Thursday, December 16, 2004

Mankind Faces Extinction...Sort Of

Just read the alarming news that in the opinion of a prominent New Zealand scientist mankind runs the distinct risk of becoming extinct within 100 years. You know, I'm all for nice round numbers, but that figure of 100 has a big, fat problem. Namely, no one reading about it will be alive to experience "going extinct." We will all be quite dead and gone! Except, possibly, for Miss Jane Pittman, who is about 150 and still going strong. Not only am I excluded from this being an immediate worry, it pretty much excludes my children, and even any potential grandchildren will be of retirement age by 2104, so this solves the whole Social Security Debacle for them! See, I knew there had to be an up side to this news. If they had chosen a number like 18 years we might be a little more worried. The reason for us going extinct will be some combination of global warming, consumption of excess diet sodas, and the fact that everyone in the U.S. dissatisfied with the outcome of this year's presidential election will have moved to Greenland, causing a big depression in the northern hemisphere. (Physical...psychological...does it really matter?) Another way to look at this news is that it's incredibly optimistic, given what's going on globally between the fall of the dollar (reportedly greenbacks are comparing unfavorably to cereal prizes these days, with foreigners dumping dollars in favor of Count Chocula), the arms race (which is barely reported on between updates on the size of "former fertilizer salesman Scott Peterson's jail cell," and the sneak attack that Russia has been plotting since 1989, backed by China. Whoops! Wasn't supposed to let that one out, but what the hey, no one has time to build fallout shelters anyway. I've never understood the fuss over extinction anyway. Are we worried there will be no one to read our ancient diaries or look at our dissolving home videos? Environmentalists complain often enough that we are "destroying" the planet; well so what if we make it uninhabitable? Then it'll be the biggest Empty Bus Shelter you ever saw! My thought is that we need to start planning right now as to what kind of monuments to leave behind for anyone who comes across the planet in future millenia. A pile of nuclear waste was not my idea of a testament to Civilization.

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