Some people seem to really hate human life. They think there are far too many of us, and the world would be a much better place without us. They see us as a pestilence upon the face of the earth, gouging it and stealing from it and polluting it. And usually they’re the same people that see epidemics of everything – tobacco, obesity, etc. – everywhere. I came across this today:
In 1993 the Club [of Rome]’s co-founder, Alexander King with Bertrand Schneider wrote The First Global Revolution stating,
“The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
Every few million years there seems to be a mass extinction event, and maybe it’s because sooner or later living things get filled with self-loathing and remorse – and that’s how the dinosaurs died out:
One day the chief dinosaur gathered his fellow dinosaurs around him, and began to speak. “I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently, and I feel I must speak up. There are simply far too many of us. I counted over 30 just yesterday. And all I seem to do the whole time is just kill and eat other animals, and leave droppings everywhere. It’s an utterly vile, murderous way to behave. It’s just plain selfish and inconsiderate. And I don’t want to do it any more. And I recommend that we all stop doing it. Because, quite frankly, the world would be a much better place without us all. Before we came along, it was a peaceful paradise, with lots of green grass and animals quietly grazing there.”
And the other hunting dinosaurs all hung their heads, and sighed in sad agreement.
And then one of the big grazing dinosaurs with very long necks spoke up. “I’m sure sick of you guys killing and eating us, and I’m glad you can now see the error of your ways. But I have to say that I’m really not much better myself. Because I spend all day everyday pulling leaves off trees, and leaving even bigger piles of droppings than you do. This place used to be a majestic forest before we came along and chewed our way through it. But now, as you can see, it’s all just rolling grasslands with rivers meandering through it, and the only trees you’ll ever find are on the kind of steep mountain sides that I can’t climb up. So I think we should just leave all the green plants and trees grow, and stop stealing their leaves.”
And all the dinosaurs nodded their heads and wept.
And then one the oldest trees said, “Well, I’ll sure be glad to see the back of you lot. It’ll be good to grow a few leaves without them being torn off. But really, you know, before all of us plants came along, this place was gently rolling sand and clay, with little rivulets of water running down between the dunes. It was red and purple and blue and gold, pretty as a picture. And then we came along and more or less completely covered it with what’s really just green slime. We totally spoiled that beautiful barren wilderness. And I think we should stop doing it, and leave the natural world unspoiled.”
And all the trees hung their leaves in shame.
And then the river said, “Well, I’ll be glad to see the back of you plants, sucking all my water away. I used to be a big strong river with powerful rapids, and now I’m just a meandering creek. But to tell the truth, before us rivers came along, this place was covered in spectacular mountains, that shone like gold and silver in the sun. They had summits with glittering diamond spires. And we just eroded it all away, ground it all down into sand and dust. It was sheer vandalism on our part. You can hardly find a decent mountain anywhere these days.”
And the river gurgled its regret.
And finally the mountains spoke up and said, “Long before the rivers and plants and animals appeared, this place was a beautiful sea of molten lava, traced with swirling rivulets of gold and green and red. Then we started landing on it, and now it’s all buried miles below us, completely crushed, stomped out of existence. And that’s our fault. We totally spoiled everything. Totally. “
And the mountains trembled with sorrow.
And so the dinosaurs agreed to stop eating each other, and stop eating plants. And the plants stopped sucking water out of the rivers. And all the plants and animals died out. And the rivers stopped flowing, and gradually evaporated away. And the mountains slumped slowly down into the earth. And it again became a flat sea of lava, with rivulets of red and green and gold trickling all over it.
But a lone eagle out hunting had not heard any of this discussion. It had been blown far out to sea by strong winds. And it had captured a mouse by its tail. And the mouse was holding a sprig of parsley between its teeth, and the leaves of parsley were filled with tiny droplets of water, and in the droplets of water there were tiny grains of sand.
And when the eagle finally managed to struggle back to the land, it found that it had all vanished under a sea of lava, apart from one lone outcrop of solid rock. And when it landed on the rock, exhausted, it let go of the mouse. And the exhausted mouse let go of the sprig of parsley. And the parsley let fall its cargo of water. And the water let drop the sand inside it.
And then the sand and the water and the parsley and the mice and eagles began to slowly multiply. And gradually they spread out around until, after about 100 million years, they’d covered the whole earth with a green mantle of parsley with traceries of rivers flowing gently down rolling valleys, with mice nibbling at the parsley, and eagles hunting the mice.
And then one of the turkeys (because some eagles had become turkeys by this time), said, “Y’know, I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently, and I feel I must speak up. There are simply far too many of us. I counted over 30 just yesterday….”