Starting in the 19th century, humanity crossed over numerous thresholds into unfamiliar territory with an unknown outcome. The steam engine started the ball rolling in the 1800s with locomotives and sprawling factories that mass produced products.
Inventive scientists created chemicals to leech precious metals out of the Earth, but at the same time poured waste toxins into rivers that killed or disfigured the genetic coding for creatures in the waste stream. Those same factories spewed their chemical wastes into the skies above burgeoning cities. Ultimately, Earth’s oceans became the final toilet from the polluted air, land and water. Mother Nature never encountered such human-made poisons in previous epochs.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Henry Ford’s gasoline-powered combustion engine rocketed us into a high-speed assault on the natural world. His “horseless carriage” created a need to rape the planet for raw materials to produce oil, grease, rubber, steel, vinyl, plastic, glass and leather.
Quickly, the Wright Brothers invented a flying machine that soon led to jet engines. Their invention created more requirements to vacuum metals out of the ground to manufacture aluminum and to develop chemical liquids for cooling engines and a host of artificial products gathered from every corner of the world.
Soon, we conquered our biosphere at twice the speed of sound before solid fuel thrusters carried Neal Armstrong to the moon.
Since Henry Ford’s founding of the motoring age, we’ve added 5 billion more of our species to the planet. We add 1 billion of ourselves every 12 years and stand to add another 3 billion before mid century – a scant 37 years from now.
With our terrific fecundity, we diverted and dammed rivers to create water supplies to irrigate arid land. We cut off salmon runs. We created “acid rain” to drench our forests with soot and acids they never handled in the past. We invented 80,000 chemicals that cannot be understood, processed or ameliorated by the natural world.
Into the last decades of the 20th century, we started fooling around with genetically modified organisms. We changed the genetic coding for vegetables, fruits and, now, fish. GMOs represent 60 to 70 percent of foods on U.S. supermarket shelves, according to Bill Freese at the Center for Food Safety.
At the same time, for the past 20 years, we continue to slaughter 100 million sharks annually in oceans around the world. We cause the extinction of 100 species around the world daily with our encroachment on animal habitat. Honeybees and other pollinators suffer billion-member losses from insecticides we spray into the biosphere 24/7. We crossed over 400 parts per million in atmospheric carbon dioxide for the first time in all of human history in June 2013.
Such devastation to the natural world cannot continue without a most unhappy ending for our fellow creatures, plants and finally our own species. Something must give.
I suspect Mother Nature will make us pay for our folly, our cleverness without wisdom, our arrogant inventiveness of 80,000 chemicals without responsibility. Cancer may be her payback as it afflicts 1 in 3 Americans in 2013. Mass human starvation will be nature’s next response.
In 2013, America faces a Congress about to explode America’s population from 316 million to more than 438 million within 37 years – by 2050. Every one of us must make our voices heard to stop the impending S744 bill that will add 125,000 people to America every 30 days – which will ultimately hurry the process of our demise.
“100,000 sharks killed annually,” Life Magazine, “Shark Alert,” August 1991, “The age-old struggle between man and shark has become a killing frenzy. We are slaughtering 100 million of them every year, driving them to extinction.”
Also, 2009 study by Julia Whitty of OneEarth Magazine: 100 million sharks killed annually.
“80 to100 species suffer extinction daily,” Norman Myers, Oxford University.
“400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in June 2013,” www.350.org, Bill McKibben.
“60 to 70 percent of U.S. foods on grocery shelves are genetically modified organism,” Bill Freese, Center for Food Safety.