Hominin Climate Extinctions

Climate change befell and extinguished ancestors of humanity.

The genus Homo has seen at least 15 species in its 2.8-million-year descent. A half-dozen hominin species has lived since the Pliocene began 5.3 million years ago: H. habilis, H. ergaster, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens. Humanity is its supposedly sole current member.

“Many Homo species were geographically widespread, and most were technologically more advanced than any other mammal. The history of several Homo species is characterized by long-distance dispersals and unique cultural innovations, including clothing, implemented stone tool technology, and fire control, that suggest they may have been able to survive under climatic conditions exceeding the physiological tolerance of the human body,” writes Italian anthropologist Pasquale Raia. “Despite technological innovations and the formation of complex social networks, past Homo species could not survive intense climate change,” Raia continues.

3 of the past 5 hominin species went extinct because of climate change. By the end of this century a 4th species will be added to the list. The only novelty will be that Homo sapiens will have engineered its own extinction: a sturdy statement of species stupidity which belies the wondrous technologies that this creature produced. Indeed, advanced technology abetted the rapidity of humanity’s mass suicide through the prodigious production of pollutants.

The engine of extinction behind humanity’s demise has been the greed-based economic system which was globally adopted by all but a few tribal societies: capitalism. This is the telling distinction in modus operandi with past hominins. “You don’t see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage,” remarked Ellen Ripley in the film Aliens.


Pasquale Raia et al, “Past extinctions of Homo species coincided with increased vulnerability to climatic change,” One Earth (15 October 2020).

Climate change drove early human species extinct, says new study,” Sci-News (19 October 2020).