Our Shrinking World
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The daily life of human beings is filled with simple concerns. The concerns are rightfully of acquisition and desire: who should matter more to the human other than the human itself? The natural drive of procreation has evolved beyond continuance of species. People now strive to fill the earth with their personal seed: they feel the need for family, and preservation of legacy. This need has boosted the human population to extravagant numbers, and now our planet is showing signs of the inevitable. As the population rises, the environment depletes. Depletion of the environment could eventually lead to the end of life on earth. The human population is to blame for all environmental problems: their large numbers throw off the world’s equilibrium because the human race infects the earth.
All environmental problems are rooted in the needs of the population. The living standards for developed countries are to blame for all depletion. Necessities like gasoline-powered cars, electric appliances, and the pre-packaged food we eat are only some of the needs destroying our world. The social standards we have built around ourselves trigger our natural, competitive instincts, and our need for “fitting in” is only increased. So humans, just as naturally as they breathe and eat, find themselves trading money for status at the expense of the environment. If humans existed without the material needs of today, we would eventually have found a balance with the world around us.
The human population causes an imbalance in our world’s equilibrium. History has shown that in nature, all organisms find a balance with the world. The number of a species coming into the earth matches that of the number leaving the earth. This balance in life and death has been finely tuned over the life of the earth, allowing all organisms to inter-relate and inter-depend on one another. Humans, however, have not found their balance with the planet, and to this date, are multiplying at incredible rates. The imbalance created by this non-stop growth spurt is highlighted by the depletion of our resources. It seems the quality of human life will soon deteriorate, perhaps as a mere line of defense by the planet itself.
As William H. McNeill stated in his book Plagues and Peoples, humans share many traits with disease, the planet as our host organism. On personal scales, this notion seems ridiculous. Humans are often caught up with personal benefit, and place too much emphasis on their own lives to understand their insignificance. Many organisms have a relationship with the earth that is utility to both sides, much like the relationship between the Black Rhino and the Oxpecker, or the relationship between humans and their intestine-borne E. coli.
With our desire to multiply, our population is now out of hand. If depletion were any louder, our species would be dying off faster than we produce. As it stands though, our rising population is synonymous with our depleting environment and with our current pattern, our future can only hold the ending of life on earth.