The Apex Predator

 I’d said in a previous post that I didn’t want to become a critique of the world. I just want to be a writer unless these things are one and the same. I still haven’t figured out if they are the same thing but I continue to be a writer who complains about the world.

I attended the first class for Basic Environmental Engineering which is a stream in field of chemical engineering here at MU. If I don’t lose my shit and drop out in time, I’m thinking of pursuing either this one or Biochemical Engineering. Whichever one makes me crazier.

In my first environmental engineering class, our teacher read from his projector the definition of environmental engineering.

“Environmental engineering is the application of science and engineering principles to protect and utilize natural resources, control environmental pollution and improve environmental quality to enable healthy ecosystems and comfortable habitations of humans.”

Here I partially zoned out and thought back to a conversation I had with John during one of my aggressive I-want-to-quit-chemical-engineering-and-go-home phases. My aunt had told me to go to his house and calm the fuck down.

John started telling me about this organization he was thinking about putting together and he mentioned a book (I forget the title) he was reading to have made a huge difference in the way he perceived the world we know today. It went something like, “Human beings have managed to dig and burn the earth into a place we are trying to say is habitable for us when instead we should have modified and trained ourselves to fit the earth and the earth would have provided.”

The main idea here is that, if one were asked, a habitable place for a modern human being would include things like clean water, food, a good bathroom, electricity, TV, Game of thrones… and of course we have made an event of all the railroads and the skyscrapers and all that crap. According to John, and I agree with him, that was the biggest mistake we have made as human beings. A human being trying to fit to earth instead of having the earth fit it would probably be eating raw meat and hanging off vines but the earth would be in a much better state than it is now, less inclined to kill us.

My teacher said that at this point it is highly unlikely to find a large portion of land on earth unmodified by human beings.

Donald Trump thinks that climate change is an idea fabricated by the Chinese. Sharp tool, that man. And many other tools agree with him too.

Human beings are the apex predator as far as we know. As a generation, when I think of the apex predator, I think of it as a mixed-race man. On the left side, he is clean cut and modern in a tux and spit shined shoes. He has a pen, scribbling something at a clean desk in an office with a view of a beautiful city out of the windows. On the right, however, he is wild and angry. He is dressed in rugged strong leather boots and he is charging with an ax. In this side, the backdrop is wild woods and flying cinder. This bipolar creature is The Human, The Apex Predator.

Perhaps human beings being this way is the way our chemistry was set because earth is perfect and we are part of the earth. But dinosaurs aren’t around any longer and that asteroid probably didn’t think twice about it. If Human beings really are facing extinction, I don’t think earth would think twice about it because no human beings doesn’t really mean no earth. Earth will regenerate and heal and definitely live on without us.

Littering isn’t something we pay much attention to because we usually don’t find whatever we’d dropped on the ground when we return to where we’d dropped it. It was probably driven to that garbage pile that killed all those people a few weeks ago, I don’t know. I hate littering to a compulsive level and in this waste disposal and climate change idea pile, littering seems like the least vital. But don’t worry. Environmental Engineers will be dealing with your waste treatment and water supply on a much grander scale and if that environmental engineer has been dropping plastic wrappers and used tissue paper all over the city, he/she will not rise above dumping a large pile of garbage over a hill where people will be living or sending sewage water into that river that you’ll have to walk by with your lover.

Sitting in my environmental engineering class I started thinking, it is probably too late for us to start hanging off vines because we already have our cool roads and all that crap but there is more that can and should be done. I have had a little bit of insight into the idea of sustainable development and the extent of the danger that we are facing right now because I’m a freaky tree hugger who pays attention during meetings and I have tried to work with YNCCC. But had that not been the case, I would have had to wait until my third year of chemical engineering to know about it at all. I won’t lie. I’m probably the only person vigorously taking notes in this class because everyone hates it already. No one cares and I feel like by the time we start paying attention, it’ll be too late and we wouldn’t know what to do. All we’ll have is a bunch of rich people with money in the bank but no food because the soil won’t grow crops or big mansions with a view of the ocean but no water to drink. Forget fish turning into glow sticks and the ozone depletion and global warming and polar ice caps melting and flooding the world. Forget all that. We’ll start noticing miracles like the oceans catching fire as was the case in 1969 where river Cuyahoga caught fire because it was so polluted by oils and fuels. A river caught fire yo!

We usually don’t feel like it’s our responsibly but what I have come to understand is every little bit counts. The generation to start building the coming railroads and skyscrapers because dammit we never learn, is us. And we should perhaps put in mind that we live at the mercy of a large ball of gas in the sky that is in cahoots with the ground beneath our feet, debating if we are worth it.





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