I was discussing Gobal Warming recently, and reading about all the dissension between people, the possibility of super volcanoes and comets hitting Earth.
It seems inevitable that each civilization is doomed. Here we are in the 21st Century, thinking we know it all. We know how the world was formed, and who lived here before us. We study all these ancient civilizations. The Neanderthals, Romans, Egyptians. And by “we” I mean all of us humans together. Yet none of us seem to learn the real answer. None of us. Not the Egyptians, or the Romans. Each civilization gets the idea that their civilization can surpass the natural limit of their abilities. All civilizations come to an end, either because they had squandered supplies, or had a civil war, and thus ended their time in history.
Easter Island for example. Things were great for a couple thousand years, but started going bad for the people, they decided they must have upset the ancestors/gods and the end result was they began to build the Moai. The only way to move the massive blocks of stone was using tree trunks to roll it from the quarry to the erection site. They’d lay the trunks and roll the stone to its resting place. This obviously took a lot of work. You needed the stone carvers, tree choppers, and general grunts, leaving few islanders not occupied with the building of the moai, to be providing food, farming, gathering. At the end of the moai building era, there wasn’t a tree left on the island and nothing left to eat, except for birds, which were hard to catch, and fish, which they could not reach since they had no wood left to make boats with. It is widely assumed that survivors resorted to cannibalism.
From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapa_Nui)
However, human activity, the introduction of the Polynesian rat and overpopulation led to gradual deforestation and extinction of natural resources, which caused the demise of the Rapa Nui civilization. By the time of European arrival in 1722, the island’s population had dropped to 2,000–3,000 from a high of approximately 15,000 just a century earlier. In recent times the island has served as a warning of the cultural and environmental dangers of exploitation.
The renaissance of Homo Sapiens is past. The signs are there. Just as the Romans were too arrogant to realize there was dissension among the ranks, just like we are experiencing world-wide, with the 1% in the US and austerity measures in Europe.
We will go the way of the Rapa Nui, unless things change. But nothing will change. Today we understand why most of these groups died off, or how they offed themselves. I think each civilization studied their predecessors to the degree they were able to, yet none ever learned anything from what they had discovered. Just like us.
We worry about Global Warming, but only in regards to our own existence. Earth will survive Global Warming, deforestation, pollution, and war, but we will not.
Are we nearing the end of human existence? I think we are, though I will be part of the Revolution that is trying to prevent it. The bigger question is: How long do we have left? I think less than 1000, but more than 100 years. I hope so. That way I won’t be around for the end.