Viewport width =
July 30, 2007 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

R.I.P. Homo Sapiens

Farewell to the Hairless Ape

The End. Charles Taze Russell and his Jehovah’s Witnesses believed it would come in the year 1914, but although the World went to war, the ground did not dry up and the seas did not boil. A number of acquaintances of mine, who spend much of their time searching for certain species of wild fungi, cite 2012 as the point at which mankind will slip into a state of chaos, because the Mayan calendar says so.

All forms of life become extinct or evolve. The total human population is currently going through the sort of population spike which, when studied in colonies of bacteria, always leads to a depletion of resources and subsequent total extinction (the J-Curve). Without spouting out paranoid fables or going in for the all-too-predictable ringing of the doomsday bell, we may well ask if the end is coming soon. But why?

And how? And will mankind’s greed lead to his extinction, or will a collapse of civilisation as we know it simply bring about a simpler tribal way of life, albeit carried out on abandoned freeways and in absurd gladiatorial pits featuring Tina Turner? Salient feature writer Tristan Egarr ponders such questions.

Yea, and all the people shall drip into space on the sweat of the warm globe:

“all these concerns about the world getting warmer, well people thought that they were just being rewarded.” – The Postal Service

For about as long as man has told stories, he has told stories about the end of man. And while he finds much to like in the weather – after all, without either wind or rain, he would not be alive – he cannot control it, as it too often stars in his fears.

Shakespeare’s cataracts and hurricanes spouted, till they had drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks. The weather lurks rather ominously in our apocalypse of the moment: climate change. But unlike King Lear, we have scientific data to back up our paranoia.

The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) spent 2007 issuing an updated report, which states that, partially due to the natural warming/cooling cycle but mainly due to a sharp spike in emissions of CO2 (exhaust fumes), methane (cattle fart) and nitrous oxide (laughing gas), the earth is warming at 0.2 degrees celsius per decade, and will rise between 1.1 and 6.4 degrees over the 21st century. This will in turn see sea levels rise between 18 and 59 centimetres. But it hardly sounds like the most dastardly sign of the apocalypse, does it now? Of course, this is to be accompanied by more frequent heavy rain, heat waves and droughts, and more extreme hurricanes and cyclones (since the sea soaks up 80 per cent of the increasing warmth, and apparently this causes storms).

Some temperate-to-chilly areas will of course benefit, so anyone keen to profit from the inevitable warming would be wise to relocate here (Invercargill or Gore anyone?). For low-lying areas such as the Cook Islands and Bangladesh, rising seas will mean the deaths of millions of largely impoverished human beings who lack the means to relocate. The IPCC states that while we need to stop pumping crap into the atmosphere if we really care about these people, but that whatever we do to change our behaviour, the masses of greenhouse gasses already pumped out mean that much of the damage is already done.

The choice, then, is between a slightly uncomfortable and slowly developing decline in habitability in dry and low-lying areas, or an extreme and gleefully apocalyptic version of the same – “this is your weather, in a mosh-pit, on methamphetamine.”

Yea, and all the world shall run out of drink and cease to sweat; And low, the humans shall be thirsty.

“Do you like the way the water tastes / like gunfire?” – Deftones

It may seem that global warming can be handled by simply embracing callousness, ignoring the countries worst effected, and moving farmers from our (soon to be infertile) East Coast to Southland. But alas, global warming is not the sole cause of the coming apocalypse. More frightening is our mineral gluttony, our over-consumption of resources. Proponents of the peak oil theory supply fairly convincing evidence to suggest that oil will become impossibly difficult to extract within decades; and the New Scientist argued in May that the rare elements (such as platinum) used to make many of the gadgets we couldn’t bear to live without (from cellphones to laptops) will also run out within our lifetime. And among all natural resources, there is one we simply cannot afford to waste: water.

But wasting it we are.

According to UNESCO’s World Water Development report, 40 per cent of the Earth’s population currently lack adequate or safe drinking water for their minimal hygiene needs. UNESCO predicts that the average quantity of drinking water available to each person will decrease by 30 per cent in the next 20 years. Given our reliance upon water, it is not surprising that areas with the most marginal water supplies – the desert regions of Africa and the Middle East – are also the main centres of political violence. The ‘Arab world’ holds only 1 per cent of the world’s water but 5 per cent of the world’s population, many in polluted urban centres, (that they also sit upon much of the dwindling oil supply so coveted by the world doesn’t help either).

