Life on Earth is in unstable equilibrium. The many natural threats did not succeed in destroying it. Additional threats, brought to the environment by human technology, are doing the job. Considerations about the Synergic effect brought the author to the hypothesis that sometime, during the first half of the XXI century, the environmental steady-state will suddenly collapse, questioning the survival of Homo sapiens on Earth.
Other considerations about historical processes and the behavior of human society brought him to the hypothesis that neither the present generation, nor the next one, will be able to arrest the impending environmental catastrophe. Our grandchildren will have to work very hard to fix the mess. They will do the job, aided by Controlled Nuclear Fusion and other not-yet-at-hand technologies. Can we make their task easier? Only if we recognize in time the essence of the problem.
The author presents it as a puzzle: the pieces look separate until they are brought closer, by unconventional comparisons and analogies. The reader is invited to assemble the puzzle, to look at the whole picture and to take actions for the future good health of Mother Earth.
(The narrow range of Life environment)
(The ecological steady-state as a wandering boulder)
(The story of a fat driver and his mother-in law)
(An unlikely new mass extinction)
(Holocausts leading to life blooming)
(Dancing with the global weather)
(If we will be so evil to let it break out, the human species will survive)
(We are piling the most dangerous element, not caring of the future)
(What do we really know about Aluminum?)
(About permitted and non permitted food additives)
(We keep it in prison, Nature will set it free)
(What happen when we open the box)
(The real meaning of scientific data)
(The problem is that we don’t see the difference)
(Everybody needs a little rest, but Earth is doing overtime work)
(Exhausting the natural reserves while piling polluting substances instead)
(Mortgaging the future for present convenience)
(Why the exploited Undeveloped are exploiting Mother Earth)
(Harnessing Capitalism to Ecology)
(International cooperation, a badly needed utopia)
(The Society’s Managers cannot do it better)
(Reporting a future visit at the Dome of Remembrance, virtually looking at TIME – Three-dimensional Interactive Model of Earth)
(The ecological clean Controlled Nuclear Fusion)
(Neither the hot H-bomb, nor the Cold Fusion utopia)
(A futuristic undersea Hydroelectric plant)
(About Ted Turner, Bison steaks and the re-wilding of the Wild West)
(Disposal in the Ocean bottom inert mud)
(We are the future Martians)
(Tunneling the Fly river to Australia)
(Who put the Nile Perch into Lake Victoria?)
(We need serendipity)
(Encounters of the third kind and the Drake’s equation)
(A pause for apologies and introductions)
(Sociology borrows the Wegener’s Theory)
(About invasions, colonization and colonialism)
(The meaning of words, intentions and attitudes)
(Remembering the sixties)
(Explaining them to the young)
(The son is so different… like the father!)
(What’s happening to the world population?)
(The developing Nations become developed)
(The happy end)
This is a serious book, though not too serious. It is the attempt to put together the pieces of a puzzle: the puzzle of the Survival of Human Life on Earth. Every one of us asked himself sometime whether the human species will be destroyed or not in the near future. Nobody can, of course, give us an answer, but we can look a little deeper around us and try to understand why we have good reasons to be concerned. I will not write about some sudden holocaust brought by nuclear war, nor about a mass extinction caused by a wandering comet, but about how subtle changes we are making will seriously endanger life on Earth in a shorter time than we are used to think, perhaps a few decades the most.
As I will try to explain, our grandchildren will face a meager reality: an Earth in so bad health conditions that they will have to work very hard to cure it, or they will succumb with it.
Since we are going to leave to our grandchildren a so bad heredity, it is worth to take a look at them too. Who will they be? How and where will they live? Are we leaving to them also something good? How will they accomplish the task of fixing the mess we are going to make?
To avoid misunderstanding I wish to clarify in advance that this is not a Philosophy treatise, nor a Science Fiction story. It is rather a thought exercise made by a person that likes to think, for the benefit of other persons like him.
Much has been said about global warming, nuclear waste and exploitation of natural resources. I apologize if I will add a few more drops to the rivers of ink, but I have the feeling that we all are not seeing the forest, because there are too much trees around us. I will try to make a short synthesis of some of the issues we all heard about, and to emphasize how the real danger for us is not this threat or the other, but rather the “togetherness” of many small threats. My synthesis will be based mostly on scientific facts. Each one of them will be presented in no more than a couple of pages, just to give the idea. I will avoid the use of complex formulas. The reader is requested to possess certain knowledge in modern science and technology, though no more than a regular reader of popular science’s publications. I suggest to those interested to read more about the issues to find references by themselves, on books or on the web (with the aid of the hyperlinked references).
The description of the interactions between the generations is a personal view, so the description of the grandchildren generation is. Scholars of History and Ethnology may well argue that this view is not based on science, and they might be perfectly right. My description is as good as any other. Does not really matter who is closer to the truth, what is important is that some future generation will have to cope with the problems we are creating now.
I hope that when all the pieces of the puzzle fit together the reader will see the whole picture: we are well aware of the fact that we are going to almost destroy Life on Earth during the next 50 years, but equally aware that we will do nothing to avoid that. Our grandchildren will be those who are going to fix the mess, with hard work and energy. The good news: they will have the meanings to do the job.
Sometimes I will be critic with regard to political leaders, but I am not taking the side of any political party or movement. As I will explain, political leaders are just one more little nuisance in the overall problem. They could help very much, but they will not.
The book is not for everyone. I urge people who believe in the superiority of one human race over another to close these pages right now. I suggest also not proceeding to readers who believe that man is not an evolution of the ape, or that the universe has been created in seven days some five thousand years ago. I respect their believes, but we just are not talking the same language.