The human race toward extinction part 1 of 2

Ryan Szymczak

The human race is at full speed ahead.

Have any idea where we’re headed?

Everyday, it’s go, go, go at a frenzied pace — reckless and destructive.

Extinction could be the destination.

Not in your lifetime?

Don’t be so ignorant. There are five major extinctions of life on record. The sixth is “happening now, and we, the human race, are its cause,” explained Dr. Richard Leakey in The Sixth Extinction.

“We’re destroying the Earth at a rate comparable with the impact of a giant asteroid slamming into the planet.”

Leakey claims that the “sixth wave” of extinction began about 100,000 years ago, when modern humans are said to have migrated out of Africa. It accelerated 10,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture, and took a turn for the worst with the industrialization of the 18th century.

For years, our nation has grounded its claims of success on how our economy and population has boomed.

Little attention is paid to the price of success, though.

Existing resources will be exhausted by 2050, according to a study released by The World Wildlife Fund. So what can we do? Cut consumption?

Dick Cheney thinks not.

In the book Can America Survive, Cheney said that conservation is not the answer to the energy problem.

“What is the point of cutting back in energy use by, say 10 percent, when the population will grow by that amount in another 10 years?”

Wow, Dick. Thanks for nothing. I say that too much.

Jacques Cousteau, the world famous oceanographer and not a greedy oil tycoon, compared our needless consumption to a cancer and provided an uncomfortable solution to fixing the problem during an interview with the “UNESCO Courier” in November 1991. He said, “In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It’s a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.”

Henry Kissinger proposed in his memorandum to the National Security Council that “depopulation should be the highest priority of U.S. foreign policy towards the Third World.”

He stated the “U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad.”

As resources are being flushed away at an alarming rate, and the human population continues to increase, an all-out global war for more will become an inconvenient and unavoidable reality of our time.

Well, apparently.

In 100 ways America is screwing up the world, John Tirman, executive director of the MIT Center for International Studies and former program director of the Washington, D.C., office of the Social Science Research Council, lists “dumping toxins, altering the Earth’s climate, petroleum dependency, the attack on science and forgetting history” as just a few of the ways our overpopulated part of the world is leading the charge toward certain doom.

An article, “Why We’re Destroying the Earth”, from Psychology Today points out that the common individual’s blissful ignorance, unacknowledged overpopulation, expected convenience and unnecessary and excessive energy use as primary reasons why the future of life on this planet is in serious jeopardy.

So, is it really too late? Is there anything we can do today?

To be continued.

Ryan Szymczak is a senior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].