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Why We're Probably Not Going to Make it

By Don Bennett, DAS
April, 2018

Why do I hold this opinion? Read on. But first know that I am not a pessimist and I'm not an optimist, I'm a realist. I prefer to look at things realistically rather than through rose-colored glasses or as an eternal cynic.

More than 99 percent of all species – amounting to over five billion – that have ever lived on Earth are estimated to be extinct. Some have gone extinct because of our influence (due to human-caused habitat destruction and climate change), and some went extinct having nothing to do with us. But what about us? Is it a given that the human species will be here until our sun burns out, or until the next glacial period or a huge asteroid slams into the Earth? Some say we sow the seeds of our own destruction as a species, and when thinking about this issue in an unbiased, dispassionate, logical, critical-thinking manner, taking all things into consideration, it is not only possible but probable that we will be the cause of our extinction; i.e., it's not a question of if we'll self-destruct, but how and when.

The likelihood of human extinction in the near future by wholly natural scenarios, such as a meteorite impact or large-scale volcanism, is generally considered to be extremely low. But many possible scenarios have been proposed for human-caused extinction: human global nuclear annihilation, biological warfare or the release of a pandemic-causing agent, dysgenics, overpopulation, ecological collapse, and climate change due to global warming. But there's another cause that doesn't get a lot of press; it's an umbrella term that is at the root of all of the above possible anthropogenic causes: lack of sufficient wisdom, or more to the point, increasing stupidity.

We're not only a fragile organism compared to many things in our environment (like automobiles and collapsing buildings), but many aspects of our civilization are also delicate. It doesn't take much to cut off food and water to large numbers of people, resulting in many deaths; natural disasters have demonstrated this quite dramatically. But we are also affecting our environment: we poison our water, air, and land, and we do the same to our own bodies by consuming poisons and toxins like poisonous liquids (liquor, beer), the deliberate inhaling of toxic smoke (from cigarettes), the ingestion of poisonous chemicals in our food (that we're told are safe but in reality are harmful over time), and to add insult to injury, the treatment of the conditions caused by the above is with poisons like chemotherapy that tank our immune system, and meds that damage our livers, with sperm counts going down and miscarriages going up as a result. To quote Spanky of The Little Rascals, "We're not so bright."

Then let's factor in what we're doing to our home... the planet that sustains us. We're pumping tons of CO2 into our thin atmosphere, and we're supporting industries that contribute tons of methane to the atmosphere – another even more potent greenhouse gas – which results in a warming of the planet, which raises ocean temperatures and melts arctic ice which raise sea levels and affects our climate which affects our weather (climate and weather being two different things). And this can affect our ability to feed ourselves, have potable drinking water, and enough land for all the people displaced from their homes by increased flooding from increased storm surge, and by the loss of coastal lands and certain island nations.

As you can see, it doesn't take much to dramatically affect our civilization. Yes, this will be "over time", but if overall failing health, falling fertility, and a less supportive eco-structure results in "the beginning of the end" of the human species, who is to blame but us. The vast majority of the world's population eats a diet that humans are not designed to eat, and the foods of that diet require way more land, water, and other resources than our natural diet, and the production of all that unnatural food is the number one cause of global warming (and is also the number one cause of what gets written as "Cause of Death" on our death certificates). By any standard, an insane practice if a sustainable species is the goal.

But we seem to be okay with insane practices. As mentioned above, there are people who go out of their way to inhale smoke, knowing that doing so will shorten their lives and result in what's likely to be very torturous final months of life. And many people have no problem drinking various poisonous liquids that have in common ethyl alcohol which damages the body and has no beneficial properties (except to the alcohol, medical, pharmaceutical, and autobody repair industries). And obviously we consume other things that clog our arteries, and cause cells to become cancerous while those same things kneecap our body's cancerous cell control mechanisms. And when we gain too much weight, we either don't care, or have it sliced off, or try to run it off which never works so we simply buy larger sized clothes.

