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The Short of the Long of It

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At the time of the last glacial maximum, about 20,000 years ago,
Homo sapiens were under extreme environmental pressure, having endured
for thousands of years the worst weather conditions in the last 130,000
years. The estimated total world-wide human population was no more than
10,000 breeding pairs, perhaps as few as a 1,000.

Since then, the human population has experienced an unsustainable
increase, which natural forces will likely soon correct. Such
corrections tend to occur as abrupt collapses, accompanied by recovery
or emergence of affected species and ecological systems. In a very real
sense, the earth is experiencing a human swarm, which should soon pass,
as all swarms do.

These events are not a moral issue: this imbalance is not our
"fault", nor is its correction in any sense "just" or "deserved".
Rather, as any swarm, its development and termination are simply
natural phenomena.

The triggering terminal event, whether global climate change,
nuclear war, recombinant DNA blunder, virus, or whatever, is largely a
matter of happenstance; however, what is certain is the scale and
abruptness of the correction, because this has already been determined
by preconditions established through global events, milder weather and
a human population explosion over the last 10,000 years.

Perhaps future humans or successor species may examine our history
and be better prepared to assess those events. Whatever our fate,
whether our species survives above, at, or below its pre-swarm levels
or not at all, the planet Earth is near certain to recover. And, if
not, then another star and planet will be along take other shot, or
more likely many are already undergoing that process now, beyond our

In the meantime, I enjoy my grandson and hopefully leave to him a
world he and his may also enjoy for as many generations as we may have
left. Who knows, perhaps we will come to our collective senses and beat
a reasonable retreat short of the brink, maybe the result of lucky,
smaller "worst disaster in human history". I am reminded of a cartoon,
in which the leader shouts before his assembled horde "Victory or
Death". After much mumbling and dissent, they march happily out of
their camp under a banner that reads "Maximum success or a reasonable

Ah, the wisdom of mobs as opposed to the fate of swarms.

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