• Frederick Rugar

Eventually, We're All in the Same Boat

Updated: Dec 13, 2019


A while ago, I read an article about a species of animal that just went extinct. Like most people, I've been aware that species around the world are dying out, but it's always been a background thing- I hear about it once in a while, think to myself "Geez, that's a shame", and then I go on about my life. This time, though, I did a little more googling and reading and it was really quite alarming. Species extinction is a natural part of the world. In general, the natural extinction rate is about 1-5 species a year going extinct. However, scientists are now estimating that we are now losing species at rates up to 1000 times the normal rate, with dozens of species going extinct every day. In the past, mass extinctions were always brought about by natural disasters- volcanic eruptions, asteroid strikes and normal climate shifts. Unfortunately, the current extinction crisis rests solely on the shoulders of human activity and our inability to come to terms with our role in climate change. As long as we ignore the problems, mass extinction isn't going to go away-- actually, it is going to go away, but it's going to take a huge chunk of wildlife with it, and wreak havok with our food chains. An old expression kept swimming around in my head... "Row your own boat" and I started to wonder, "What if you're not the only one in the boat"? So, I was inspired to create the image at the top of the post, where a monkey is in a boat trying to row across a heat baked wasteland. The monkey is looking over his shoulder at a woman scavenging through a heap of garbage. The question in my mind is, are they working together to survive, or are they each still trying to row their own boats? For more information about the extinction crisis, visit the Center For Biological Diversity website.