By Robert S. Becker
To echo A.J. Toynbee, civilizations fall not by getting murdered by outsiders: they tend to commit suicide first. Judging by our example, so do advanced species. The good news: earthlings need not dread the shocker of meteor collisions, volcanic eruptions, outer space invaders (talk about illegals!), or pernicious, end of times Raptures. Final Judgment looks more like an epilogue than cause for concern.
Ecocide, the ruination of our ecosystems, is wounding us grievously, the upshot of political and corporate mismanagement, overpopulation, climate dislocation, and collective choices done with a shocking disregard for how fragile, and exceptional, life is. Life, at its core defined by sustainability, is the extreme exception in a cosmos of rocks and gases and dark energy.
Too bad if we exit before the aliens show up, for they'd be fun compared to collisions or eruptions. What remote species would target an overheated planet, anyway? Forget "too big to fail" or "failed states" what about a failing species that shoots itself in its habitat, bleeds copiously, and naively waits for "relief wells." What happens to a species clever enough to despoil its life supports but too stupid to realize avoiding calamity is the real order of the day?
The Oil Spill, and Joke's On Us
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