Our preoccupation with ourselves and the flair of self-importance is barely surprising, given this is the only reality we have ever known, as a species, and as individuals – even more so.
Humanity is the major factor influencing the world. We are the crown of evolution, the very pinnacle of development and perfection nature could have come up with. Homo Sapiens. Kings and Gods of Planet Earth.
Yes, sure, what else can we preach?
What Would Dinosaurs Think Of Us?
We know so little of animal kingdom, but if they are able to communicate in the same way as we do, dolphins, dogs or elephants might as well be of a completely identical opinion about themselves. And, I bet, they might be adding various invectives in our address as well.
I can equally colorfully picture a gang of velociraptors having a chat over a killed prey discussing their plans of world domination another 80 million years ago. They must have been pretty condescending of their dumb and intimidating T-rex cousins making humiliating jokes about their clumsiness and retarded meander.
Oh, how much I loved The Land Before Time cartoons. How relatable and friendly were the characters! I could feel them breathing, dreaming and fighting for what was right! There was the whole world unfolding in front of those friends. They were discovering an exciting, challenging and dangerous world of Mesozoic.
If we are lucky, another species in a few million years will curiously observe our remnants and maybe even feel for us, for our cute blind confidence with our invincibility, superiority and naivety.
Not another species of Hominis. A species that will arise from medusas, cockroaches, rats or something we have never even seen yet. As proud and self-important Transhumanists would put it, it has to be undeniably be a mix of humans and robotics, the predictable and almost dearly by now cyborgs.
Who Is Coming After Us?
If we think about it a bit more soberly, Terminator would be the best possible legacy we could leave after ourselves. Just imagine the future where we are the ones deciding the fate of the world and all other creatures after we are gone.
Gone. Swept away in the trash bin of history. Obliterated, dusted and done with. Yes, indeed.
This is not a drill. We are all going to die, either by mutual destruction, meteorites, pandemics, global hunger, suffocation from CO2 or just by predictable and ruthless passing of time.
Have you ever read G. H. Wells’ Time Machine? Traveler starts his journey into the future with year 800K where the remnants of humanity are divided into two races which have developed through thousands of years of inequality and struggle. It is fascinating to read his predictions of the consequences of human indolence and comfort as the inevitable recipe for intelligence degradation and eventual extinction.
This genius of science fiction was published in 1895. Movie Idiocracy has been released in 2006. It took humanity exactly 111 years to realize the direction we are headed towards. Shortly after that we steadfastly jumped into the era of Trump, Brexit, anti-vaxxers, flat Earthers and one click away Amazon life.
Just as Wells has predicted, – technology, science and Capitalism are taking us one step forward while rolling us two steps backwards.
Fast track few million years into the future of The Time Machine, – no humanoids to be seen.
We might well go the Asimov’s Foundation track of space colonization, but this would not mean we as a species would not be wiped out from previously inhabited geographies like our dear Planet Earth.
Where Is This Paradise?
Take Ethiopia. That’s where we are all coming from and where early resemblance of human species branched out into 9 various types. This was Africa where Homo Sapiens was born and where it rose to dominate the outer areas, subsequently wiping out Neanderthals, Denisovans, Homo Floresiensis and others.
Is Ethiopia or African continent the most craved place to live on Earth right now?
Not counting impact investors and micro financing entrepreneurs, I have to conclude Africa is marginally attractive for life due to extremely hot climate, insufficient rainfalls, and high prevalence of contagious insects-borne diseases.
What do you consider a paradise on Earth at the present moment? I will be a romantic boring Euro-centric type and name Italy, Greece and France as my best bets. The cradle of civilization, they say. Temper Mediterranean climate and Godly food.
Idyllic environment for basking in the sun, devouring grilled octopus and enjoying rosé before jumping into chilled pool in your French Riviera or Sardinia villa.
Fast track this paradise 100 years into the future. With business as usual – thus 99.9 % certainty, – by 2100 Planet will get 4 degrees hotter.
Where do I find my Mediterranean paradise and our beloved cradle of civilizations?
Burning desert…Expanded Sahara in Nice and Rome! Millions of climate refugees fleeing historic European paradises for Siberia and Greenland!
Year 2100. Forget Polar bears and eternal ices. French Riviera has migrated to Arctic. Future-oriented entrepreneurs are renting out their Arctic land to millions of Africans, Europeans and Asians. Latin Americans are happily inhabiting warm coasts of Western Antarctica.
Life goes on.
Sounds like we got the warming covered. Good for us. New business arising, people are adapting to living in closer communities in tiny still livable islands of poles. After numerous wars and bloodsheds over fertile land humanity is slowly migrating to a forced form of socialism.
But fast track that another 100 or a 1000 years. What about 6 or 8 degrees warming? What about 12 degrees meaning up to 70 degrees temperate in India?
Is it even possible to survive on Earth in our current form? I don’t know.
What I can be sure of, however, is that if we do not adapt to climate apocalypse fast enough, some other species will. And whoever does it best, has the highest chance of dominating a greenhouse world of thinned air, oxygen-deprived high waters and intolerable filth of what tens of billions of people would leave behind tiny pieces of still inhabitable land.
Representatives of particular nationalities might feel very proud of their identity and willing to help out their compatriots out of a feeling of some ephemeral mutual bond between them.
Equally, as representatives of one species, we can and we do feel special in relation to all the other life forms inhabiting our world. Anyone claiming to be a Humanist or a Transhumanist, for that matter, would be well expected to advocate human supremacy and supernatural powers to combat any adversity coming our way.
Do You Care If Humanity Disappears?
While true to a certain extent, I can’t help feeling absolutely merciless and indifferent towards my own kin seeing Polar bears eating their own offsprings to survive the intolerable conditions our own comfort put them through, or previously beautiful corals of Great Barrier Reef or Galapagos islands transforming into empty lifeless trash repositories of a “glorious” human civilization.
I am very Darwinian in the outlook, and if humanity as a species is not smart enough to anticipate and combat the consequences of their world domination, there must inevitably come an end to the rule of such a self-obsessed and short-sighted kind.
Will the Planet lose much if we go extinct? Doubt this beautiful blue-green sphere would care much if we are gone.
Will the Universe lose a lot? It might, unless there is a sentient civilization somewhere else in this endless emptiness of space. And if there is not, what are the chances that among millions of Earth-like planets throughout billions of light years there won’t appear a life able of self-reflection and conscious drive?
Will I personally or my immediate relatives lose much if we go extinct? Only in the event of a sudden cosmic catastrophe, eliminating whole life on this Planet while any of my descendants are still alive. And in this case they would not care too much either, as they will be dead and absent. On the other hand, in case mind uploading is widespread by the time of humanity’s biological extinction, we won’t care much as we would have gotten used to the life in the cloud and would have definitely created several data centers and backups throughout the Solar System.
So, whether humanity will flourish and conquer the whole outer galaxies or give way to new and completely unrelated life forms, would not matter in the slightest on the grand scheme of things.
We are here today. We breathe, we feel and we love. Who cares about eternity?