If God had conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment before creating humans, would he still have gone ahead? If he knew what sort of influence this species of upright, supposedly thinking apes would have on the planet, would we still be here?
Our oceans are on course to having a higher concentration of plastics than fish in three decades. Just three decades and we will have succeeded in changing the face of the deep into a haunting memento of our plastic indulgence. Add that to the acidification of the oceans and we could as well bid farewell to healthy marine life in a generation. Every single peace of plastic we create never goes away. In whichever way we chose to dispose it, we are endangering some part of our ecosystem. This is in no way a secret. We have known about the harmful impact of plastics on life on earth since we started using them. But plastics are cheap and profitable. And on our skewed scales, can global salvation really outweigh profits?
The economy is our keyword today. It is that thing that needs to keep on growing. We measure what we produce, and it has to keep increasing if we want to convince ourselves we are progressing. More often than not, what we produce far exceeds what we need to consume. But, it is an economy right, if it’s not growing, we are not doing it right. We, therefore, need to keep producing. To keep producing, we need to keep extracting and exploiting. We want the growth to be infinite, but fuelled by finite resources. One day, the planet will simply refuse to give more, and we will finally have extracted our doom. Our obsession with economic growth in a global one-upmanship contest will be the death of our planet. It does not seem to matter to us how much we lose in pursuit of this growth. It is why we now have railways and paved roads through some of nature’s most pristine spots.
We pretend we want to conserve, and we fence of little patches of land and proudly label them ‘conservancies’ and ‘protected areas’. We lie to ourselves that if we can preserve little pieces of nature, we will have atoned for our crimes against the rest of it. We pretend to love the wild, to cherish the green and yet do all we can to ensure they disappear forever. We melt at photos of cute penguins and dream after butterflies, while we slowly poison the last of them.
Humanity has spent all of its history imagining scary malicious beasts. In every part of the world, folktales of ogres, giants, vampires, zombies and trolls abound. We have always been scared of the monsters we make up. Our folklore paints these horrific beats as villains in almost every story. We never imagined that when the tale of how this blue planet became lifeless is told, we would be the monsters. Yes, we are the scary beasts we have always feared. We are the ogres. We are the villains who brought forth the apocalypse.