Monday, February 06, 2006
Save the planet? – What a joke!
I am a fan of Michael Crichton and I love the amount of research he puts into every book and the way he makes even the layman understand the complex concepts without sounding condescending. The past weekend I was reading his Jurassic Park and The Lost World for the Nth time. Ian Malcolm, my favorite character in the books is a Chaos theory expert, (For the uninitiated Chaos theory is a part of Mathematics which helps in predicting the unpredictable.) He keeps predicting gloom and doom through out the book and is proved correct at almost every turn of the story.
One of his statements, though, made me sit up and think. It was such a simple statement and so very profound (as simple statements generally are).
We keep talking about saving the planet. Who are we to save the planet when we cannot even save ourselves? And laughably does the earth even need us to save it?
Earth is 4 billion years old and was alive and well long before we came and will be alive and well long after we are gone. If all the creatures that now pervade the earth are removed then another set of beings will, no doubt, emerge.
There have been four or five great extinction of animals in the annals of earth’s history as we know it, Even in the eras of the Dinosaurs, I am told , there was extinction of a large number of mammals, after every era (such as Triassic and Jurassic) and not every extinction was caused by the collision of an asteroid.
Couple of billion years ago, there were small single celled organisms and they were flourishing in the prevalent environment of the then young earth. But when the hot core of the earth cooled it caused cracks in the surface and an extremely poisonous gas got emitted. This gas almost annihilated those living creatures, and this gas was Oxygen. But other creatures that thrived on oxygen slowly emerged until earth became the green world we see today.
The earth keeps changing with various conditions and adapts and accepts whatever challenge is thrown its way and is almost impervious to the damage done by us. After all what are we in the grand scheme of things? Not even a speck worth mentioning.
Maybe, as Ian Malcolm says, the homosapiens were created to clean the earth so as to pave the way for the newer batch of creatures. After all we do such a good job of it!