Posted by: atowhee | July 30, 2011


The financial world and social security recipients–not to mention veterans and Medicare insured–wait to see if the toxic mix of greed, arrogance and short-sightedness brings the U.S. government into default.  Well, that same human mix of greed, etc. may already have brought Nature into default.  We have cut, mined, pillaged and polluted in every-increasingly large ways for centuries.  From thousands of Neanderthals or Cro-Magnon clinging to small villages, caves or roaming the veldt, we have bludgeoned and grasped our way to many billions in population.  There is no hope for any species that gets in our way.  Those that co-exist or feed off humanity are in great shape.  Rats, cats and bedbugs aplenty.  But prey animals or “competing” alpha predators from dodo to timber wolf are in sorry shape. Faced with human rapaciousness is nature in default?

New report shows large fraction of ALL LIVING SPECIES face extinction.

So biodiversity is diminishing while we over-fish, clear cut, dump our chemicals, drill-baby-drill, frack, stash our nuclear waste, pave grasslands, dam rivers, fertilize with petro-chemicals, dump our styrofoam beads, flush our unused medicines, chuck our plastic bottle caps and otherwise trash our only planet?  The next real real estate boom may come when somebody starts sub-dividing the NEXT planet to support human beings.  Here on Earth, we’re pretty well on our way to being done, it seems.

One bitter irony in all this.  Many of the same Americans who deny the possibility of Darwinian evolution and Global Warming are big supporters of the human exploitation this planet.  Drill, bay, drill, right?  It’s our god-given oil, dammit.  After all, doesn’t the Bible give us explicit dominion over the planet.   Let god save the polar bear–not my job.  So we live in a world dominated by Social Darwinism pushed along by many of the same interests that like to deny biological Darwinism.  And right now we humans are certainly pushing this winner-take-all planetary Darwinian experiment to its logical conclusion.  Only those species who can survive in our world will survive at all.  For any species on Earth, it’s our way or the highway.  Sound familiar?  A sort of moral default, you might say.This Olive-sided Flycatcher is one of the birds whose progeny will have a hard time.  Their population is shrinking because we cut down their forests in tropical America to grow sugar cane or soybeans or to use the wood for making things for people thousands of miles away.  Mr. Olive-side likes to hawk insects from treetops, but if the trees are gone, replaced by nice symmetrical rows of crop or grassland for cows and the insect life changes and predators have a clearer view of the bits of canopy and…by-by Mr. Olive-side.


  1. Cockroaches, ants, Norwegian rats and brown tree snakes will survive us. On the plant side, pond scum, star thistle and poison oak.

  2. Given a real lack of power over world-wide events such as you catalogue, the best hope remains with what remains after we are gone – extinct-ing ourselves, somewhat after the olive-sided flycacthers – in the genetic messages of pond scum, cockroaches and ants. Molecular continuity, I’m afraid, is the best we can hope for down the evolutionary road. Imagine the wonderous creatures to come…

  3. Right on, Harry. Thanks for saying it. But/and we still have to keep on keeping on, doing what we can to protect what there is left to protect.

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