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The Decline and Fall of the Human Empire


Many a science fiction writer has penned tales of doom and gloom in some far flung fictitious future. Many a religion talk about the Omega phase of life. Many a movie have depicted disasters with thousands of computing hours attempting to create end of the world like effects.

Recently, we have been subjected to images that have us thinking, please God, let this be a special effect.

So it is easy to assume the worse. Maybe we really have gone and done it this time. We started something that we can not stop, not even by using helicopters to bomb it with water.

Or maybe this really has very little with us and it’s just our time as written in the pages of fate or by the hand of divinity.

Or maybe this is just a coincidence and that knot in our stomach is nothing more then a bad slice of pizza.

More than likely this is nothing more than it is. A series of unfortunate events.

And it’s only March.

Most will argue that these events are coincidence and most likely they are. Some will say that man had a hand.

Some will see the hand of god in this. Some will see the hand of god in a Tortilla chip.

Or pizza.

Disasters have happened before. We can ride through them some will say. This is the last ride ever others will say.

It’s hard to try and see the light at the end of the dark cave it seems we are in. But there will be one. And we will find a way through it. That is what we do.

But one day in some far flung or perhaps not so far flung future, the species will come to a close. Some hope by then we will have launched ourselves onto new worlds before our Sun reaches the end of its half life.

If we have done something to the planet we cling to like so many ants and do not face that possibility, what will happen to those Space Arks when they reach the dry land they seek?

Will they do what we did? Will they discover other ways of tackling large problems? Will they rise and fall as is the nature of all life? Or will they not be even given a chance because their story ends with what happens to us?

I grew up with a particular interest in life on this planet. A particular favourite text of mine was the biology text The Web of Life. A very interesting concept indeed but nothing unusual if you are familiar with the diversity on the planet and how we are all dependent on each other.

There is a Web of Life. Everything is connected. The web is strong but fragile. Sometimes so fine is the gossamer thread, it is almost invisible.

But its there.

Remove an anchor point here and there will not necessary destroy the Web as a whole. But it definitely weakens it. And if we get lucky, new anchors form.

In the course of our existence on this planet, we have broken many anchor points. Some by unfortunate events. Some by deliberate intent.

Once gone, a species is gone for good. Although many imagine in some far flung science fiction like world we can return the dead to life.

A token of our shame at killing them in the first place perhaps.

Right now we are where we are because we made it so. We shaped our world and forced it to succumb to our magnificence. In the process we cut out large tracts of forests that may have been able to help reduce the amount of shit we put into the atmosphere but we needed that land for hamburger. Or for a place to put a theme park. A CBD. A Hospital. A Parliament. A structure that basically announces to the world that we are here.

Soon, those structures maybe the only things that announce we were here.

In our blindness to squeeze the pulp of life, it maybe we have throttled ourselves. It may not happen now or in 2012 as some say the Mayans predicted, but it will happen. A pantene moment that I for one am not too keen to see.


A. Ghebranious   2011 (All Rights Resereved)

One Comment
  1. Jennifer Baratta permalink

    Great Tribute Ash Thanks!

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