Humans Initiate Their Own Extinction

Humans Initiate Their Own Extinction

Sarah dos Santos, Staff Writer

Diseases plague the masses like wildfire in numbers so rampant that our population begins to decline. Morning news no longer covers the routine check of forecasted weather but recites air quality statistics for the day. Floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes are no longer categorized as natural disasters anymore as “disasters” have become predictable. In a world of ignorance and selfishness, this dystopian description will soon become our reality.

The impending crisis of climate change no longer remains a question of “if” but “when?” We have not only nearly destroyed our environment to a point of irreversible consequences, but we did it fast as well. According to, with carbon dioxide levels exceeding their highest measure yet, the annual average rate of CO2 increase hit 100 times faster than past increases in 60 years. When the issue of climate change began to arise, scientists unanimously agreed that Earth’s tipping point temperature had to increase to be four Celsius higher. With our circumstances now, this number has dropped a significant amount to 1.5 Celsius.

What exactly is a tipping point?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change defines these “tipping points” as “critical thresholds in a system that, when exceeded, can lead to a significant change in the state of the system, often with an understanding that the change is irreversible.” Scientists predict that this disaster will be exceeded during the span of 2026-2042. To put it in simpler terms, if we do not act on the issue of climate change now, our world will be faced with permanent damage that may cause Earth to be devoid of all of its livable aspects.

Coral reefs are dying, destroying the biodiversity of marine life. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting at speeds faster than ever recorded before, causing sea levels to rise. Dry land is contributing to an influx of wildfires that are destroying our habitats. These drastic changes happening in the environments around us will not only impair wildlife. The karma for humans is undoubtedly approaching. The occurrence of premature deaths, respiratory disease, and cardiovascular disease will soon become normalized parts of our society. Scarcity of food and water and declining mental health will be prominent as well. 

While it is difficult to be optimistic in times of despair, Mrs. Kuehner, Tenafly High School’s AP Environmental Science teacher and former scientist, has faith that humans will take the drastic changes that need to be made: “I think we are going to break the trend because that’s really the only option that we have. I think more and more people are concerned about it and it’s gonna be difficult but changes are going to happen because that is our only option.” 

But, as the science shows, our Earth, once filled with lush plants and translucent water, is falling into the rabbit hole of capitalism. If the lust for money continues to triumph the cost of human lives, and if the trend of increasing carbon emission levels continues, humans will continue to dig themselves into a society-wide suicide.