And when someone shares with us any potentially life-saving information, if it suggests that we'd need to change our beloved habits, we employ that trait unique to humans where we choose to believe what we'd rather believe, and disbelieve what we don't want to be believe. This accounts for continuing to hold a cell phone against our head despite a solid case being made for not doing this, and continuing to eat those things that have been clearly shown to contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Could this behavior be considered insane? Don't all animals have a self-preservation mechanism? Or have we simply become so good at fooling others into doing things that are not in their best interests, and at fooling ourselves into believing whatever big business and their media minions tell us. (And even if we had a survival instinct, I don't want to survive; I want to thrive, and there's a big difference between the two regarding quality of life.)

To support my opinion, I have compiled a list of the things that would suggest that we're not going to make it as a viable species. I've already mentioned the biggies above, so here are some other, not so obvious ones.

 

Some of the Reasons We're Not Going to Make It

* We seem to loathe standards, preferring instead to have proprietary ways of doing things, even though having standards has many benefits. Why must we have multiple names for the same thing? Why is it called a speed bump, speed hump, and speed breaker? No, this is not in different countries, these are all in the U.S. Why can't they all be called the same thing? Why does a light switch in America turn the light on when in the up position, but turn the light off when it's flipped up in Europe? Why, for something as universal as time, are there two different ways to denote it among the same species? It's 1:00PM in some places, and 13:00 in others. Why are liquids still measured in gallons by some people, and in liters by others? Why is something as universal as the speed of a moving vehicle thought of in miles-per-hour by some people, and in kilometers-per-hour by others? And why is the steering wheel on the left side of some cars and on the right side of other cars? Why is something as universal as the temperature of freezing water said to be 32 degrees by some people, and zero degrees by other people? Why are cows cherished by some people and eaten by others, while dogs are eaten by some people and cherished by others (never mind that we're not designed to eat animals to begin with)?

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  THE TRAIN TORE THE FIREHOSE FROM THE FIRE HYDRANT

* We say that we drive on parkways and park on driveways.

* Some people don't wear seatbelts (although this can be thought of as evolution by natural selection, it's not going to work quick enough to be of any real help).

* Some people care more about getting just the right color of toenail polish or getting those season tickets than they do about their most precious possession: their health.

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* We collectively managed to choose someone who is obviously unqualified to be the leader of the most powerful country on the planet, and some of those who were responsible for choosing this embarrassment of a President are not able to comprehend that this is what happened even after more than a year of evidence that he conned them, and instead honestly believe that he is a great President. They are not cognitively able to recognize that he is, in reality, an incompetent, indecent, dishonest, self-absorbed, thin-skinned, narcissistic, manipulative, egotistic, unintelligent, insensitive, spoiled child, over-privileged, con-artist, misogynist, pathological liar, who, like a sociopath, lacks empathy and a conscience, doesn't give a rat's ass about the environment, craves the spotlight, and engages in nothing but demagoguery, and whose only real policy agenda, besides his self-dealing and taking care of those who benefit him, seems to be overturning everything his predecessor did simply because the previous President, a black man, made fun of him at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner. (And by-the-way, his own Secretary of State referred to him as a "f___'n moron".) We're responsible for the politicians who take advantage of us for personal gain, so what does this say about us as a species if this is who we're choosing to manage our country, someone who – to get elected – said he'll "drain the swamp" because he knows that's what we want to hear, and then when in office he increases the swamp so that the EPA, FCC and many other departments whose job it is to protect us and our country are cut off at the knees to favor big business. Why is this not a shock to some people, and others can't see that this is what happened? Obviously some people have a problem with their reasoning ability... and it's getting worse. And if you say that the two viable choices for President in 2016 were both horrible, what does this say about a political system where the only viable choices are self-serving people who consider themselves the "ruling elite" and view the so-called "lower class" as merely lowly peon workers, and who laugh at our misfortunes if they think about us at all, where we once had politicians who did care about the country, and they outnumbered the greedy, self-serving politicians... today, it's the other way around. This is not progress. Oh, and BTW, in a 2019 Independence Day speech, Trump said, "Our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rockets’ red glare, it had nothing but victory." Airports and airplanes in 1814? I rest my case.