Such water supply problems are exacerbated by climate change: the IPCC states that in Africa alone, “by 2020 between 75 and 250 million people are predicted to be exposed to an increase of water stress due to climate change.” What makes this so tragic is that it should be avoidable, since only 15 per cent of the global human population’s water use is for household needs. The majority – 70 per cent – goes on irrigation for agriculture, yet irrigated (as opposed to rain-fed) crops only account for 10 per cent of food production. However, if global warming sees currently water-marginal areas become drier, our need for irrigation will only become more demanding.

Intensive irrigation then salinates soil by washing salts to the surface, further reducing fertility in a neat spiral of doom.

Speed Kills: Birth and Copulation and Death

“Can you calm down on your rutting for just a couple of seconds while we sort out this food, air deal?” – Bill Hicks

The biologist-historian Jared Diamond has argued that crises such as resource depletion and climate change are dangerous not only in themselves, but because any attempt to tackle either problem will ultimately fail unless the other problem is also addressed. Furthermore, we are fairly well locked into a state of constant and accumulating growth of consumption.

The principle of continuous growth which underpins capitalism allows us to create, enjoy and build things on our own initiative. But to maintain a healthy economy in which more stocks rise than fall and more individuals profit than lose, the net amount of stuff taken from the earth, transformed and traded has to keep increasing, while the gross amount of water and fertile earth is not limitless. This fundamental need to grow is compounded by our exponentially increasing population. The entire homo sapiens species has a sexually transmitted dilemma: over-population.

It took us millennia to reach 1 billion people, yet only another century to reach seven billion. This shape is known to biologists as the J-Curve, and leads to collapse.

A massive and massively growing human population is not in itself a problem. If we abandoned all of our energy-guzzling labour-saving devices and embraced a primitive life of local food production, we could all fit together in one singing state of global subsistence.

But we would lose the networks between cultures from all corners of the planet which these energy-guzzling devices allow us to create; we could not collect the vast body of scientific wisdom we enjoy; and we will lose this if we do not slow down.

Admittedly, we could leave the planet and find one more well-stocked – but to do so we need resources to build and power intergalactic spaceships, and this we will lose too if we do not slow down.

Embracing the End of the World (plus a juicy bit about filth diseases)

“Save it for your own and the ones you can help.” – Soundgarden

Let us say that we refuse to give up all the wonderful gadgets which are sucking the world dry. Accepting extinction is after all an option – since most species become extinct it is hardly unnatural. In fact, the loss of adequate resources probably won’t lead to total extinction, since as the situation worsens countries with large guns can decide to live at others’ expense. Given that millions of people vocally resist slowing down, it is worth taking an honest look at the consequences, which are perhaps best shown by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The August 2005 hurricane did not stop at bursting New Orleans’ 40-year-old levees, causing $81.2 billion damages and leaving 1,836 dead. Despite the evacuation of some million inhabitants, around 60,000 remained as the flood waters filled up with faeces bringing diseases aplenty (and subsequently draining along with 6.5 million gallons of oil into Lake Pontchartrain) while the city’s main hospital remained closed until earlier this year. Simultaneously, 6,500 National Guards moved in with M16 rifles following media reports of looting; several gun battles ensued, and the city’s murder rate has since soared above already dire levels. What we see, then, is pestilence and violence.

First, this matter of disease. As water becomes sparse we will have to wash ourselves less and less. At first we will merely smell, bust since we will be hard-pressed to keep our flushable toilets going, we will have to become involved with the removal of faeces. Faeces + lack of washing = filth diseases!

My personal favourite is cholera. Cholera can cause you to shit out your own intestines. Then again, I do love my V8 town car, my ten fat children and my plasma screen TV…

And lo, they shall be killing one-another for the good of the species.

“In 25 minutes, a single seater F-15 jet can burn 625 gallons of fuel, more than the average US motorist uses in a year. An aircraft carrier will use that much in under seven minutes.” – Earth Island Journal, February 1991

Secondly, we have war. Mass warfare is technically a solution to over-population and consumption, since it allows us to thin out our numbers to the point where we can no longer make a demanding impact upon the planet.

