For eons this great orb which we currently inhabit has been swirling, exploding, creating and killing. Great dynasties of life forms have developed, roamed, and died, all in the natural process of the planet. We as humans or, on a greater scale, as mammals, are simply another creation formed since the birth of our planet some four and a half billion years ago. And here we are, contemplating the destruction of the earth and how we are accomplishing it through the release of carbon monoxide and other deadly chemicals. But the fact is we cannot, and certainly will not, destroy the planet.
It is a rather selfish thought that we are capable of such power: to make uninhabitable something which took four and a half billion years to develop. It is quite ignorant, in my opinion. To us, a hundred years is significant but to our great "Mother Earth" even a million years is hardly significant. The planet lives on a much vaster scale than we have the ability to understand. We are, in relation to the great life of our planet, a single breath.
The current situation has all happened before: a life form overpopulating the earth, releasing harmful agents, resulting in the destruction of or setback to that population. However, that accumulating life was plants and the destructive agent being released was oxygen. But with this abundance of oxygen, new life grew to the point we are at today. Although we may make the planet inhospitable for current life, new life will take its place. Even if we were to wipe the earth totally clean of life, say with a nuclear war, at least the smallest of bacteria or algae would be preserved somewhere on the planet. And, over time (billions of years), the evolutionary process would bring the planet back to the great variety of life we now find. Life will survive any great accident we can produce; man, however will not.
By no means do I openly suggest that we should not care for the earth. It is necessary if we are at all interested in preserving human life. However, no matter how hard we try, or indirectly achieve, we will never destroy all life. It is a pretty valid assumption that life will surpass the mammal dynasty, let alone the human dynasty, for we are but a single breath during the vast life of our beautiful and ever-changing, ever-revolving planet. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.