He confesses that he suffers from a "mild arachnophobia" -- so much so that he was unable to cope with and preserve a large and colorful orb spider that he had acquired with some difficulty, and instead simply opened the plastic bag and released it back into the wild.
What is now at risk is the functional integrity of the only biosphere we know, and the very continuation of civilization. And yet, we seem numb to this unprecedented threat. Will modern civilization evolve to become egalitarian and sustainable, or collapse?
A recent Gallup poll indicates that most Americans do not believe that global warming and extreme weather are connected. The March 6-9 poll included 1,048 adults selected randomly from all adults living in the United States.
Like most babies, these new arrivals require a lot of attention. While they wait in their incubators for one of their 16 daily feedings, they listen to the recorded voices of their parents. They are fed a special formula of papaya, scrambled eggs and insects. Insects?
Theoretically, we can still pull back via a World War II level green energy mobilization together with rapid and permanent fossil fuel reduction. But we are not stopping. In fact, we are accelerating the process. We can't imagine it. It is our tragic flaw.
At an ocean conference in China last October, renowned American oceanographer Sylvia Earle told participants that "we must think of taking care of the ocean as if our lives depended on it....because they do!"
Darwin was right about many things, including the mechanism by which the plenitude of life we know as biodiversity came to thrive on this planet. Unfortunately for us, his picture has hit a big roadblock.
We are entering the sixth mass extinction on Earth, and this one is because of human activity. The other five were from natural causes. The extinction rate now is 1,000 times the normal background extinction rate.
We are currently in the midst of what scientists consider the sixth mass extinction in planetary history, with between 150 and 200 species going extinct daily, a pace 1,000 times greater than the "natural" or "background" extinction rate.