The world has been through five major extinctions: Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic/Jurassic, and the Cretaceous. I won’t go into the evolutionary progression at the end of each period; but each extinction has been the results of climate changes, volcanic eruptions or asteroid/meteor impacts.
These extinction periods happened gradually due to circumstances that kicked off changes, that became self-sustaining and progressed over a time line of from twenty-five to two hundred million years - resulting in a drastic restructuring of life on this planet.
The sixth extinction is not going to be caused by a natural phenomenon, but as the result of a destructive life form with the ability to bring about rapid atmospheric, oceanic and climate change.
Animal, bird and insect species are going extinct at an alarming rate due to the destruction of rain forest.
Most African large animals are endangered due to poaching and decrease of natural habitat.
There is over fishing in the oceans and whale populations are barely surviving.
Carbon dioxide emissions from cars, power plants and animal populations are increasing the surface temperatures resulting in glacial melt, which results in exposing long frozen tundra which releases methane and carbon dioxide – that self-perpetuating system that could eventually sustain its own change.
The human population is increasing at an almost exponential rate resulting in more consumption, more waste products and more habitat expansion; with famine and water shortages predicted in the foreseeable future.
Chemical pollutants are in every phase of our water and food supply: the breast milk of Greenland Inuit women, that depend on whale and seal fat in their diet, is so polluted that it would be classified hazardous by the EPA.
Now on top of that, mankind has the ability of mass destruction with nuclear weapons.
We are not a dependable creature to have such power. Up until now, men with some degree of restrain have has control of these weapons; but it only takes one fanatical religious group or one or two unstable individuals with launch codes to bring about almost immediate world destruction – Kim Jong-um… Donald Trump?
We are in the process of the sixth extinction – and it will not take millions of years.
What can we do about this?
Judging by the history of mankind I would say enjoy yourself while you can, because eventually mankind will have to bend over and kiss its own ass good-by.
Have a good day