Stop Ruining the Galapagos Islands
As we've blogged before on Big Think, the state of science savvy in America is pretty sorry. Only about a third of us accept evolution through natural selection, even lower than the tally that accepts human-caused global warming as a reality. Do we all need to take a science field trip for inspiration, say to the Galapagos Islands, the legendary birthplace of Charles Darwin's singular notion? No. In fact, we're ruining the place.
The Galapagos is already a fragile place, an archipelago formed by fairly recent volcanic activity. And the same geographic isolation that causes the evolution of the peculiar wildlife also means they have nowhere to go to escape disaster. And now, thanks to human travel, the Galapagos face the threat of invasive species.
Mosquitoes are the current villain. Southern house mosquitoes, to be exact. They've reached the archipelago aboard our ships and planes, and managed to survive by breeding with the native mosquitoes. And where there are mosquitoes, disease often follows.
Southern house mosquitoes are known to carry avian pox, malaria, and West Nile virus. If any of those diseases arrived in the Galapagos and spread around the mosquito population, those mosquitoes could pass on the disease to the islands' rare and historic wildlife and wipe them out. It happened in Hawaii in the 1800s, killing off many native bird species.
Tourism forms and increasingly large part of the Galapagos' economy, but the islands face the same problems that plague any tourist destination—tourism ruins the thing people go to see, either aesthetically by overcrowding the area with people in bad T-shirts, or through causing real, irrevocable damage.
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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