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Smart Planet, Not So Smart People

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Charles Parkman
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Climate Change and the End of Humankind Circa 2500

The end of humankind's time on Earth is coming to an end, and I welcome it. I can't believe I wrote that, but I did. Let me explain.

God knows, we've messed things up real bad, here on Planet Earth, and now it's time to pay the piper. Oh, it's not going to end in a nuclear armageddon, no. And it's not going to end because of the so-called "Clash of Civilizations" going on now with our friends the terrorists. No, the end is coming because of climate change, and it's too late to do anything about it now. Way too late.

Our fate has been sealed.

I should be in despair but I am not. I think we are getting what we deserve. We did our best, as a human species, but our best was not very good. We blew it. Climate change, according to the Stern Report, has already pretty much made it impossible -- read that word again: "impossible" -- to tackle global warming. We are done for.

We are about to be fried, frozen, fingered. Put that in your computer file.

As a species, we are done for. Period.

And while I don'tdespair over this, neither am I gloating, no. We are headed forextinction, and you know something, we deserve it. We sealed our own fate by our foolish, greedy, convenience-addicted actions.

Maybe it was in our genes from the very beginning, this coming demise. Maybe all this was meant to be, not some non-existant god or Creator Being, but by the fickle hands of fate itself. [If there really was a God, we wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place. Think about it. We did this all by ourselves. There's no use crying over spilled milk. We're done for.]

Oh, it won't happen soon, not in this lifetime, not in my lifetime or your lifetime. Give us 15 or 20 more human generations, 30 at most, and then it's curtains. The Earth will be fried. The die is already cast, it's in the cards. There's no going back. Sigh.

As human carbon emissions continue to grow and grow, the rate of climate change will accelerate and we will experience it sooner than you can imagine.

You think life is forever. It is not.

Human life is about to be deleted from the surface of Planet Earth. I give it about500 years. Stretch it to 1000 years if you wish, and that's okay with me. This is not an exact science. But it is science. We are done for.

The simple fact, the truth, is that we are headed for the exit ramp. Our rise as a species on Earth in a long, long history of cosmic time and Darwinian evolution has been capped. And we did it to ourselves. Us. You and me.

Cars. Airplanes. Factories. Coal plants. Massive industrialization. Oil. Technology. Convenience. Greed. We couldn't stop.

Our DNA, our intelligence, did us in. It's over. By the year 2500 -- okay, the year 3000 at the latest --we're history. And you know what? It doesn't matter. Not one bit. The cosmos does not care one iota. We came, we saw, we're leaving.

Because when you look at us, our history, our backstory, what did we achieve? Miracles, yes, and then some. But these miracles have done us in. Climate change cannot be unchanged. The course has been set.There's no turning back.

Let me put it this way: the Earth's experiment with the human species and most of the planet and animal species that evolved even before us is coming to an end. And we humans did it. We pulled the levers, we pushed the buttons, we pulled the triggers.

We burned too much coal, we guzzled too much gasoline, we used too much oil, we made too many factories to make our toys and vehicles, too many motorscooters, too many cars, too many smokestacks, too many people. We just didn't know how to rein things in. And now it's too late.

Well, 500 years is a long time to plan for the end. Start planning. I'm glad I lived in the last half of the 20th century and the first part of the 21st century. It's been a wonderful life, a wonderful ride, and I learned alot.

But even I, a common man with no PHD or expertise in anything, even I can tell you it's over. You don't have to read the fine print, either.The message is in plain English for anyone to read: increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have sealed our fate. And I mean SEALED.

By 2500 -- okay, 3000, if you want to stretch it -- we will be goners. The Earth will remain, of course, good old Earth, our temporary home amidst the stars. But we, the human species, will soon be gone.

And there is not one single thing anyone can do about it. This is the sad,bare, bald, truth.

Greedy, hungry for entertainment and travel and technology, we did it ourselves, to ourselves. The rest, now, will be a long slow decline into annihilation of our species by unstoppable global warming and climate change. You might say this is depressing. I say it's reality, and we need to face reality. And start planning for the end. That is where our enterprise should go now: planning for the end of the human species.

I think that, when all is said and done, we deserved this. And people usually get what they deserve. Don't you agree?

So goodbye Human Civilization, Human Science, Human Evolution, Human Dreaming. No more Magna Carta, no more Beethoven or Mozart or Snoopy Dogg or J-Z, no more cellphones, no more PDAs, no more United Nations, no more blogging, no more cars, no more churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, shrines. Human life is soon to be a lost chapter in the Cosmos. Because of global warming and climate change.

Goodbye Humankind, it all its storied and multicolored and multisplendored variety! Ten billion people will soon be zero people. There will be no one left alive. There will not be one man standing. The Earth will be devoid of all human life, and most animal life and plant life as well. But some bacteria and slime will remain and continue...

You don't have to be a weatherman to know which way climate change is taking us. It is taking us to our end as a species. E-N-D. Period. Full stop.

Of course, I won't be here to witness those last pathetic years, weeks, days. Neither will you.

I had a good life at this time in cosmic time, and it was a very interesting exercise in conciousness, and I loved every minute of my existence. I am grateful for the very miracle of being here at all. Thank you Universe, thank you Evolution, thank you DNA, thank you Genepool!

But I've seen the future: come the year 2,500 (okay, year 3000 if you want to stretch it a bit) it's bleak. Bleaker than bleak. It's become dark at that point. The point of no return is that there is no return. READ THAT SENTENCE AGAIN SLOWLY!

We never adequately learned that lesson. Too late now. Sigh.

How much longer?

15 generations of family life, 30 at the most. And then it's over. Humankind is on its way out.

In a way, it makes sense. We did it to ourselves. We did it ourselves. We dug our own hole, while trying to build a towering temple to the sky.

It's okay. We had our chance. But we couldn't curb our appetites. Born from the swamps, we shall return to the swamps. Evolved from the void, we will return to the void. One might call it poetic justice. Celestial justice. Everlasting justice. Star life.

We came out of nothing, and we will return to nothing. Blame it on our genes, our sharp minds, our penetrating intelligence and human brains.

We are done for.

NOTA BENE: Even as you read these words, the planet's millions of engines, small and large, household and industrial, are purring, revving, singing their song -- and spewing CO2 emissions into the very atmosphere that sustains us, the very atmosphere that is now hastening our demise. At this very moment -- NOW! -- highways around the world are clogged, smokestacks are belching, gasoline is being guzzled, oil is being burned. Even as you read these words, it is too late. Too late. Too late.

Of course, you think 500 years is so far away, who cares? You should care. And you do. But it's too late........
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Hello, I've loved working with computers ever since writing my first BASIC program. I am currently as a Senior Engineer in Custom Software Development Company and with a team of leadership experience. My hobbies include eating Japanese food, (more...)
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