We all know the story, the 56-year-old cry that is, ‘Save the Planet’. One day, some humans rolled out of bed and realised that several practices we were making use of were actively damaging the environment we live in, and the planet as a whole. As the months and years passed, more and more movements started speaking against more and more systems, materials, products and policies, that they said were suffocating our planet. The same people said and still say to fellow citizens, wake up and save our planet, not only for ourselves, but for our children, and for generations to come.
Many actions are being taken as we speak in an attempt to start “mending” the problems we created. Awareness about global warming, projects promoting clean water, hundreds if not thousands of laws being passed to regulate air pollution so that there can be clean air, multiple incentive programs pushing organic farming for a more sustainable food production, recycling waste material, renewable energy..anyways, when it comes to methods of lessening our damage on the planet, you name it, it probably exists. The point of this article is not to speak against the aforementioned, on the contrary, there is much work to be done before we can have half as much as we need with regards to not damaging the planet we live in.
Alas, as is our habit, we cannot bear to call a spade a spade, and so organisations and governments give us the slogan of ‘Save the Planet’, as if by recycling and building solar panels and wind farms, not wasting food and saving water, humans are carrying out this noble act of kindness and generosity towards Earth. Videos of animals dying, polar bears looking for solid ice and forests being cut down, calling upon humans to save these creatures, have conquered the internet. What the makers of these videos don’t know is that they’re only helping the arrogance of humans grow and prosper.
Many often wonder why. with all our technology and scientific advances, we haven’t yet managed to fix these problems we face. The answer to that is simpler than one would assume, and it is our attitude towards the issue. In simple terms, We’re playing the part of Gods. We unknowingly think of ourselves as the intelligent creatures that advanced from nothing to the very top of the food chain, that caused all other creations, including the very planet, to die out, and that now must decide if they’d be so kind as to allow everything to survive by going out of their way to save everything. Bullshit.
A little honesty would do us much good in such a situation. We’re in this for ourselves, not the planet. We’re in this so we can preserve our own lifestyle and very existence. The first step to a better planet is for humans to take the humbling lesson they refuse to acknowledge, the planet does not need us. It did not need us to begin with, and it does not need us to repair itself. Whatever we do, however long we take to die out, the Earth will recover and evolve, and the only remnants of humankind would eventually be stored within the rocks.
Not convinced? Let’s work out a rough simulation of what would happen if we do not take drastic action quickly: We can all agree that at some point, as the weather starts to get less predictable, temperatures start to get very extreme, and resources dwindle, humans will inadvertently start to die out. Whether this point is in fifty or five hundred years doesn’t matter, the point is, it will happen. When it does, the planet starts going into several different stages….
Stage 1: The Calming Down
In all places where humans lived, everything would soon grind to a halt. Transportation, communications, and any other sort of human activity would no longer be seen or heard. One can say the planet is already starting to benefit as sound pollution is reduced drastically with no people around.
Stage 2: The Radioactive Blackout
Darkness would quickly start to reclaim Earth as power plants lose their sources of generation and start gradually shutting down. The only power plants that would become even more active rather than less would be the nuclear reactors, as the ever-growing heat would eventually destabilise the structures and cause several highly radioactive explosions, causing what is probably the most significant effect something man-made would ever have on the planet after humans became extinct.
Stage 3: Recovery
After but a single week of no humans in the specific area, the natural world would start creeping into our villages, towns and cities.
By the time a year passes, air quality would already have drastically improved and the buildings that were once our homes, offices and shops would now house animals searching for food and a place to stay.
Multiply that year by 15 and what you have is entire cities covered in moss and vegetation, as buildings turn into ruins and weather cycles slowly destroy those that were once the strongest showing of human engineering. Dams and bridges would be failing as nature continues to carry out its intensive land reclamation procedure.
230 years is roughly the amount o time it would take the planet to fully lead wildlife into the derelict cities of what was once the worst ever species to inhabit Earth. Other cities would be less lucky and would instead be completely destroyed and cleaned out by earthquakes, hurricanes and floodings. With no one to rebuild them, these places would eventually disappear completely.
After half a millennium, forests would be where they were before humans started raiding their frontlines, as the only remnants of the human race would now be visible traces of built structures.
In the hundreds and even thousands of years to come, global warming would be countered with another ice-age, and the atmosphere that once protected the earth from warming up too much would long be recovered.
.…And so I ask you, an insignificant excuse for an animal, again, who really needs to be saved? The reality people need to accept is that what happened isn’t that people starting killing the planet, they’re merely making it uninhabitable for themselves.
The oldest of hominins (human-like primates) discovered to date stretch to around 2.8 million years old. Till this day we have evolved and thrived. Now, we started to take our lives here for granted. Unlike every other mammal, we do not care, or maybe cannot even conceive the idea of natural equilibrium in harmony with our surroundings. Instead, we grow, consume, move, grow more, consume more, move more, and grow even more. Much like a virus, we plague the earth with the homo-sapiens cancer.
In the face of this seldom accepted reality, the solution goes further than governments investing in renewables or people recycling their waste. Humans need to once more start learning to love their life on Earth, to love the earth they live on. Only with that passion can the conscience within every one of us be re-kindled…but like any other dying fire keep in mind, once the window of opportunity passes, it dies, much like our very own race will.
Written by: Gianluca Vella