The talk soon turned to girls, over-due term papers, summer plans and (wouldn’t you know) the environment and climate. “I hear all that supposed ‘evidence’ from scientists saying humans are the central cause of the changing climate. But here’s the thing, humans on Earth are like ants on a huge mountain. It’s pretty arrogant to think we relatively tiny creatures could possibly be having any effect on the vast atmosphere. I just can’t see it,” Don B’Leevit confessed.
“Yeah, I hear you; it seems almost impossible,” replied Bud. “But it makes me think about what passenger pigeons hunters in the 1850’s must have thought about the hundreds of millions of these birds. One report related how a flock of passenger pigeons blotted out the sun for two hours as it passed over the heads of startled folks below. I’d guess those hunters would have assumed they had a limitless supply of pigeon pie fixin’s. But humans can be relentlessly efficient, and we hunted the birds mercilessly until by 1914 Martha, the last living passenger pigeon, died.
“And I think about the estimated 60 million bison that used to roam North America. When they got in the way of railroad expansion in the 1870s, about 2 million were killed off annually. By 1884 bison were almost extinct; only 300 – 400 were left! Once again, we relatively puny (compared to bison) humans were relentlessly efficient in changing the environment,” concluded Bud Itssoh.
“Whoa! I see what you mean,” realized Don. “Almost 8 billion of us ‘tiny-ants-on-a-mountain’ humans burn fuel every day adding pollutants to the atmosphere. That can do a lot of damage, just like those darn tiny viruses.”
“Those pint-sized pests almost took you out, pal,” Bud nodded. “Thank goodness we humans are smart enough to understand the problem, and hopefully we’re wise enough to transition to the dozens of efficiency and clean energy options available. It’s time to gear-up and protect our only home where we’re all forever… Earthbound.”