In a controversial December 1994 article in The Atlantic Monthly entitled “Must It Be the Rest Against the West?”, historians Paul Kennedy and Matthew Connelly argued that when sub-Saharan Africa and India can no longer support their populations, they will understandably use all possible means to enter the developed world: “the rich will have to fight and the poor will have to die if mass migration is not to overwhelm us all”.

Europe, North America and Australasia have already been through and finished a population boom which began in the 18th Century, though we continue to over-consume. The developing world is right in the midst of an overpopulation crisis and has not even really begun to over-consume. While we can, in all honesty, advise other people that they should avoid overpopulation, we can hardly tell them it is immoral to come and invade our environmentally richer lands when much of the wealth we consume was produced by their hands.

If we insist upon destroying our planet until it cannot support our population, and every group refuses to slow down from either populating or consuming, then we are going to have to face facts and start killing one-another with no more justification than kill or be killed.

But the real kicker here, besides the way that war flows from the effects of global warming and resource depletion, is the fact that warfare in turn feeds into and exacerbates both of these environmental problems. War is both a cause and solution to the End. According to the Earth Island Journal, the US military consumed 8 billion gallons of oil in 1989 – 14 times as much as “the entire US urban mass transit system” in the same period.

Spending precious resources on plastic computers is one thing; wasting them on killing machines quite another. Now consider the impact was has upon carbon emissions: when Saddam Hussein set fire to 640 oil wells in Kuwait during the Gulf War, he burned an estimated 2.5 billion gallons of oil, again more than the US mass transit system in that year. We can convert everyone in the world to driving hybrid cars, but we are still going to destroy our earth and imperil our species if we keep on doing this kind of shit. It is unlikely that we can halt global warming without achieving global peace, and I’m afraid peace isn’t exactly knocking on the door as we speak. Bummer.


About the Author ()

Tristan Egarr edited in 2008. He threw a chair once.

Comments (2)

Trackback URL / Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jesus says:

    Hello, nice article,
    My name is Jesus. And i took DMT when i was on this earth while i was going through the pyramid initiatory process. In egypt we had a water lilly that contains DMT and we based our science and religion around our experiences. The pyramids were built as energy harnessing devises, placed precisely on the specific nodes created by the earths frequency as a octahedronal vibration, which is the underlying geometry of our own “third density.” So anybody who is in the kings chamber had access to the earths energy grid and could use it as an energy source to strip away the illusions of this third density reality. we are told in the bible that God created man and nature in his image, but the underlining truth is that we are the projected image of god. We are god. So in truth we are living in a holographic universe.

    If one has eyes to see and ears to hear….
    2012 is the end of a 51, 840 year cycle (the beginning of which is when science tell us that homo sapiens started the first cave-art- or from an evolutionary point of view is was where humans were physically exactly the same as we are now i.e.. brain size and physical appearance).
    51,840 years is a period of “time” given to us so that our spirits may gain experience in this third density. At the end of this cycle there is a judgement…not by God but by us…because we ARE God! The word apocalypse actually means, the unveiling of the truth. Which means by 2012 we will have a clear understanding of the ultimate reality of our existence here on earth and we will be operating our minds on a universal level of consciousness. Those souls who have spent over 50 percent of their time for service to self will have to repeat their third density experience and will be transported to another planet. Those souls who spent over 50 per cent service to others will inherit the new fourth density earth. The word sin actually translates to “missing the target” and in reality humans can never do anything wrong, but only miss the target.

    The holy trinity is actually a reference to how we operate in this physical world. Body, mind, and soul. Each aspect working together are what make us tick. The western world and atheism are aware of only the body and mind and are limited to the greater truth of our reality. where the east have known about the holy trinity (as far as we are scientifically aware) since the beginning of the of the last 5184 year sub cycle. (where science tells us that homo sapiens first discovered written language, originating in Sumeria)

    The main 50,184 year cycle is divided into two 25,920 cycles, which are divided then into five sub-cycles of 5184 years.
    This can be seen in the Mayan culture’s understanding of time where at the are 5 different suns each ruling for 5184 years. And we know that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012.
    25,920 years is exactly the length of time it takes for one cycle of the precession of the equinoxes. Where our north and south stars (where our north and south poles point to) will in 2012 be exactly the same as the were 25,920 years ago.
    Also in the astronomical world, the year 2012 is when on the dawn of the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year) our galaxy will be spread exactly along the horizon of the earth and the sun will rise directly out of the center of the milky way. The symbolism tied with this can be seen in freemasonry imagery where the phoenix rises out of the ashes.

