The CatMap Editorial Board collectively believes that the evolutionary assets of the humammal species are leading to a cataclysmic and accelerating deterioration of the habitat (Earth) and a precipitous population decline related to that deterioration. At one point in time, destruction of our habitat was avoidable and reversible, but now it appears to be unstoppable. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy ourselves.
The Editorial Board would prefer this not be the case. We would love to have maybe just a few wild tigers and elephants alive in 20 years and even delay the Sixth Great Extinction for a while. We would be thrilled simply to maintain what’s left of the astounding and beautiful diversity of flora and fauna on this planet. If we could stop mountains from being leveled, remaining old growth forests from being clear cut and lakes, rivers, and oceans from being used as toilets, that would be super and would most definitely receive the CatMap Editorial Board stamp of Approval.
But this is not what's going to happen.
Because…For every well meaning citizen conscientiously recycling their bottles, limiting their carbon emissions and trying against all odds to live sustainably, there are a thousand others who are craving Chevy Suburbans, big screens and little gadgets, swigging on vitamin enhanced BPA bottled water and sucking down their chemical enhanced diet cola, dining on antibiotic, pesticide and hormone laden burgers and marshmallow cereals with special prizes inside every box, ignoring Monsanto, Dow and Massey Energy but knowing every detail about the Miami Heat and Chicago Blackhawks, wearing shiny shinies on their ear lobes and car wheels while miners die to get the precious, precious and worrying about whom other people marry but not concerned about whether other people have food to eat, arguing endless about the details of rigid laws issued by deities no one has ever seen while ignoring the extremes of poverty and misery that are unprecedented in scope, destroying thousand year old trees to make toilet paper, spending whatever is necessary to enhance quality of life for their bitchy little designer dogs, murdering whales for national pride, bowing in piety to the deity multiple times a day while flaying those whose facial hair is incorrect, I mean cramming their suburban maws face full of Prozac and Xanax while being simultaneously appalled – yes, appalled – by the moral deficiencies of heroine addicts, sweeping the seas of all life for the pleasure of eating strangely wrapped delicacies, slaughtering the last of the magnificent great cats so hot babes can wear the skins, desecrating the artifacts of native religions while ready to kill in order to protect the sanctity of a cross, obsessing over honor while committing genocide, spending a fortune on dresses for the Bishops who cover up child rape while forbidding women from serving as priests, building crappy new malls while crappy empty malls lie in ruins, spreading cookie cutter starter castles and town homes across the vales and hills while urban cores become battle zones and the war on drugs maintains an infrastructure that no longer exists for its original purpose, ridiculing evolutionary* science while attempting to force Sumerian creation myths into schools, while simultaneously demanding absolute scientific proof that the climate is changing as tornadoes and hailstones pound away at their Oklahoma bunkers, that’s right, I’m talking about the millions who are flying patriotic flags on their dumb Escalade trucks that haul nothing while 19 year olds represent their nationalism to the Taliban, working up outrage over forwarded e-mail accounts of events that never happened while agribusiness and petrochemical pimps sneak out the back door with their tax money, knowingly cashing their pay checks while their employers poison children in the interest of maximizing profits, all the while waiting for God to notice there is a problem, nuking low use population segments in the name of freedom and doing their best to blame it all on illegal aliens, homosexuals and infidels for the ills of the world.
Wow. Thats a little messed up.
And that’s nothin’. Watch as the Chinese and Indians take their turn and quickly surpass the standard of mindless consumerism set by Americans and you will be forced to agree there is little hope that the planet can sustain the plundering of its remaining resources without severe consequences.
Why does the species conduct itself in ways that are clearly antithetical to the best interests of most of its members and to the integrity of its living space? Simple: we are hardwired to behave this way.
The Global Catastrophe Map is your one stop source for bad news with a lighter touch! It provides a fun and helpful global synopsis of the systematic and unprecedented environmental degradation of the planet.
The following is taking place on the planet Earth right now:
Atmospheric and marine CO2 levels at record highs
Falling, contaminated water tables
Global air and water pollution at unprecedented levels
Oceans becoming garbage dumps
Rising sea levels
Global drought patterns
Extinction of most large mammals and game fish
Increased starvation and malnutrition
Decreased humammal fertility
Increased cancer, allergies and birth defects
Massive, irreversible destruction of natual beauty
Radical increase in tornadoes and violent weather
Our point of view is that Earth is a limited ecosphere, and the human species (referred to here as "humammals") appears to be generally oblivious to the conditions of its one home. Because the news media considers information pertaining to the survival of the species depressing, it by and large fails to report environmentally related news, or follow up on previous stories. This is especially true when the polluter is a global corporation or otherwise powerful government or individual. This covers most polluters.
Q. Is this all true?
A. The information contained in CatMap stories are true; they are based on events that have actually taken place. In the occasional CapMap article you will note some "attitude", satire and parody, especially in the images and animations, but the material itself is accurate. For example, the story on the U.S. nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands carries the headline "Marshall Island Natives Have The Bad Judgement to Live In A Nuclear Testing Zone". This somewhat flippant headline calls attention to the fact that the United States stole some islands in the Pacific, dropped huge nukes on them and never made reparations to the people that lived there. But The story is 100% true.
Q. Are we doomed?
A. We as a species may not be doomed, but the quality of our life and planet most certainly is. The wonderful natural places that most humans seems to consider part of their spirituality are being plundered and left for dead by a small percentage of sociopaths. But sociopaths have a tendency to rise to power.
Q. Why do you say that?
A. Why do we say that? Go here!
Paradise is over. We screwed it up. In the coming decades, as water and agricultural resources become more and more scarce, and less and less of the planet surface is habitable, the issues will be more about survival than about whether Britney's comeback will succeed. Keep golfing.
Q. Is the Catastrophe Map political?
A. Absolutely not. The Catastrophe Map is completely apolitical. We despise Democrats and Republicans almost equally. However, the editorial board entertains suspicions that the Bush Administration is intent on plundering public resources and stripping regulatory agencies for the purpose of enriching extractive industries and other forms of evil, that it has imposed a Christian world view in place of science, and that it has set back any chance of preventing the ecological collapse of the planet at least eight years.
Q. Pollution, plunder and extinction due to human activities isn't new. What's the Big Deal?
A. The big deal is that much of what is taking place now is accelarating and irreversible.
Q. What do these stories have in common?
A. Virtually without exception, the government agencies that most people believe are there to protect citizens initially sided with the polluters and participated in stalling and supression of information. When there was any justice at all (such as moving everyone out of Centralia, PA and Love CanalLove Canal, NY) it was because of brave and sustained efforts on the part of private citizens who fought the power structure.
Q. Are all Catastrophe Map events caused by humammals?
A. No, of course not. However, almost without exception, human activity has exacerbated the effects of natural catastrophies. The 2004 Tsunami and 2005 Hurricane Katrina are excellent examples. In both cases, the destruction of wetlands removed natural barriers to storm surges. But neither of these really compares in scope to the dust storms of the 1930's in America.
* Evolution is only a theory, as opposed to Genesis, which is a myth.