Correction: that title should have read, “One Man’s Success is ALL Others’ Demise,” for mankind’s triumph comes at the cost of endangerment, degradation and despoil for every other species. It’s not a simple case of Darwinian “survival of the fittest;” it’s the first and only instance of a single species’ persistence setting off a mass extinction.
Charles Darwin never actually said anything about “survival of the fittest,” (those words were dreamed up by some sensationalizing journalist) Darwin’s thing was natural selection. And anyway, humans can hardly be thought of as the “fittest,” compared to nearly every other species out there. Without technology we’re nothing but bald-bodied, clawless, finless, fleshy, flightless, miniature land sloths—most unimpressive next to every other animal we’ve sent down the road to oblivion.
Yet each cog in the great wheel of life we carelessly cast aside is another nail in our own coffin. Homo sapiens won’t come out of this man-made biodiversity crisis smelling like roses, but rather like road kill. All the kings gadgets and all the kings medical men won’t be able to put Humpty-humanity back together again once we’ve completely cracked the fragile shell of life on Earth and sold it off as the last McMuffin.
So, biodiversity or anthropocentricity—what’s it gonna be? You can’t have it both ways.
Come on Man, didn’t your mother ever teach you not to play with mass extinction? Having your own epoch is not something to be proud of. The current era, the Anthropocene, was so named not for any great human achievement, but because we’ve disrupted things enough to bring on our very own mass extinction—and this biodiversity crisis won’t go away until we back down or get out of the picture.
We are tilling under everyone and everything that gets in the way of our single-minded push to raise a bumper-crop of humanity. Of all the Earth’s invasive species, Homo sapiens is the one in dire need of controlling. Yet, we’ve been able to cleverly avoid or survive every effort Nature has come up with to regulate our numbers…so far.
But be warned, lowly human: Mother Nature still has a few tricks to throw at you if you aren’t willing to manage your own population. For as every good farmer should know: he who grows a mono-culture risks crop failure.