Humans Needs Earth More Than Earth Needs Humans
Gaia Theory: Earth Will Win
Your parents are out and you decide to have a house party (I mean, who wouldn’t?), which inevitably turns your humble abode into a tangled pile of dirty clothes, half-eaten nachos, and wasted halfwits. You wake up the next morning: who is going to clear up the mess you created? You could try clean everything yourself – your mates may even chip in if you’re lucky – but there is no way everything will be tidy before the parents get home. In the end, your parents will come home, tell you how disappointed they are, and ultimately just clean the house themselves until everything is back to normal.
Earth is similar to your mum. Humans (the party-loving lads) are creating havoc in this world (the house hosting the party-loving lads) through rapid deforestation, oodles of pollution, and nonsensical warfare. Although there has been some movement towards cleaning up this mess, ultimately it will be Earth (your mum) that will have to step in to sort your sh*t out. This is very roughly what Gaia theory tells us.
In the 1960s, James Lovelock carried out a study for NASA which aimed to detect life on Mars. Comparing the atmospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars, Lovelock concluded the presence of life on a planet affects the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Mars and Venus have no life because their atmospheres contain more than 95 percent carbon dioxide and only traces of oxygen, while our planet contains 21 percent oxygen with some traces of carbon dioxide.
With the development of this study, Lovelock made computational models that prove that without the presence of life on Earth, the temperature would rise so much that the planet would be uninhabitable. From this correlation between life and the atmosphere, Lovelock proposed that the Earthw as a dependent super-organism (‘Gaia Theory’). Margulis summed this up succinctly: “life does not exist on the surface of the Earth, but it is the surface of the Earth”.
The End of Humanity
Evidence of how Gaia works can be seen right now and gives us an interesting indication as to what will happen when humans disappear. The ocean is covered with rocks that are continuously dissolving, which should increase ocean salinity over time. Yet, ocean salinity has remained under 4 percent; how is that possible? It appears that the salt is removed again when water is cycled through cracks on the ocean floor. This process keeps the oceans' salinity in balance and at a level that most lifeforms can tolerate. That is Gaia in practice. Life and Earth have been co-evolving in a continuous dance since the dawn of time, and our departure will let Mother Nature take back full control.
Humans still have a chance to co-exist with the Earth, but our damage may soon result in our own destruction. Although Earth won’t be happy with our destructive ways, causing unpredictable natural disasters (just how your parents showed you disapproval of your destructive ways), it won’t ever be completely destroyed due to the self-regulating nature of Gaia. However, although Gaia will eventually pull things back in check, it may be too late for the human race. Just remember, listen to your parents, as they are almost always correct and you may even save the world by doing so.