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!


Anonymous said...

Well, yes, having fundu topics posted does have an impact. Nice piece of work buddy!

hazel said...

:) good one..!

vikram said...

Quite a bouncer!!!

Anonymous said...

Nice it is....and liked this quote..."Who are we to save the planet when we cannot even save ourselves?"

Sanjana said...

Thank you all! I am glad u enjoyed it! :-)

Mark IV S'nathan said...

Choas Theory the Father of the Butterfly Effect. Ian Malcom is my favorite too and he was found wanting in JP 3!!! Waiting for JP 4 with him!!!!

Sanjana said...

Come on Mark! u can't really compare the books with the movies. JP3 and lost world were another example of how to spoil a good book.

Ranjith said...

Good piece!
But do you know what? This is misleading!
The answer to the question "who are we to save our planet" depends on what time scale are we talking about. (gen'lly in physical sciences, everything
depends on the time scale you talk).
Of course we cannot save our planet for a million years. Coz we don't how things will go by then.
But when we talk about saving our planet, our time scale
is of the order thousand years... In that time scale, it is indeed we who has to save our planet. It's upto us if we want to end everything in a nuclear holocaust in this centuary itself; It's upto us if we want to pollute our planet and cause irreversible damage to us and other living beings; or save it in the short time scale possible.

I think we might be able to do a bit more. In the ladder of evolution we have reached such a stage that, in principle, we can explore the universe and look for some other part of the universe where life can exist! (eventhough we cannot reach out of solar system now, we don't know what will happen in another 100 years.
1869 no one thought we will reach moon!)
So i think if we "save" ourselves for another few hundred years, we might even reach out to another planets
and help the creation to survive irrespective of whatever happens to the planet earth!

In another direction, we can mess around with genetics and make ourselves fitter for the survival in all extreme conditions !! (I know jurassic park tells us how it can wrong! but it can go right too!! optimistic hee heee!)

this might sound too much an imagination! but you know, there is nothing to lose by imagining!!

so BTW, save our planet for a few hundred yrs more and let us see how things go... ;-)