Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Human Footprint

We wears some big shoes!


http://veimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/16378/human_footprint.gif




If, all Matrix-style, you see humanity as a corrosive parasite, a life-destroying succubus on Mama Gaia, then this is a picture of the damage we've wrought: the colors towards the alarming end of the spectrum indicate areas where we've thoroughly obliterated the legacy of nature. Think landfills; parking lots; acres of homogenous monoculture bending off towards the horizon.


I, for one, don't have quite such a dire view of things, mainly because I figure most of what we've built and continue to build is likely to prove impermanent - the proverbial blip on the geological record.. Picture what the human footprint will look like 10,000 years after we're gone: a few pale dots here and there to indicate piles of rubble - our erstwhile great cities. Over the long run, our species' motto might well ought to be: "Humanity: No Big Whoop."

In the meantime, though...

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