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Showing posts from November 20, 2011

The Real Domesticated Chickens on Rock Three -- Writer's Poke #341

The world’s human population is now over 7 billion. From time-to-time some suggest that perhaps this is just too many people for one little planet to bear.


Most people don’t have any idea, really, how many resources it takes to support one human life, let alone seven billion. We can say, “Everything is fine; the Earth can handle us.” But on what do we base this rather frivolous statement?

The phrase of the day, boys and girls, is “The Sixth Extinction.” Kind of catches your attention, doesn’t it? According to our friends in the white lab coats, the last mass-extinction occurred 65 million years ago with the fall of the dinosaurs.

From a human-centered point of view, I suppose the last mass-extinction wasn’t such a bad thing. After all, while having a dinosaur as a pet might have worked in The Flintstones, I very much doubt that our ancestors would ever have secured a toe-hold on world domination with these big fellas still roaming the Earth.

So who cares if bees and frogs and turtle…

Future This -- Writer's Poke #340

“Is it the end of the world, Daddy?”

My daughter, Tavi, is 4, and she has been asking me a lot lately about the end of the world. I’m not sure where she picked up this question, but she’s my little gothic girl, and she’s quite interested in death.

“When we’re dead, we’re skeletons. Right?”

Death isn’t something she fears, and she’s certainly too young to fully comprehend what death is, but it’s a topic that she’s clearly working on.

Last week, she started talking to me about Mars. I’m glad that she’s interested in space, but the link back to death and the end of the world was still on her mind.

“Daddy,” she said, “when we need a fresh new planet, let’s go to Mars. We can kill all the aliens and make it our home.”

I used this conversation as a “teachable moment,” explaining to her that most aliens are probably friendly, and if any live on Mars, we would need to be gracious guests, and gracious guests don’t commit genocide. It just isn’t the neighborly thing to do.

Life is fragile…