The Doom of Dumb Animals

The operational definition of intelligence is a consistent display of appropriate behavior. Behind the behavior is a mental construal of how the world works. Failing to comprehend the environment invariably has negative consequences. In the instance of humans on planet Earth, the diagnosis is clear and the outcome apparent. These creatures face impending extinction and are taking much other life out with them.

Externalities Internalized

Economists refer to pollution as an externality of production. Its cost is not captured in the price of the good produced. Instead, those who suffer the pollution pay with diminished quality of life. Capitalism has been an exuberant exercise in externalities, long tolerated by governments which could have put them in check. Now, the U.S. administration is about to show long overdue notice.


The Wicked Witch of the West has the climate report: “I’m melting. What a world….” The poles are liquefying faster than expected, because it has only recently dawned on scientists that the biosphere is a gyre. Up to now, climate models have not included feedback loops.

Extinction via Ecology

Extinction around the globe is accelerating. Local populations of different species are increasingly being wiped out. Humans have long facilitated the process with pollution and habitat loss. Now it’s not just high temperatures and drought, though those help the kill rate. The root problem is that the web of life is being torn apart.