BEST ending line of a book. Ever. (IMHO)

From the book “Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus, 2014” by David Quammen which is an excerpt from his 2012 book “Spillover:”

“We live on a complicated planet, rich organisms of vast diversity, including viruses, all interacting opportunistically, and although there are seven billion of us humans, the place has not been arranged for our convenience and pleasure.”  (emphasis mine)

Let’s look at that again, shall we?

“…the place has not been arranged for our convenience and pleasure.”

Maybe one more time?

“…the place has not been arranged for our convenience and pleasure.”

Now, is it firmly planted in your psyche?  Can you walk around today repeating that a few times, while standing in line at the grocery store, checking out books at the library, driving along a very crowded freeway, standing on a mountaintop gazing at the horizon, sitting atop a horse moving cows (H/T to the dear husband today)?  Or just doing whatever it is you do during your day.

This world is not here for our convenience.  We happen to inhabit it.  We happen to have survived long enough to attempt to mold it and shape it into something that we think is necessary for our continued survival.

And I’m not just referring to the Ebola virus, which very probably should have us all a little bit concerned as it relates to emerging diseases (zoonoses to be exact) and the susceptibility of the human population to such.  But I digress.  Quammen’s book about the Ebola virus is haunting.  It is a good read.  I highly suggest it to everyone, not just to Liberians and Sierra Leonians–West Africans to be exact.  It is prescient to all of us, each and every single inhabitant of this planet.

However, that last line, specifically the last phrase, is even more so.  And it pertains to so much more than just an emerging virus.  It pertains to the changing climate.  It pertains to the overpopulation of this world by an intensely damaging species (Homo sapiens if you can’t see where I’m headed with this one).  It pertains to our FINITE amount of resources.  Yes, our resources are finite.  This world is not growing.  Unless you’ve attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy and have mastered the magical arts, I’m not seeing how we’re going to be conjuring more water and soil and land and grasses and food out of thin air.  I’m just not seeing it.  There is a finite amount of carbon, fossil fuels if you will, to be tapped.  Don’t blather on to me that there is so much more we can drill for.  Eventually, we will drill it all.  Eventually, we will reach the end of the line as to how much we can find and then use.  This planet is not expanding and adding more of the resources that we use.  And don’t blather on to me about genetic engineering and the ability to create crops.  If there isn’t any soil or water, those genetically modified crops ain’t going to grow either.

So why the bee in my bonnet?  Because (and I know you don’t ever, ever, ever begin a sentence with ‘because’ as I’ve been drilling into my sweet daughter’s brain, but dire times call for dire measures)…because I read something last night that set the bee buzzing around in my cranium.  It goes like this:  several, very-right-leaning, socially conservative (whatever the hell that means) groups led by very-right-leaning, socially conservative, religious leaders are starting to amass and band together (redundant, I know) in the lame (sorry, snark) attempt to elect a very-right-leaning, socially conservative, Republican nominee for President.  They are absolutely sure that the ONLY reason the black man won the Presidency the last two elections was because the Republican nominee was not socially conservative enough and was too moderate.  So, by their calculations and what could be construed as totally mixed up thinking, more socially conservative Republicans would have voted if they would have liked the candidate.  And then the black man, who happens to be a Democrat and according to them a secret Muslim who hates this country and wasn’t even born here and wants Sharia law and, etc, etc, etc, wouldn’t have been elected and run this good ol’ United States of Amurica into the ground.  Lord love a duck.

Seriously.  I read this in the New York Times (and don’t get all hatin’ on me sayin’ it’s a liberal ‘rag’ etc, etc, etc).  In the last few weeks, several religious leaders of religious groups are massing together to try to get a socially conservative (there are those damn two words again) Republican elected so that the establishment Republican (seen as good ol’ Jebbie) will be kicked to the curb.

So why has this started the bee buzzing specifically you ask?  What’s my beef?

These religious leaders of these socially conservative groups (nails on a chalkboard now) are pushing three items for their agenda, which they say are the absolute most important things that should drive the election.

Ahhhhh.  Socially conservative Republican platform planks.  Now you should see the light.

And so it goes like this:

1.  Make all immigration illegal.

2.  Ban all same-sex marriage.

3  Ban all abortions.

THESE are the things the socially conservative Republican groups see as the biggest threats to mankind, here in the good ol’ United States of Amurica.

THESE are the things that must be abolished for us all to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

If I could give you a mental picture of exactly what this does to me it might go something like this:  woman grabbing her head with her hands and screaming “aaaagggghhhhhh” as she runs around in circles in utter disbelief.  The things that make me insane, crazy, nutso, just plain mad.

Or something like that.

This is wrong on so many levels.  Don’t you think we should be worried about the other things like, say, the fact that if the Arctic sea ice truly all melts (which is now predicted in the next couple of decades I believe) then the scramble by A LOT of this world’s countries will begin and we just might end up with some wartime scenarios up there to the north (I’m sure the Republicans will just be lapping that up, but me, not so much).  If all of that ice melts, it doesn’t just disappear.  Think BASIC science.  It changes into a different form.  And it’s not going to be steam.  And we don’t want it to be steam.  That would be a tad bit uncomfortable.  No.  It will go to water.  And where will that water go one might ask?  Right.  Do I even need to continue on with this scenario?

There is a cascade of events that will change our world drastically.  And the predictions for it happening by the end of the century have now been altered to have them happening within decades.  DECADES.

And these bimbos, idiots, asinine-excuses for leaders are worried about same-sex marriage???????????

The Ebola virus, when it first emerged in 1976, was seen in small outbreaks, but still with a very high mortality rate (Quammen reports from 60 to 80% I believe).  That’s a lot of death.  It also has a very high morbidity rate (meaning LOTS of people get sick with it).  It mutated at a rate of 32%.  Then it was quiescent for approximately ten years.  When it began re-emerging, it came back with the same characteristics (as pertains to morbidity and mortality).  This latest outbreak (the West African one of 2014), at the time of Quammen’s writing which was just in the middle of it (September) before the peak of it, had the virus mutating at a 78% rate.  That’s mutation of the virus between people.

I’m not saying we’re all going to be wiped out by Ebola virus.  That outbreak was contained, albeit after A LOT of death.  But I refer you again to the last line of Quammen’s book:  “…the place has not been arranged for our convenience and pleasure.”

We are simply species inhabiting this earth.  Mother Nature always wins.  Always.  It is the great hubris of man that will be our downfall.

And these idjits are worried about abortion and gay people getting married?

The idiocy and asininity is simply astounding.

I leave you with this:

“…the place has not been arranged for our convenience and pleasure.”



About madranchwife

Mother, Mad Ranchwife(as in--at times-- crazy, nutso, loco, off-my-rocker insane), Veterinarian, Physical Therapist, "Liberal, pinko, gay-loving, Subaru-driving Socialist" (as I've been called), proud to be a totally tree-huggin', climate change believin', granola girl environmentalist, ObamaGirl, Pro-Choice (don't even get me started here...), and in my younger days a feminist vegetarian as a result of time spent at CU Boulder (this lasted approximately 14 months, until all the Jimmy Buffett I was listening to caused me to crave a cheeseburger). #FindingMyVoice #ScienceMatters
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