Mother Jones magazine features an excellent series of reports on the death of the world’s oceans this month. Global warming, overfishing, pollution; we are fouling the waters that sustain all life on the planet. The oceans are under threat from a myriad of stresses, all caused by human activities. It is a depressing situation. It mostly reiterates the Pew Oceans Commission report from 2003, which is a profoundly depressing document to read. Makes me want to never eat sushi again.
What I don’t think people realize is the true nature of this threat to the natural world. Environmentalists and green politicians make it sound like we are destroying life on this planet. That is just hubris; what we are doing is making it impossible for us to live on this planet. It might take millions of years for evolution to repopulate the planet with multilayered ecosystems, but life will continue after we manage to destroy ourselves and most other species. One of those Mother Jones articles made an interesting point. NASA is currently searching space looking for ‘killer asteroids’ that might cause mass extinctions if they collide with earth. The asteroid has already struck the planet and thousands of species are dying. We are that asteroid. We need to face ourselves in the mirror and realize we are the cause of this problem, and ultimately we are only destroying ourselves. Nature doesn’t care if we live or die, it simply shuffles the genetic deck and tries again in another 10 million years.