(FINE PRINT) 100 other species are going extinct daily
As much as we consider Nature non-sentient, it definitely has its thinking hat on at the moment: it is beginning to tackle climate change before humans can even begin to acknowledge it. It is doing this by trying to curb human population, the number one aggravator of the climate crisis. The spectacular nose-dive in human sperm counts that has been reported is nothing but nature’s most “humane” way of curbing us. There are many other ways for curbing population by the way, if this one doesn’t work: pandemics for example, are just another one of the tools at Her disposal, and there is wide agreement that the current one has been activated by human-induced climate change
Ecosystems are much smarter than we thought they were. We thought that we would take everyone down with us when we destroy the world. But Nature is a survivor, and knows our game already. It has decided to take action early, and take us out before we kill every other species on Earth. This way, the ecosystem can continue in some type of semi-intact form: until it finds its balance again, without humans in the picture. This is how ecosystems have survived previous extinction events.
There is actually a scientific basis to this: one of the ways that this selection of humans for termination works is by the elimination of the large predatorial species. Humans are a relatively large animal by general standards. They are also on top of the food chain, and omnivorous, which means that they ingest, and accumulate all of the toxins that they dump on Earth. These chemicals are therefore much more likely to reach high concentrations in our tissues, and this is further amplified by our very long lifespan. Moreover, we are exposed to far more chemicals than wild animals. From synthetic hormones in our plastics, to smoking, city pollution and other substances, each of us is a toxic dump by the time we reach old age. Sperm production is a delicate process taking place at the cellular level. It doesn’t like toxic environments, especially foreign, synthetic hormone-mimicking molecules that interfere with one of the bodily functions that is 100% driven by hormones: our reproduction.
Whenever fertility in a species decreases, it is Nature saying “it is not safe for you to bring children into this world”. Which begs the question: what is wrong with our world? It is a rhetorical one of course, the answer being “everything”. Too many toxins and toxic lifestyles for our bodies to want to reproduce. The sperm count nose-dive, as much as it sounds frightening, is only the warning shot. It is a glimpse of what is to come. This is because it is usually the reproductive functions in an organism that shut down first, whenever there is a survival threat that puts that organism under stress: energy needs to be conserved in order to survive, so the body cuts down on the non-essential functions like libido and making sperm cells. But if things get worse, the body starts cutting down on other things that impact general health. The general direction we are heading towards is one of being dumber, fatter, sicker, all a result of our own human civilization.
The island of Ikaria in Greece, is one of the 6 Blue Zones where many people get to live over 100. Far away from toxic cities, producing their own food in their back gardens without fertilisers, and drinking plenty of wine devoid of sulphites and other processing, the residents of Ikaria and other Blue Zones are an insight into the lifestyle we left behind.
Two species went extinct while you were reading this essay, all the fault of YOUR species, MY species. Why don’t we throw this perspective into our conversation. I can’t think of a more fitting ending to this blog: “what goes around, comes around”
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George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books