Planet Earth to Human Race

Planet Earth to Human Race

Colin Watts muses that a more intelligent species, such as this Copepod, may inherit the earth.

Photo above by Andrei Savitsky

“It took me four billion years to produce enough oxygen for life and now you’ve squandered nearly all of it in little more than two hundred thousand.” The Earth’s musings on mankind, by Colin Watts

Planet Earth to Human Race

Don’t you worry about me; I’ll be fine.
After all, I’ve already suffered five
mass extinctions in the last four hundred
million years: a mere drop in the ocean
set against the four and a half billion
since that maelstrom of gas and dust congealed
and I appeared; the third rock from the sun.

So, why should the sixth cause me so much grief?
Because the other five were accidents –
millions of innocent species wiped out
through no fault of their own by asteroids,
volcanoes, ice ages. While this time round
it’s been all down to you lot: you’ve stayed calm
and carried on digging, drilling, burning,
plundering and polluting. It does hurt.

As I turn lazily on my axis
and trundle year by year around our sun,
I watch bemused and shocked as heedless greed
displaces, imprisons, poisons and drowns;
pauperises, exterminates and starves
so many millions of your poorest poor,
as oceans spill and poisons spread and bite.
What a waste! It took me four billion years
to produce enough oxygen for life
and now you’ve squandered nearly all of it
in little more than two hundred thousand.

Still, when the last of you has disappeared
within the next few hundred years or so,
maybe some more intelligent species:
cockroaches, surviving the poisoning
on land; or multitudes of copepods,
escaping from the rotting, foetid seas,
will find better ways of looking after me
in my declining billennia than
you greedy bunch of bastards ever did.

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