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Scientist Says That Humans Are Almost Certainly Going Extinct

Tom Sanders

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Scientist Says That Humans Are Almost Certainly Going Extinct

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

A leading climate scientist believes that humanity’s days are numbered.

Although it may not come within our lifetime, barring some unforeseen event, the global population could begin to see the start of an inevitable decline almost as soon as the end of this century, argues palaeontologist and Nature editor Henry Gee.

In a new piece in Scientific American, Gee argues that a lack of genetic variation, falling birth rates, pollution, and stress caused by living in overcrowded cities are a recipe for disaster, and that humanity is fast approaching a point where even radical change will not be sufficient to halt our species’ rapid decline.

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Credit: Chris LeBoutillier/Unsplash
Credit: Chris LeBoutillier/Unsplash

“I suspect that the human population is set not just for shrinkage but collapse – and soon,” he wrote.

“The most insidious threat to humankind is something called ‘extinction debt.'

 “There comes a time in the progress of any species, even ones that seem to be thriving, when extinction will be inevitable, no matter what they might do to avert it.

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“The species most at risk are those that dominate particular habitat patches at the expense of others, who tend to migrate elsewhere, and are therefore spread more thinly,” Gee posited. “Humans occupy more or less the whole planet, and with our sequestration of a large wedge of the productivity of this planetwide habitat patch, we are dominant within it.”

Credit: Alarmy
Credit: Alarmy

In other words – everyone has to pay the piper eventually, and humanity’s bad habits may catch up with us sooner than we think. Humans may already be a ‘dead species walking’ according to Gee, and instead of simply shrinking it’s actually much more likely that our society will completely implode instead and take all of us with it.

“The signs are already there for those willing to see them,” Gee wrote. “The real question is ‘How fast?'”

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Of course, given recent events we may be lucky to even make it to the end of the century if geopolitical affairs continue to escalate out of our control.

In January 2022, the infamous ‘Doomsday Clock’, a symbol of how close humanity is to global extinction, was moved forward to ‘100 seconds to midnight’ – the closest it’s ever been to signalling the apocalypse. And in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine barely a month later, there have already been serious calls to move the clock forward even further still.

Whether it be climate change, nuclear war or a long, protracted decline, humanity seems to be slowly heading towards the end of its reign, as scientists predict we are on the verge of the planet’s sixth mass extinction event. But while this is obviously bad news for the human race, spare a thought for the octopi, who are hotly tipped to take over as the planet’s new dominant species once we’re gone.

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Topics: Technology, Science

Tom Sanders
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