Homo Sapiens is a Failed Species

I contend homo sapiens is a failed species. We are essentially hosed. Within a century, our numbers will drop to perhaps 20 million and technology will disappear. What’s the problem?

Basically our brains grew rapidly giving us hugely expanded power, but we kept the same primitive, greed-centred, short-term-centered motivation system. There was no corresponding increased restraint. Even when our intellect warns us some action is suicidal in the long run, we have no ability to curb our short term desires.

Let’s look at some of the ways we have sown the seeds of our own destruction.

  1. We breed without limit, far beyond the carrying capacity of earth. Religions fan this lunacy.
  2. We are on target to wipe out the last ocean food fish by 2048.
  3. We are deliberately driving bees needed for pollination to extinction.
  4. We are on target to wipe out half the terrestrial species.
  5. We have flatly refused to avoid emitting greenhouse gases. We will thus suffer the consequences of climate change, which Environment Canada called second only to global nuclear war. We have already cranked up the CO₂ levels to 400 ppm, on track for 450 soon. The last time, 3 million years ago, when CO₂ levels were this high, average temperatures reached 8.0°C (14.4°F) higher than today and the seas reached 40 metres (43.74 yards) higher than today.
  6. We have flatly refused to invest in a replacement clean energy for fossil fuels.
  7. We have poisoned the soils and rivers. It is no longer safe for a pregnant woman to eat a fresh water fish anywhere in the USA.
  8. We have used techniques of agriculture that rapidly erode the soils. We have just a small fraction of the original soil legacy left.
  9. We have stockpiled enough nuclear and biological weapons to wipe ourselves out many times over.
  10. We invented an artificial life form that has taken over the planet. They have a very primitive motivation system — short term profit. Everything else is irrelevant, even their own survival. Even though they are primitive, they are extremely powerful. They buy politicians and force them to do things that are suicidal to the species. They feel no pain. They cannot be jailed. They have no concept of morality. There is very little that can be done to influence them. They are like Dr. Frankenstein’s monsters. I speak of corporations, which enjoy the status of humans in the USA. And oddly, in the USA, this immoral behaviour is required by law.

Even if the odds are hopeless, you might as well do what you can to save our planet. There is always a chance of something unexpected. If you give up, there is no chance.

We have a longshot, artificial intelligence smarter than humans. It might have the means to solve these global problem, and the guile or power to impose the solutions on us humans, but there is little reason to think it would have any interest in doing so.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)