* The U.S. was pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords because the President of the United States says that he believes climate change is a hoax (or does he just want to do what's best for his friends in the fossil fuel industry). And there being powerful industries who know that climate change is real, and that they are a major cause of it, and who don't care because doing something about it would mean less profits... well, that doesn't bode well for our species. Think about it: When the fossil fuel industry saw that the arctic ice was melting because of the CO2 increases from the burning of their products, they were overjoyed because this meant that their icebreaker ships could now get to places they couldn't before because the ice is getting thinner, so they can now drill more oil. All they and those who profit from their products like the Koch Brothers care about is money; more money. They couldn't care less what the use of their products will do to the Earth long after they're dead. It's been estimated that four percent of the population are sociopaths; if you think people like the Koch Brothers fit into the other 96%, you're nuts.

* We still appear to have the ability to see others as inferior based on the color of their eyes, the tone of their skin, or the country of their birth, i.e., we have the ability to think we're better than someone else, when we're not. It appears from recent events that racism, white supremacy, and anti-Semitism are all alive and well, and that some of these folks are "fine people" according to the current President of the United States.

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* Even carnivores don't prey on each other, yet humans do. Some of us have no problem stealing money from others with pry-bar, trickery, or legislation, and some humans are ready willing and able to take advantage of others for personal gain at the expense of people's health, quality of life, and even their lives, without batting an eyelash... and they even joke about it. We can chalk up a lot of this non-empathetic behavior to not living in accordance with our biological imperatives, and despite the best efforts of environmental advocates, vegans, and political change movements, this behavior isn't going away fast enough... just like greenhouse gas contributing behaviors.

* A steadily decreasing IQ. The increasing number of movies like Dumb and Dumber, banal TV shows, and TV commercials for expensive things like new cars aimed at a dopey demographic, along with less dietary iodine available to the public, are all harbingers of human's downhill devolution.

* Americans' life expectancy is declining, yet the age at which you can apply for full Social Security benefits has been raised from 62 to 65. This would make sense if we were living longer, but we're not. And our quality-of-life as we age is getting worse. These things do not suggest that we'll be a thriving species. And the pharmaceutical industry is happy that more of us will require more meds as we age. And this is another reason we're not a viable species.


* We can't have a global standard for denoting something as universal as the date. Some people use month/day/year and some use day/month/year, so 7/11/17 can be both July 11th and November 7th depending on where you live! And you can't tell the difference by looking at it unless it's a date that only makes sense one way, like 22/11/16. Face it, it's 2017, so we're a stupid species.

* There are now "Zombie Walking Laws". In Honolulu Hawaii police can now fine pedestrians for walking while texting on their phone. This is an example of a "it's for your own good" law, which governments in the U.S. do not have the right to enforce unless you give them permission by signing something. And I don't remember signing anything that gives government the right to punish me for texting while walking; parents can do that with their children, but not the state with the citizens unless we authorize them to do so on an individual basis. The government in communist countries can do this without the people's permission, but not countries that have a constitutional republic. So are these laws the new normal? Are we too stupid to understand that these laws are illegitimate? Can we not understand that the parent-child relationship only applies to parents and children and not to governments and citizens?

* More than half of the young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science.


* There are lots of people who are convinced the Earth is flat.

* We're still selling birds in cages and fish in tanks. We still have not come to realize that this is wrong. Living beings are not things to be bought and sold. Seriously, we'd never do that with humans... oh wait, we did used to do that. Oh wait, this is still being done (human trafficing). Hmmm, another F on our report card.

* It's the 21st Century and about half the population of the United States believes the Earth and the universe are thousands of years old, as opposed to their actual ages of 4.54 billion years and 13.73 billion years. The ability to accept settled science, and reality in general, results in climate change deniers, which results in essentially nothing being done about human-induced climate change except making it worse because of the profits that can be had.


* It is assumed that we will all need to be on a number of drugs when we're older. What's sick is that, for many people, this will be true. Why do we need them? We didn't need them many millennia ago, and it's not that we did need them but since they weren't invented yet, older people simply died prematurely. So why are they needed today? It's a combination of three things: 1) needing them because our health has been so degraded by our modern lifestyle, 2) a very powerful industry wants to sell them, and as much of them as possible; the more, the better, and 3) not really needing some of them but taking them because of #2. When ill-health is good for the economy of a species, and very powerful people with no conscience, morals, or ethics influence the economy, that can't be a long-lived species.

* Not getting rid of American football even though it is clear that it shortens the lives of players (a fact denied by the NFL). Again, too much money involved to do the right thing.

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* Boxing and professional wrestling.

