Obituary of a Species
by Peter Melton and Guy McPherson
Homo sapiens (no photo available)
Age unknown, likely between 6,023 and 2,148,341 years of age.
Ironically, the last member of the species died sometime between Aprl 1 (April Fools Day) and April 23 (Earth Day), 2030. In a profoundly human twist of fate, the last man, legless and with only one arm, died after eating his own heart.
He is survived by no other human family members. It is believed he is survived by many jellyfish and thermophiles in the great ocean and numerous methane-eating bacteria and methane-eating microbes in the small patches of land remaining on the planet.
The origin of the species has always been disputed. It either started when a Creator figure put together two mud figures in a garden, or the creature evolved through a very long process over millions of years from a single-celled being in the ocean, through fish, amphibians, and eventually the ape family. This origin has been violently disputed. In fact, it is estimated that more than two zillion beings lost their lives in wars sparked mostly by this religious dispute or a fight over finite resources. Over the final 200 years, humanity fouled the water, land and atmosphere so much that the habitat became literally “unlivable.”
More recently, Homo sapiens spent that last 30 years of its life watching and largely causing, the death of almost all species of marine, land, and sky animals they supposedly loved, along with the extinction of millions of less-obvious species in the delicate web of life. Apparently humans did not care at all about these latter species. The most powerful species on the planet turned wilderness into cities. It transformed Eden into Purgatory, and then finally into Hell.
The never-ending quest for more, led humanity into learning the ultimate hard lesson: “More is Less.” The lesson came after the exam, and proved lethal.
In the end, it seems that this species was not able to grasp the idea that they could not continue to multiply their population and enjoy unlimited, ongoing growth and consumption on a small, finite, and fragile planet. It’s tragically sad, really, because the species had such great potential.