The planet's going batshit
Updated: May 20
The planet is out to get us. Don’t blame it. We’ve treated it like a septic tank, though we clean our septic systems every two years here in the Great White North, which is more than we can say for the planet. And it wants to kill us. Again.
People who study this stuff say we’re in the Sixth Extinction, a normal process where everyone and/or everything dies. Last one, don’t quote me, was when the dinosaurs bought it and they weren’t scrawny bipeds who needed coats, boots, scarves and central heating to survive winter.
One scientist believes the reason we have not been visited by planetary explorers or found another planet with a Starbucks on every corner is every other civilization that might’ve been able to play like Elon Musk, did themselves in, just like we’re doing.
Problem with this round of wiping Earth’s slate clean is that it’s coming quicker than it should. And that’s because the planet hates us. It’s pissed and it’s coming for us.
Proof it has had enough of us is a report that the Earth is eating New York City, millimetre by millimetre. The city is being slowly swallowed and as it sinks, sea levels rise, flooding the East Coast.
And then there is HIV/AIDS, a disease which at first was 100 per cent fatal, give or take a percentage point. It is believed AIDS was quite happy being left alone for thousands of years in Africa, living in monkeys. But, deepest, darkest Africa was not so deep and dark once we built the Kinshasa highways, also known as the AIDS Highways.
There was wood there to be hauled, land to be groomed, mines to be mined. Highways in Kenya, Eastern Congo, Uganda and then the Chinese high-speed railroad Belt and Road Initiative to haul metals for our phones and computers and automobiles. Railroads and highways begat tourists and truckers. And they begat prostitutes. And poverty and indulgence in “bush meat,” stuff like monkey brains and skewered and grilled bats.
And before too long, AIDS, which had been isolated since the 1920s, was killing people in every corner of the planet. It came from monkeys undoubtedly upset humans did what they always do, help themselves and tear off mountain tops, dugs mines, clear cut forests and built-up towns. The disease jumped to humans and the massacre was on.
But, AIDS didn’t matter, at first, because it seemed to kill only those with a lifestyle that most God-loving folk disapproved of and therefore thought if they didn’t deserve to die in particularly heinous fashion, certainly didn’t shed a tear over it. Not until Rock Hudson – can you get a more manly, macho name than Rock? – finally dug himself out of his deep closet and admitted he not only preferred men, he was dying of AIDS. And it was decided we should try and do something about it.
But the damage had been done. If monkeys were angry at being invaded, bats were outraged. Probably the ugliest creature on the planet, it is also the deadliest and getting it vexed was not a good idea.
There are over 1,000 species of these creatures only a mother can love. They do the planet a service by eating bugs and dumping untold tonnes of guano or batshit that is shovelled into bags by impoverished Africans and Indians to be used to fertilize deforested lands to grow cash crops. They work knee deep in a toxic stew of viruses which are then spread.
Turned out those highways and railroads also carried virus-laden passengers and filoviruses appeared we had never seen before, including the Sars and Mers epidemics and Marburg, Nipah, Hendra, Ebola, and the granddaddy, Covid 19. This killed several million and dawned a new philosophy of treating disease in some quarters: minimize it or pretend it doesn’t exist, blame an ethnic group, subsidize Big Pharma so they can make vaccines and a large fortune but then convince people they’re more dangerous than the disease. And then watch millions die.
Bats carry dozens of viruses that bother them not a bit but tend to be deadly to our skinny little immune systems. These deadly gifts fly around in their feces, saliva, blood, urine. They’re great at gorging on bugs – I’ve watched one or two out my livingroom window swallow clouds of moths hanging around our outdoor nightlight. They are voracious and fly in packs of tens of thousands, live in caves in the millions. Where we live, I imagine their habitat was destroyed long ago, so we rarely see them and they don’t seem homicidal.
But our consumption of just about everything was suicidal. We’ve pissed off the Earth which figures if it can’t get us with new viruses, it’ll get us with wildfires, hurricanes, rising seas, tornadoes, relentless rains, extreme heat and cold.
Its message is clear. The planet no longer wants us. It wants revenge. Since many are so stupid they keep building on flood planes or in the path of annual wildfires, it’s having an easy time of it.
Impoverished Third World countries are ripping themselves apart for our demand for metals for our multiple gizmos and foods we eat but can’t grow, like coffee, bananas, pineapples. Things we don’t want to live without.
Even if it kills us.