I think it inevitable now that we will go through a wrenching era of climate change and instability. The global population may well peak at a time when global food production shrinks dramatically.
In that case, the Great Extinction we have started may lead to a significant decrease in biodiversity, and an increase in infectious disease. Toss in a stew of pollutants and the world may be a very unpleasant place indeed.
We Americans too often assume that we are, in a phrase I believe came from Walker Percy, “immune to history.” We are not. We are not even immune to evolution.
Quinn O’Neill, writing at 3 Quarks Daily:
The year is 3010 and an interesting new species has evolved: a muscular, knuckle-walking primate with sparse body hair and a strikingly human face. It appears to be deformed, with extra non-functional limbs in various anatomical positions–like something out of a sci-fi horror story or a genetic engineering experiment gone wrong. The creatures are vicious. Individuals routinely attack and eat members of their own species.
This generally isn’t how we envision our species a thousand years from now…
That we will live in a different, far less hospitable environment is, it seems to me, all but inevitable. Should things get so bad that humans become geographically isolated from one another –entirely possible– then the stage is set for that new species to arise.
Let us name it now, while we can. Let us call it: homo inhofe.
Image from 3 Quarks Daily, above.