The End of Humanity?

Mark O’Connell wrote an article in the New York Review of Books called Hastening the End. His article was a review of Adam Kirsch’s book, The Revolt Against Humanity: Imagining a Future Without Us. The review starts with the question, “If humanity were to disappear from the earth, what would be lost?” In his opinion, our human civilization would cease to exist, but the Earth would be better off as well as all the other life forms remaining on Earth. Although not an optimistic outlook for humans, we seem to be well on our way toward extinction with some segments of our society clearly working toward self destruction of our representation on earth although not consciously. This is accompanied by a lack of real concern about sustaining our environment. Some thinkers discussed in the book think that the only way Earth can survive is without us. Some of us are willing to make at least modest efforts toward sustaining our environment, but so far this is far less than a total commitment to a viable future at least for humans. We remain fairly oblivious to the needs of Earth and to forms of life other than human. Thinkers discussed in this book see two alternatives for Earth’s survival. One is to remove ourselves by stopping procreation of our species. “No more babies!” leading to eventual extinction. The other is to adopt a part human/part machine existence for human-like beings. I have long hoped that humanity could come to its senses and find a way to live in a way beneficial to the Earth and its other than human inhabitants. Instead we off at best a way to somewhat minimize our destructive and parasitic relationship with the Earth and its other inhabitants. The longer we wait to discover realistic and effective alternatives, the less likely it is that we can do anything constructive in a timely manner. We need to stop taking baby steps and act courageously and decisively to save our Earthly home before it is too late.