Through EPOCH, I’m trying to help us see ourselves in the context of the evolutionary history of planet Earth. We must realize that we are more than by-products of an ongoing life-making process that has dramatically developed since the Cambrian explosion 540 million years ago. We have succeeded unlike any other species has in the last 25 epochs. We are now in charge of our destiny and that of every other species.
As we move through the current epoch, the Anthropocene, humans themselves are changing the global climate and Earth’s ecosystems. Our reckless emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, along with our extensive use of pesticides, our destruction of habitats for selfish human use, and our relentless population growth are greatly accelerating the rate of extinction of our fellow species.
Our species is preventing these species from continuing on their evolutionary path to the next epoch:
Eastern Hemisphere: European Sea Sturgeon (Acipenser sturio), Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis). Eastern Gorilla (Gorilla beringei), Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta), Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Asian Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Tiger (Panthera tigris), Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), Yellow-eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes).
Western Hemisphere: Steller’s Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus), Swordfish (Xiphias gladius), Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus), Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris), Peary Caribou (Rangifer tarandus ssp. pearyi), Wolverine (Gulo gulo), American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), Red Wolf (Canis rufus), Amazonian Manatee (Trichechus inunguis), Maned Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus torquatus), Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus), Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes).
Will Homo sapiens join this list?