“Extinction Rebellion Protest”


Let me get this straight.

The hypothesis put forward by the protesters is that climate change resulting from the activities of Homo sapiens will lead to the extinction of that species (and possibly some others – so some limited collateral damage).

At this point it is important to note that Homo sapiens is just that, a single species among millions on the planet. There seems to be no a priori reason for according Homo sapiens any elevated and special position in the evolutionary saga : No more than that of the many species of dinosaurs which once dominated the planet but which became extinct, or more recently that of the Giant Panda which has ended up in an evolutionary cul-de-sac.

The hypothesis advanced by the “Extinction Rebellion Protesters” seems to lead to the proposition that only way to avoid extinction of the species Homo sapiens is to revert to a lifestyle more in keeping with that which enabled the species to secure a small ecological niche for themselves on the planet. It would also imply that the size of the human population must be dramatically reduced to a level which would be large enough to enable the species to reproduce and maintain a viable gene pool, but not so large as to destroy its own environment and lead to extinction.

Fine, so we should abandon the cities and go back to living in small settlements such as existed in the late stone or early bronze age in which extended family groups lived together growing a few crops and keeping some animals for food and for the skins and wool which they could process in order to clothe and feed themselves (although vegans who are presumably the dominant majority among the protesters would consider this anathema). But, notwithstanding the Vegan protesters’ contradictory ideology that this is how Homo sapiens survived as a social species for thousands of years.

Here it is important to note that there have been many human species and all but Homo sapiens became extinct. Ipso facto there is no particular reason for according sapiens, a special and pre-eminent right to continue to exist. Extinction could, and according to the logical development of the initial hypothesis, should occur in order to benefit the many other species on the planet which would thrive once the overwhelming burden of Homo sapiens was removed in a mass extinction or at least a serious cull to sustainable levels.

It is important to note that apart from the life-style changes which development of the Extinction Protesters hypothesis requires, the more and most important factor would be a dramatic reduction in numbers. Thus either a total extinction or at the very least a reduction of the human population to a fraction of the present size resulting in a few isolated and self-sufficient communities which could become established and thrive alongside other species.

But the most logical position is that, rather than protesting and resisting based on the arguable hypothesis that Homo sapiens are creating changes in the climate that will lead to their own extinction, any person who genuinely cares about the planet rather than themselves should embrace and welcome the day when the supposed malign influence of their own species will be removed.

At that moment millions of other species of plants and animals will thrive and enable the evolutionary saga to continue until the next mass extinction.

In the meantime perhaps we all sit back and indulge whatever time we have left as a species because it will end one day, not tomorrow, not in the next decade, probably not even in the next century, but who knows?

Maybe in a few years that stray bullet of the universe, a massive asteroid will collide with Earth and smash it into cosmic dust.


Tony Sargeant April 2019