans in Europe, and their possible interaction and breeding with Neanderthals.  I guess “breeding” is appropriate, and I hope PC?  Not sure what one correctly calls inter-species contact in this case.  So the article had a statement two scientists made, saying that humans were the greatest pests on Earth, since we spread so quickly and everywhere we have gone to we have rendered countless other species extinct.  As to the extinction of Neanderthals, after we Europeans (non-African:  thank goodness there still was uncontaminated humans back home!) gleaned some of their stagnant DNA (due to their interbreeding incestuously and their diminishing population leading up to the demise), we humans ate the Neanderthals out of cave and home, basically causing them to die off due to starvation.  (Humans seem to love to murder, and often eat, our closest cousins, the chimpanzee, the orangutan, the gorilla……and in spite of an awakening of consciousness decades ago, we continue to do so either directly, or by decimating their home forest and environment.)  Then we went on to do the same to numerous species roaming the Earth across Europe during those thousands of years.  Of course, climate change back then helped (what better lesson do we need as to the Climate Change we are in right now?)

So around the world this has gone on, but by in large the major strain of human culprits has been Europeans and Europeans in the New World.  Maybe it’s just in our nature, having come from cold caves and having to constantly be moving following the great beasts we slew to eat, that we just have in our nature to continue to roam and kill willy nilly?  I think so, not having any other logical reason (thanks “Occam’s razor”).  And, while doing all this moving around, we have spread a myriad of diseases, creating plagues that wiped out other beautiful groups of humans who beat the Euro’s to the bounty of this New World.  What better definition of pests does one need?

Oh, but you say we are created in the image of God?  Really?

 

 

Happy Earth Day?

While home on leave in 1971, my future wife and I attended the second Earth Day celebration in Austin, Texas.  I don’t remember much about it, except it was a beautiful day, and I was with the beautiful woman that I would spend 25 years with on this beautiful Earth.

Today I am not sure it is appropriate to wish someone “happy Earth day.” Is it?  As a Buddhist I strive to keep a happy mind, which I do believe allows clear insight and comes by negating ignorance, anger and confusion about the things we all deal with on a daily basis.  However, a happy mind requires equanimity, a challenging matter given what we observe humanity doing to – committing against – our Mother Earth.

AI, artificial intelligence, is one of my favorite topics, which I have written about previously.  Being a positive soul, coupled with faith in what I observe in the young generation – their concern about climate change, to the point of global walk-outs by school children –  I do feel somewhat better that AI will be shaped by our progeny toward arresting the slow decay of our space-ship/biosphere.  On the other hand, there is the very real threat of high-tech gurus attitude of never looking back, and only concerning themselves with accomplishing technological steps that really remove humanity even further from our Mother.  Without heavy ethical push-back, there is extreme risk of technology being grasped by near fascist political regimes that will push the curve downward, continuing the decrement of the life-force that sustains all life.

In democratic nations, people can push back by voting for those who do cherish the Earth, who do work in evidence-based policy formation and who do what must be done.  Democracies that follow an environmental friendly state policy-making can also greatly influence the  non-democratic and developing nations.

So, let me end on a positive note, and do wish everyone, all my fellow humans, orangutans, and all Mother’s “creatures”, Happy Earth Day!