Mankind is not an independent being. Man is a part of an intricate web of life. Life also, is not a thing in itself. Life is a part of the intricate structure of a planet bathed by energy from the sun.
Earth assumed approximately its present from nearly five million years ago. A vast evolution has accounted since then. When, the earth came into being there were not oceans or atmosphere. Gradually the solid interior settled. There was a gradual outward movement, which caused water and atmosphere. Even after formation, the solid crust, the ocean and the atmosphere are not independent of each other. There is always interaction among them through evaporation, condensation, weathering, etc. deep within the solid crust slow but continuous change is talking place. Hot springs, volcanoes and earthquakes are the manifestations of such changes.
Life appears between 2to 3 billion years ago. The energy of sun, caused life to appear on the surface water. And since its appearance ‘Life’ is going to be complex day by day.
“Life” is as much a part of the structure of the Earth as any inanimate portion is. It is all an inseparable part of a whole. If animal is isolated from other forms of life then it will die of starvation. Isolation from water will cause death by dehydration. Isolation from air, either free on dissolved in water, will cause a death by asphyxiation. In isolation from the sun animals can survive for a while but plants cannot. And without plant animals would starve.
Both animate and inanimate depend on each other for their survival. As inanimate objects are required to sustain life so inanimate portion of the earth is shaped and moulded by life. The nature of the atmosphere has been changed by plant activity. Plants release oxygen to atmosphere. Earthworms turn soil, ocean reefs are formed by coral.
“The entire planet, plus solar energy, is one enormous intricately interrelated system. The entire planet is a life form made up of non-living portions and a large variety of living portions (as our own body is made up of non-living crystals in bones and non-living water in blood, as well as of a large variety of living portions)
There is a good analogy between our body and the world. Human body is composed of 50 trillion cells of different types. All these cells are interrelated and interdependent. Loss of some these cells that make our leg will seriously affect the rest of the organism. Serious damage even to a relatively few cells in an organ like heart or kidney can kill all 50 trillions. In the same way chopping down of an entire forest may not threaten Earth’s life in general, but it will produce serious changes in the life forms of the region. It will cause in the decrease of water level and so will affect the geological structure. A serious decline in the bee population will adversely affect the plants that depend on bees for fertilization. And in return, the animals who survive on those plants will suffer.
Let us see how cells grow. Cells, in those organs that suffer constant wear and tear grow and multiply all lifelong. That means cells in the skin and in the intestinal lining go on multiplying all lifelong. Other cells, like cells of nerves and muscle, which are not exposed, do not multiply at all in the adult, “Still other organs, ordinarily quiescent as liver and bone, stand ready to grow if that is necessary to replace damage. When the proper repairs are made, growth stops. And the same is true of the “planet mechanism”. Cougars live on deer’s. If the number of cougars will increase indefinitely then they will consume the deer’s soon. After that they will starve and die. So that their “proper number” is restored.” If too many cougars die, then the number of deer will multiply getting enough food the Cougar will multiply their number. The process will continue till the additional predators bring down the number of deer again. “Barring interference from outside, the eater and eaten retain their proper numbers, and both are the better for it.
There is a good analogy between the unnatural growth of an animal and the cancerous growth of cells in a human body. Both are local problem which brings complete disorder and destruction of the entire system. In our body when a group of cells begins to grow without limit it is called cancer. Unless that growing group of cell is stopped, the wild growth throws the entire body structure out of order and end by killing the organism itself. “In ecology, the same would happen if for some reason, one particular type of organism began to multiply without limit, killing its competitors and increasing its own food supply at the expense of that of others. Such a destructive growth of an organisms ends only with the destruction of a larger system which include most or all of life and a certain aspect of the inanimate environment.
Population growth has assumed a cancerous proportion to the ecology. We human beings belong to Homo sapiens. For thousands of years, the single species Homo sapiens has been increasing in number. In the past couple of years the rate of increase has multiplied dangerously.
Earth’s human population was estimated to be 150 million during the time of Julius Caesar. That population was increasing at such a rate that it would double in 1,000 years. Today the estimated population of the earth is 4,000 million, i.e. 26 times of what it was in Caesar’s time. The population of today is multiplying at a rate which if remains steady it wills double it in 35 years. S
“The present rate of increase of Earth’s swarming human population qualifies Homo Sapiens as an ecological cancer, which will destroy the ecology just as surely as any ordinary concern would destroy an organism”. What is the cure then? To save mankind, the cancerous growth is to be stopped. Of course, the growth will stop automatically, as a cancerous growth in a man stops, even if nothing is done, “The man dies and the cancer dies with him. Analogously the ecology will die and man will die with it.”
How can we check the human population? We can achieve it in two ways, either by raising the death rate or by lowering the birth rate. The first alternative is spontaneous. We have nothing to do here. We can do something with the second. Failing to control the birth rate man would stand at the bar abstract justice as the mass murderer of life generally, including his own life.
If human population grow at the present rate, with science enabling man to check birth rate effectively, by 2430 A.D., on this planet, there will be no other animals but only man, an there will be no plants but algae, and by 2430 AD there will be no room on this planet even for one more man.
And if science serves us less effectively then we will achieve that dreaded future long before and that will mean an end of the Earth itself. Let us be conscious of it now when there are still other plants like oak trees, and animals like tigers and butterflies, while there is still open land and space, “before the cancer called man proves fatal to life and the planet.”