enough to inflict illness on a planetary being is nothing more than egotism. Where is there any evidence that a planet can get sick and die? Well, how about Mars?
What did happen to Mars, anyway? Our next door neighbor, the Red Planet, apparently was once covered with flowing rivers. What happened to them? Rivers suggest an atmosphere. Where is it? Was Mars once a vital, thriving planet? If so, why does it now appear dead? Could a lifeform on its surface have proliferated so abundantly and so recklessly that it altered the planet's atmosphere, thereby knocking it off-kilter and destroying it? Is that what's happening to our own planet? Will it be our legacy in this solar system to leave behind another lonely, dead rock to revolve around the sun? Or will we simply destroy ourselves while the Earth, stronger than her Martian brother, overcomes our influence and survives to flourish another billion years — without us?
The answer, if I may wildly speculate, is neither — we will destroy neither the Earth nor ourselves. Instead, we will learn to live in a symbiotic relationship with our planet. To put it simply, the human species has reached a fork in the road of its evolution. We can continue to follow the way of disease-causing pathogens, or we can chart a new course as dependent and respectful inhabitants on this galactic speck of dust we call Earth. The former requires only an egocentric lack of concern for anything but ourselves, living as if there will be no future human generations. The latter, on the other hand, requires an awareness of ourselves as a dependent part of a Greater Being. This may require a hefty dose of humility, which we can either muster up ourselves, or wait until it's meted out to us, however tragically, by the greater world around us. Either way, time is running out.
It is ironic that humans have ignored one waste issue that all of us contribute to each and every day — an environmental problem that has stalked our species from our genesis, and which will accompany us to our extinction. Perhaps one reason we have taken such a head-in-the-sand approach to the recycling of human excrement is because we can't even talk about it. If there is one thing that the human consumer culture refuses to deal with maturely and constructively, it's bodily excretions. This is the taboo topic, the unthinkable issue. It's also the one we are about to dive headlong into. For waste is not found in nature — except in human nature. It's up to us humans to unlock the secret to its elimination. Nature herself provides a key and she has held it out to us for eons.
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