Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The existential theory of mankind

When I was young, I liked a cartoon series called 'The Fantastic Four'. Though I do not remember much of what occurs in the series, I do remember a few key things. One of them was a super-villain named 'Galactus'. Now, Galactus isn't a man or a being worth explaining but the concept was what caught my fancy. Galactus traveled through the universe looking for planets with life to feed on. When he found such planets, he sucked the life energy out of those planets, thus destroying all life on it. Then, without reproach or regret, he simply moved on to another planet.

This is strangely the seed from which my existential theory of mankind grew. If we look at the human race and its relation with earth, do we see any parallels? The Earth has existed for four thousand million years or so. Billions of species have inhabited the planet during its existence. Billions of species have come and gone. There are many theories about intelligent life existing on earth before humankind but no conclusive proof has been found. We can arguably assume that we are the first intelligent species to inhabit the Earth.

This intelligence, sadly has been nothing but a curse for the Earth. We are possibly the first species that has actively and purposefully brought about the degeneration of the Earth and its environment. We have pumped out the ground water, blocked waterways, created artificial sewers and canals that redirect water to the place where we need it. We have mined the Earth and removed minerals, metals, oils, stones and soil thus upsetting the composition of the Earth's surface itself. We have synthesised unnatural chemicals that the Earth did not generate on its own probably because these chemicals were not suitable to the natural environment of the Earth. We have created machines, processes, factories and furnaces that add, remove or modify various gases in the atmosphere of the Earth. We have cut down forests and smeared millions of square miles with asphalt and concrete.

The Earth is essentially self healing. Decomposition, decay, the water cycle, environmental cycles, natural food chain etc. are some of the Earth's processes that maintain the balance. However small the changes induced by humans may be, they are changes nonetheless. We continue to load the donkey and we all wait for the proverbial last straw that will finally break the donkey's back.

We can already see some effects of our interference with the Earth's natural balance. We are now scared. Space exploration has begun. This, my friends, is what relates the rest of the article to the seemingly strange first paragraph. We humans have now realised that we have misused the Earth, sucked its life energy out of it and now we want to move on to other planets and do the same to those planets. Should we not be ashamed? Millions of species of animals, plants, insects, microorganisms have already been rendered extinct due to our interference. Now we fear that the Earth will finally die and we want to escape and leave all the other species on the Earth to die a horrible death with it. Even Noah's ark isn't the answer. Why should we save only a few organisms of each species when we run away? Don't all the organisms existing on the Earth have the right to live? I say that this is where we were born and this is where we ought to die. The Earth is where we were created and it is our responsibility to take care of this Earth and if we can't then we have no right to save our lives and escape while killing every other living thing that exists here.

We are Galactus.

1 comment:

  1. The problem with out species is that the only moral ground we can establish starts and dies with us. Somehow I think thats why there have been so many movies made that show us that we need extra-terrestrial life to threaten our species before we can start to realize what we are doing to ourselves. At the rate we're going, hitting the reset button is inevitable, whether we choose to do it ourselves or whether we get E.T or an asteroid to do it for us.

    p:s - How you been Guns?! Great to see your still writing... I plan to start soon myself. Once I get back from Planet Procrastination that is ;)