We’re not saving the Earth

Whenever man comes up with a better mousetrap, nature immediately comes up with a better mouse.
~James Carswell

The phrase “save the Earth” really annoys me. You can’t save something if it isn’t dying. Well, you can, but it’d have to be some form of currency, and I know of no one who uses the planet for currency.

As I’ve mentioned before, the planet itself is in no danger at all. Period. Ninety-eight percent of all species that have ever lived are now extinct. A few more isn’t going to make much of a difference to Life As We Know It.

There have been five previous mass extinctions, four taking at least 50% of all genera with them. For those of you unfamiliar with taxonomic order, genus is the one above species. So not 50% of all species, 50% of the taxonomic order above species. The Permian Triassic supposedly wiped out 83% of all genera. I’m pretty sure we’ll be dead before we start to approach those numbers.

And even with an estimated 83% of genera extinct, Life As We Know It carried on. Fucking hell, you can hardly tell now that 98% of all species are extinct. And if the K-Pg event hadn’t have wiped out the dinosaurs, mammals may never have risen to prominence and thus there would be no human beings.

We’re not destroying the planet, or Life As We Know It. We’re merely causing another bottleneck and another chance for some other type of critter to take over, just as we did. Sure, we’re driving our familiar little version of the biosphere to extinction, but life will march on just fine. Quit crying about the damn sky falling, already.

Who knows, maybe triffids will be the next dominant life form.


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