Who do we think we are?

Here’s what my good friend, David Suzuki, told me yesterday:

If humans disappeared overnight, only a handful of organisms would also go extinct: creatures that live on our skin, in our armpits, and our groins and guts. The rest of nature would rebound, the planet would green up, and animals would increase in abundance. But if all the ants went extinct overnight, whole terrestrial ecosystems would collapse, and the makeup of animals and plants would change catastrophically.

Damn.

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23 responses to “Who do we think we are?

  1. Ha! I love it. Soylent Green is people! We saw a (the?) David Suzuki movie a years or two ago — in the Florida Keys, actually, projected on the side of our white VW camper — brilliant brilliant stuff. What an amazing guy.

  2. Jobthingy – I know!

    Missy – We bother creatures every day all day long by ravaging their land and dumping our garbage into the air and water.

    UP – Just be more careful next time or those ghoulies from your armpits and groin will start to rebel

    Jazz – We are very important when we exist because we wreak so much havoc. When we disappear we’re totally unimportant. Maybe that’s why we work so hard to throw our weight around.

    Maggie – I think the ant was just one example of how every creature (except maybe Man) has a vital role to play in the ecosystem

    Ellie – Lately Suzuki has been doing some really lame TV ads, but generally he is quite an eco-warrior in a gentle, soft spoken way and has probably single-handedly been responsible for whatever environmental conscience Canada has.

  3. I second Jobthing’s sentiment.

    Love the website link – I’ve been poking around over there. See? More learning for me as the result of this blog! (I might prefer, however, to not learn anything further about my Armpit, Groin and Guts Creatures. Um…YUCK?)

  4. There are creatures living in my WHAT?!?!

    Sorry, I know we’re living in a mess and I am trying to do my part to slow it all down (consciously using less electricity, fewer plastic bags, etc.) but I can’t shake the image of Dr. Suzuki’s travels on a diesel fume-spewing bus.

  5. So many miss the point. We continue to think of the world as us / them. The death of any species high on the food chain has very limited impact. It is the wee ones that keep everything going.
    As for Suzuki’s diesel so what. One cannot live except by killing something else be it animal or vegetable. If his diesel exhaust causes a hundred people to cut their emissions then the world is better off for him having used his part of the resources.
    Now I’m going to go look for a partner and pick lice and fleas off each other to display our love.

  6. Lesley – We’ll make a Canadian out of you yet. And ya, I’m not sure I want to enquire further on the armpit, groin and guts creatures either

    Bob – Okay, Suzuki isn’t perfect. He doesn’t live in an urban area and he tours on a diesel bus and he’s sometimes just a little bit over the top eccentric, but part of his thing is touring and lecturing and the bus is still better than flying or he and his 12 staff all driving their own cars.

    Bandobras – Carbon credits?? That’s kind of what Suzuki claims, too. And Al Gore. He’s got a big eco-unfriendly house, but reckons that’s okay because he’s making an eco difference elsewhere.

  7. I remember reading something similar to that, with people worried that the world would end because of global warming. The scientist said the earth will be fine, it’s only the people that won’t. Or maybe that was George Carlin…Didn’t read that about the ants before though.

  8. Bob – you know Bandobras is a guy, right? Not that I’d dream of standing in the way of some serious male bonding or anything…I just wanted to make sure everyone understood where they stand. Actually….. you guys would probably really hit it off (in a totally hetero way, of course). You’re about the same age, both single all around nice guys and have a strangely similar sense of humour.

    Becky – I don’t know — with 1 in 4 mammals on their way to extinction, I think we’re creating some serious, serious problems. Why are humans so dense? We’ll only start worrying when things get to the point where it’s pretty much too late (see: economy, international relations, etc…)

  9. I guess the most prominent feature of humans disappearing would be all the fancy dog breeds would go away and dogs would revert to wolves. That’s the theory anyway.

  10. “Earth will be fine” didn’t necessarily include animals, of which man is a species. As you said in the original paragraph, Earth would regenerate, like it has before, but we may not be here to see it.

  11. Now that is the most interesting thing I have heard in a very long time!

    My Aunt Dottie will be glad to hear that- 😉

    Really very intersesting XUP!

  12. Some people believe that we don’t belong here; that we don’t exhibit enough harmonic traits with the natural order of all other earthly things.
    Just sayin’.

  13. Geewits – What? No more teacup schnoodle-yorkies?

    Becky – As someone has previously mentioned, the higher up the food chain a creature is, the less necessary it is to sustain the planet

    Hunter – Tell Dottie hi for me.

    JB – You don’t say? Pretty much everything we do is to protect us from and/or conquer and/or domesticate natural elements

  14. This reminds me of a great book I just read — “The Earth Moved.” All about worms! Excellent stuff.

    One environmentalist (OK, it was Paul Watson, you can take him or leave him) stirred a bit of shit when he stated “People aren’t essential to the planet’s survival. Worms are more important to the system than we are – they can survive without human beings, but we can’t live without worms.” A bit of a buzzkill, but true!

  15. Aziza – Me,too!

    Grumpus – Well, here we are at the top of the food chain after all — we’re the consumers, not the consumees so we’re totally unnecessary