Is death of the Earth due?

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Is death of the Earth due?

Monday, 12 October 2020 | Vir Singh

A recent report compels us to draw the conclusion that “we are living in an age of extinction”. There is much hullabaloo about the Sixth Mass Extinction on Earth due in the years to come. A research by 200 scientists across 42 countries reveals that 2/5th of all the plants on earth are at the risk of extinction.

Death of every living being is inevitable. A living cell is powered by solar energy via photosynthesis and is as complex in its organisation as the universe itself. Among the wonderful phenomena associated with a living cell is its apoptosis – the programmed death of the cell. A cell attains its death as per the inherent “death programme” it has to inevitably obey. Thus apoptosis – or death of an organism – is a universal law. A cell dies and so does an organism. Living earth, being itself an extension of a cell, must also follow the suit.

The earth’s undergoing apoptosis appears to be puzzling. The very idea of the earth’s due death fixes the mind into hopelessness. But, it appears to be a fact, not based on any human experience in oral or written testimony, but some inferences can be elicited from deep ecological, environmental and cosmological perspectives. According to the basic cosmic law, everything ultimately returns to its original pool. Thus, all the nutrients the body of an organism holds return to the lithosphere. Water from the organism’s body returns to the hydrosphere. Gases return to their atmospheric pool. The nutrients, the water and the gases, in this way, return to the mother earth, as they have to. For these were the sources received from the womb of mother earth. Energy, that is light, returns to its non-terrestrial resource wherefrom it comes – the cosmic space.

The basic universal law of earth’s apoptosis, in fact, is the law of universal liberation. Everything tends to liberate itself at a certain point of time. Energy too cannot be in bondage for ever; it has to liberate itself after a definite period of time.

The universal law of apoptosis, however, is ‘compensated’ by universal law of life: the replication of life. Every living form tends to replicate itself before it attains death. If the earth has to accomplish the inevitable apoptosis, it would, as it should, replicate its own form. And this replication must be in the form of a living planet. Thus, mother earth has in its womb the seeds of life to fertilise other planets or celestial bodies of the universe.     

There are certain factors that accelerate apoptosis of a cell and, thus, of an organism. In the case of the earth, it appears that the human species is inducing and accelerating the phenomenon of apoptosis. Another school of thought would place earth on the safe side unless there is intervention of human beings. It attempts to prove human species to be the cause of all disastrous consequences the Earth is facing. Be it global warming, erroneous weather cycle, or climate change, or rapid extinction of species, the conclusion always arrived at is invariably anthropogenic. Withdraw ‘anthropogenic causes’ and everything would be put back into order; Earth would be saved. This has been recently experienced by the entire humanity in the form of phenomenal improvement in the quality of our environment during the lockdown period when most human activities came to halt. The most critical question facing our contemporary world is- would human species be held responsible for the death due to the earth?

(The author is a former professor of Environmental Science in GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology)

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