|Image Courtesy: theodysseyonline|
Human beings make a difference even to the planet. According to geologists, human beings have altered the fate of the planet. The earth has now entered a new geological epoch which they call Anthropocene. The 12000 year-old Holocene has come to an end.
Human activities have altered the very nature of the planet. It is no more the mountains and their glaciers, or the oceans and the cyclones, that determine the fate of terrestrial life. Man has reasons to be proud of himself: it is he who shapes the destiny of the earth.
Should he be ashamed of himself, rather?
Human activities have increased the acidity in the oceans which in turn will make the marine creatures to evolve and develop shells to withstand the man-made poison in the saline waters. Geologists predict that future limestone will come from the shells of these marine creatures.
Nitrogen content in the atmosphere has been affected. River deltas have shrunk. The very air is poisoned. Soil is contaminated. There is nothing on the planet or its atmosphere that man has not left unsullied.
Three centuries ago, Jonathan Swift created a character named Gulliver who, after seeing different worlds during his voyages, ended up as a misanthrope. During his final voyage, the Brobdingnagian king judges Gulliver’s species “to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.” Our geologists today would agree with that judgment.
With the hubris that only the human beings possess, we may assert that we are the creators of a great civilisation. But our great creation is turning out to be an elegy for the earth.