    To explain global warming a bit clearer for the miss led masses…..
    Our whole solar system is moving into a part of space where there is a higher dimensional vibration, called the fourth density. Global warming is not just happening to earth, if you research this yourself, you will find that every planet in our solar system is heating up, their polar caps are melting and they are all going through massive physical changes. The cause of this is our sun. In 2012 we are approaching a solar maximum where the suns magnetic activity will be at a peak and will be heavily influencing the earths magnetic field, which nature and us are so intimately connected to.

    Because in 2012 we will ALL become aware of the same ultimate truth, we can no longer dis-agree and we can no longer tell lies to either ourselves or others. Some people will go crazy because they will react in fear. Others will embrace the extra energy (love) on the earth, and it will be those who react in love who will inherit the new earth.
    So in 2012, those human beings left on earth will no longer be living in the world as we know it. We will be above our current limited perception of what time is. Time and space are one, so time is only an illusion created by movement. Imagine if you will, walking in a straight line on the earth. From your perspective you are walking in a an exact straight line, but eventually you end up in exactly the same place! If you were viewing this from space you would see somebody walking in a complete circle. We are experiencing time at present as going forward in one direction. In 2012 be will bridge the next dimensional gap and be able to see the true reality of what time is. Which is why the Mayan Calendar ENDS in 2012, because we will have no need for calendars!

    In the mayan culture there is a story about when 2012 comes – the flow of the river will be getting stronger and it is time for us to stop holding onto the banks. We need to let go of our fear, let go of the physical and be taken by the flow of creation.

    psilophsben, DMT, mescaline, peyote, and many other fruits of divinity are on earth so that we may be able to communicate with higher vibrational thought complexes when we need. What these drugs allow us to do, is to tune into the different frequencies of reality that exist. DMT is a molecule that is naturally in our system from birth, it has been scientifically proven that phycics have higher levels of DMT in their system than others. Psilosyben is the molecule found in mushrooms and is one oxygen atom less that the molecule of DMT. Mushrooms were the centre of Mayan ceremony where the priests would ingest mushroom and go into trance like state where they would communicate with the gods and provide the people with knowledge from the higher realms. LSD which is extracted from an ergot fungus has the same effect. An important note here is that Francis Crick, the Nobel Prize-winning father of modern genetics deduced the double-helix structure of DNA whilst under the influence of LSD.

    The christ consciousness is here and is increasing in energy. 2012 will be a time for harvesting human souls, those good souls that are full of life will grow in the new world, and those soles who will bear no fruit will repeat the third density experience on another planet.


  2. tristan says:

    “christ consciousness is here”…
    far out jesus, i guess you have succeeded in reminding me how much i miss acid… *sigh*…

    if the gods are trying to tell me anything in that state, i cannot help but think that it is “everything is incredible simply because it exists. What are the chances of that? Phwoar, eh?” and while it is possible to realise that this incredibility of sheer existence is “true” w/out that acid-link, that isn’t the same as full-blown, stark Realisation.

    Like I said, far out. And here I thought you were all “Embrace universal love and meekness and don’t be gay or Go to HELL!”…. which has always struck me as kinda hypocritical and weird. But I imagine you came up with that before you stumbled upon the desert cactii of the Levant. yuss.
    p.s. please give some shrooms to St. Paul. He needs them, desperately.

Recent posts

  1. VUW Halls Hiking Fees By 50–80% Next Year
  2. The Stats on Gender Disparities at VUW
  3. Issue 25 – Legacy
  4. Canta Wins Bid for Editorial Independence
  5. RA Speaks Out About Victoria University Hall Death
  6. VUW Hall Death: What We Know So Far
  8. New Normal
  9. Come In, The Door’s Open.
  10. Love in the Time of Face Tattoos

Editor's Pick

Uncomfortable places: skin.

:   Where are you from?  My list was always ready: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, puppy dogs’ tails, a little Spanish, maybe German, and—almost as an afterthought—half Samoan. An unwanted fraction.   But you don’t seem like a Samoan. I thought you were [inser

Do you know how to read? Sign up to our Newsletter!

* indicates required