By Letter to the Editor on November 29, 2019.
Historian Yuval Harari of Hebrew University says in his book, “Homo Sapiens,” human species emerged in East Africa 90,000 years ago. The human population grew rapidly, driving more than 90 per cent of other species to disappear. As the lifestyle began to switch from foraging to agriculture during about 12,000 BCE, mass extinction accelerated.
The museum in Morden, Man., features the story of gigantic 60-foot Mosasaurus that lived 70 million years ago. They became so powerful that their dominance was complete. They exploited all life forms until they had nothing to live on. So they perished, unlike dinosaurs which were driven to extinction by a cataclysmic event. Humans seem to be following the Mosasaurian path.
Samson fought a lion with bare hands, according to the Bible. Today there are no lions in Israel. In Lesotho, there are prominent tribes called “Tau – Lion” and “Koena – Crocodile.” But there are no more lions or crocodiles there. Dairy farmers in Chateauguay Valley, Quebec told me about their grandfathers driving milk tanker trucks across the frozen St. Lawrence River. Pacific islanders are losing their land to live on as the sea level rises. Cod stock collapsed 30 years ago in Newfoundland. Bison that once carpeted the Prairies were wiped out. Chimpanzees, elephants, rhinoceros, salmon, songbirds and whales are disappearing. Last year in Japan for the first time I heard stories like a mother who watched her son drop dead from heat stroke in the middle of a soccer game. An old woman died in her sleep because she ignored the advice not to set the air conditioner on timer. The A/C stopped at the set time and she died from the heat.
But none of those facts seem to scare sceptics. They say, “It’s cyclical.” When a frog is in a pot of water getting warmer, it stays in comfort until it’s cooked in the boiling hot water. I am sure Mosasaurus did not realize they were killing themselves by enjoying their supremacy, eating everything in sight. We, too, think being dominant is a good thing. Creating an expanding economy is the purpose of life. We in the north enjoy warmer summers like the frog in a pot of warming water. Before long we may need to stop Americans escaping more frequent and violent hurricanes and wildfires. Some will say, “It’s cyclical; it comes and goes.” You mean other species like cockroaches will take over when humans are long gone?
Tadashi (Tad) Mitsui