* Wars and war mongering for the sake of profit.

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One of many thousands of pieces of misleading BS

* McDonalds in hospital lobbies.

* It's 2017 and there's still a tobacco industry.

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* Over 75 medical doctors who realized that there are better therapies for cancer treatment that are far more effective than the conventional treatments and don't tank the immune system and instead supported the body's natural cancer-controlling mechanisms, and who changed over their practices to these superior methods have met with untimely deaths that were deemed "suspicious". But of course no human being would give the order to "deal with this" that would result in someone hiring someone to hire someone to resolve the problem, even though these doctors represented a huge threat to the profits of some very powerful industries. I mean, there aren't people who would actually kill someone for personal gain... oh wait, there are. And they might have IQs ranging from the very stupid to the highly intelligent (but morally bankrupt).

* Two self-important egomaniacs who have the nuclear launch codes are threatening each other.

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* Some adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

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* Questions that an astounding number of people can't answer or get wrong...

    What is heavier, a pound of cotton or a pound of rocks?

    Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is...?

    What are the three states of matter?

    What country did America fight in the Revolutionary War?

    What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

    In what month do we in the U.S. vote for the president?

    Who did America fight in the Vietnam War?

* Labels I've seen that are deemed to be necessary:
    On a Sears hair dryer: "Do not use while sleeping"

    On a hotel-provided shower cap: "Fits one head"

    On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding: "Product will be hot after heating"

    On packaging for a Rowenta iron: "Do not iron clothes on body"

    On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights: "For indoor or outdoor use only"

    On a Swedish chain saw: "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands"

*

* Did I mention that sperm counts are decreasing and miscarriages are increasing?

* The ever-increasing fashion to begin every oral paragraph with the word "So" even though it serves no purpose being there.

* Diminishing resources that will inevitably lead to wars being fought, not over oil, but over drinkable water.

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* Dolphin drive hunts.

* It's the 21st Century and there are people still wearing leather.

* In 1812 there were one billion people on the planet, in 1912 there were 1.5 billion, and in 2012 there were 7 billion. It would be one thing if we were all eating the diet we're biologically adapted to eat, which is a sustainable diet, but we're not. It's as if we picked the most unsustainable diet, and the one that was the worst for us health-wise, both personally and planetary. So tell me again how are we the most intelligent species in the world?

There is obviously something wrong with humans today, but most people can't notice it because they'd be using the same brains that are happily doing these things to think about what they're doing. So for most people, self-assessment is of no use. Albert Einstein said it best:

"The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them."

But just because humans are likely to become extinct at some point doesn't mean that you can't have a wonderful life. And there are things that you can do now to help forestall our slide down that slippery slope; things that can actually make a difference in the near future and in your immediate future. Things like:

* Change over to a non-tailpipe car (EV); this helps to dial back human-caused global warming.

* Eat the diet humans are biologically best suited to eat, both for your benefit, and the benefit to the planet. This also sets a good example for others, especially young people, and it's the best thing anyone can do to lessen climate change's impact on our civilization. And a healthy diet and other healthful lifestyle practices also improves the function of all your organs, including the one that's processing all the words your eyes are seeing right now. And that is the only hope for our species... improved cognitive function that we genetically and behaviorally leave to those who follow us.

 

P.S. In a recent debate where the motion was, "Humankind’s best days lie ahead" 71% of the audience agreed with the motion prior to the debate, and then there was the 1.5 hour debate where two speakers on the side against the motion made the case that while this has been true in the past, it does not automatically mean this will continue, and that new threats, the likes of which humanity has never seen before, stand to negatively affect humanity on a large scale. After the debate ended, the audience was surveyed again, and that 71% actually increased to 73%, demonstrating yet another reason we're not likely to make it. Our tendency to lean towards optimism, and our inability to look at issues objectively, realistically, all-things-considered, will one day likely have us fiddling while Rome is burning.


Don Bennett is an insightful, reality-based author, and health creation counselor who uses the tools in his toolbox – logic, common sense, critical thinking, and independent thought – to figure out how to live so we can have the best odds of being optimally healthy, even if that's not where we're headed as a species.

 

Recommended:

The must-see documentary What the Health

Book: Return to the Brain of Eden (explains why we're the way we are today)