Mistreatment Has Consequences!

Mistreatment often—usually?—has consequences, and of a negative nature.  Let me limit myself here to just two examples.

First, humans have—especially since the Agricultural Revolution of millennia ago, and more particularly since the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century—been perceiving themselves as apart from, rather than a part of, Earth System.  They have, for example, perceived Earth as a mere resource to be exploited rather than as their homea place, therefore, to respect, and treat with care.

This attitude toward Earth System has led them to engage in activities that have impacted Earth System negatively; and as their activities have increasingly had the effect of removing them both physically and intellectually from close contact with Earth System, humans have become increasingly unaware of how their activities have been impacting Earth System negatively. Impacting Earth System negatively, and being unaware of so doing:  Now that’s not a good combination!

Since the Industrial Revolution in particular, humans have been transferring carbon from below Earth’s surface (via the burning of fossil fuels), and carbon on Earth’s surface (via deforestation activities), to the lower atmosphere, thereby increasing Earth’s natural greenhouse effect.”  It’s true that this was first noted by Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius in the 1890s; and also true that Guy Callendar first established (in 1938) that global warming was occurring.  But scientists began to recognize this as a serious problem only recently; and our “leaders” have yet to take global warming seriously!

As a result, Arctic climate scientist John Davies found it necessary to write the following in 2013:

The world is probably at the start of a runaway Greenhouse Event which will end most human life on Earth before 2040. This will occur because of a massive and rapid increase in the carbon dioxide concentration in the air which has just accelerated significantly. The increasing Greenhouse Gas concentration, the gases which cause Global Warming, will very soon cause a rapid warming of the global climate and a chaotic climate.

Given that the Arctic is today’s “canary in the coal mine,” this is a highly ominous statement! Note that implicit in this statement is the very strong possibility (probability, rather?) that it is now too late to “save” our species from extinction; so that our species will soon join the 150 – 200 other species going extinct each day! (For a rather extended discussion of the matter click here.)

It appears, then, that Earth System will soon be getting its “revenge” for our mistreatment of it—although it’s through our own actions, relative to Earth System, that we have “engineered” our imminent demise as a species!  That is, the global warming that is occurring is anthropogenic:  The changes that we have been making in Earth System are rendering Earth increasingly uninhabitable for us!  A point will be reached, within a matter of decades, such that Earth will not be habitable, so that our species will be no more.

The second example that I wish to touch on here is less serious, but from the standpoint of the present, at least, it is serious.  On March 22, 2016, there was a bombing in Brussels, for which ISIS took credit.  In listening to television coverage of this atrocity, and reading newspaper accounts of it, one gets the impression that there are aspects of Islam that make inevitable some adherents of that religion become “terrorists.”

What those reports always ignore is that ISIS—modern terrorism per se—is a monster of our own creation!  As a former Marine sniper has said:

ISIS is our monster.  Our government picked the winners in Iraq, and our push for the 2005 national elections hastened the civil war from which ISIS grew.

And as Robert Scheer has written (specifically about Osama bin Laden):

Awkward, I know, to point out that bin Laden was another of those monsters of our creation, one of those Muslim “freedom fighters” that President Ronald Reagan celebrated for having responded to the CIA’s call to kill the Soviets in Afghanistan.  That holy crusade against infidels was financed by Saudi Arabia and armed with U.S. weapons to oppose a secular Afghan government with Soviet backing but before Soviet troops had crossed the border.  In short, it was an ill-fated and unjustifiable intervention by the U.S. into another nation’s internal affairs.

Don’t trust me on this one.  Just read the 1996 memoir by former Carter administration security official and current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a book touted by its publisher as exposing “Carter’s never-before-revealed covert support to Afghan mujahedeen—six months before the Soviets invaded.”  This dismissal of the claimed Cold War excuse for the backing of the mujahedeen was acknowledged by President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who, when asked by the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur if he regretted “having given arms and advice to future terrorists,” answered that he did not:  “What is most important to the history of the world?  Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”

Our foreign policy, for some time now, has been one of “meddling” (to put it politely!) in the affairs of other countries—a fact that can be inferred from these titles of books written by William Blum:

  1. Freeing the World to Death:  Essays on the American Empire
  2. Killing Hope:  U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II
  3. Rogue State:  A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
  4. America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy – The Truth about US Foreign Policy and Everything Else

What these books suggest is that our “In God We Trust” motto should be changed—were we honest with ourselves, that is—to “Kill!  Kill!  Kill!”  The fact that our A-bombing of Japan was unnecessary is but one indication of that fact.

Our species—led by us “USans”—has been a cancer on Earth System; and we USans have been a cancer on the rest of the world.  If Earth System could talk, it would undoubtedly say:  “Good riddance!”

What’s tragic about the fact that our destiny, as humans, as extinction soon is that it’s not fair to either the non-Usan humans whose deaths we will be causing (are causing right now!), or members of other species—species that have been going, and will continue to go, extinct, even after our demise.

Who was the (utter!) fool who said that ours was the most intelligent of all species?!!

Al Thompson retired three years ago from an engineering (avionics) firm in Milwaukee. His e-mail address is: sven3475@gmail.com. Read other articles by Alton.