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Friday, January 4, 2013

Anthropocene Today: The Fate of the Ice Crawler

Posted by on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 9:55 AM

The sad story of the grylloblattid...

This brave, mobile, tough little insect has been on the planet almost as long as the cockroach. It's a survivor. But in its time on Earth, it has moved from sunny, glorious forests to emptier, colder places. Now, it's the only big insect that makes its living in perpetual snow. Most insects stop moving when it gets too cold. But not this guy. He lives on ice.

And even so, the grylloblattid (or ice crawler, as it's called) is running out of options because all over the world, the ice it lives on is melting. Another earthling with nowhere to go. And when the ice goes, it's not clear what happens next.

Not clear? How clear is this: More than 99 percent of all species that have lived on Earth are now extinct.
  • NASA

What makes humans worse than the other species that have destroyed their environments and worlds is that we are aware of our self-destructive ways and yet still do nothing about it, still talking about economic growth as if it is the most important thing in the universe. If evil (a word I detest) is anything, it is this kind of inaction (knowingly doing nothing about a bad situation that has clear solutions).

This post owes everything to Nathaniel Elliot Tanner Rogers.


Comments (11) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
but why is it evil to destroy ourselves, or the whole world's current environment?

why is the environment with us and animals better than a rocky wasteland environment after we pollute the globe or after say massive nuclear exchanges? what value system tells us killing every living thing is "bad"?

seems like to have that value you are adopting a value stance "outside" the physical world. iow, you believe in god on some level. perhaps not an old dude with a beard, but some kind of thing or stance outside our physical world that whispers in our ears things like don't kill. don't destroy the earth.

why is destorying the earth any different than me stepping on an ant iow? or crushing up a rock I find, destroying it!?
Posted by deep spacey questions on January 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 2
nice jpeg
Posted by dnt trust me on January 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM · Report this
"Clear solutions" my Aunt Fanny - there is no clear solution without a means to implement it. In this case - as plainly as the nose on our faces - we haven't come up with the solution's necessary political component. Pretending otherwise as in this post has no purpose than to create a swoony moral feeling.
Posted by gloomy gus on January 4, 2013 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 4
If we cannot survive, we go. That's the rule. Adapt or die. I was watching a nature program about volcanoes and a scientist was explaining how difficult it was to have so few years of research to look at. The Earth recycles over eons. We've only just appeared.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 4, 2013 at 10:09 AM · Report this
thatsnotright 5
Which other worlds have been destroyed by other species?
Can a non-sentient species have a "world" if it can't recognize that it exists? Or are you talking about aliens on ssome planet you recall from a sci-fi thriller?
Not to pop your self-loathing button, but the majority of species that have gone extinct did so before humans came on the scene. did you make that 99% up because it sounded good?

Human impact on the environment is indeed a serious problem but it will not be solved by emo musings and pop-philosophy and psuedo-science.
Posted by thatsnotright on January 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM · Report this
thatsnotright 6
It is of course, spelled "pseudo".
Posted by thatsnotright on January 4, 2013 at 10:20 AM · Report this
Knat 7
@1: Self preservation and the drive to pass on our genes are the most basic - and possibly strongest - animal imperatives. Morality doesn't enter into it. The wish to preserve our environment stems from this selfish desire as much as from any charitable feelings toward our fellow creatures. Once you admit the selfish wish comes first, you can certainly apply more noble notions of empathy and morality.

Also, while crushing an ant extinguishes its life, it doesn't destroy it any more than crushing a rock destroys the rock. It's the loss of that spark of life that we mourn, because it's special. Crushing a rock no more destroys it than sprinkling water on the ground destroys the water; it merely renders it into smaller measurements.

The potential for humans to wipe out all life on this planet is, at least for myself, a terrifying prospect in that we might do so and result in leaving no trace that we ever existed. This is like not leaving our technological and informational "genes" behind for other civilizations to find, and know that we were here, proof that this planet was special because it nurtured life, an anomaly in infinitely short supply in this universe. We lose that legacy entirely, for all time.
Posted by Knat on January 4, 2013 at 10:41 AM · Report this
What this article makes clear is that humans as a whole are incapable of being proactive even when their very existence is threatened. Humans are not rational creatures. We've not evolved to the point where our powers of reason can result in action. Perhaps those of us who survive the approaching calamity will be the ones who have evolved and can continue the species. Otherwise, nice try.
Posted by nwcitizen on January 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
treacle 9
Earth civilizations have collapsed because they could not see and act upon the detrimental effects their pattern of activities was having. Hopefully, we can. However, the aggregate of the increasing global population may be our undoing.

Regardless, even if we survive, we're still currently going through the most massive extinction event since the K-T... and it takes millions of years to recover from that sort of thing, the fossil record suggests.

@1 - Why is "god" "'outside' the physical world" for you? Why isn't god in --an intimate part of-- every square millimeter of the entire universe?
Posted by treacle on January 4, 2013 at 11:42 AM · Report this
venomlash 10
Grylloblattid. Literally "cricket cockroach".
Posted by venomlash on January 4, 2013 at 1:35 PM · Report this
Mudede, have you read the book After Man, A Zoology of the Future, by Dougal Dixon? It is one of the most original works of fiction I have ever seen, and you might like the way it puts us in our place.
Posted by DisorganizedReligion on January 4, 2013 at 1:37 PM · Report this

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