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Is Human Extinction Preventable?

Café-Salon Philosophique #40

July 10, 1999

No. of Participants: 15

Evening's Topic for Discussion: "Are Humans Capable of Preventing Extinction?"

Samuel welcomed one and all to Café Salon Philosophique. He then read the Café Guidelines as a reminder for group discussion etiquette. Three topics were introduced for the evening's discussion. Out of the three, the group wanted to discuss "species survival."

Tom began. "There is no way we are going to survive as a species because of over-population, cutting down of trees, destroying the rain forest, and polluting the oceans."

Samuel commented that "humans generate and contribute to only approximately five percent of the total pollution found here on earth compared to other species." "We are capable of preventing extinction." Nora agreed that "extinction could be prevented." She believes "there is a good, creative force present which balances and brings peace and harmony to our earth."

Shawn doesn't believe we will destroy our selves. Jeff, the scientist, says "Our species will continue to survive for another four million years. We will persist in some form, and continue to breed with the ancestors." Norman thinks "humans are stupid and not smart enough to know if we are going to live or die as a species." He believes "there will be a great population reduction occurring within the next 100 years." "We can't continue to consume at the present rate that we do, and have the Earth survive."

Samuel agreed that "humans are stupid to think that the earth won't replenish her self." Marcus isn't quite sure if things will "get better and better, or worse and worse." "There are alarmists out there who breed fear; and the complacent who try to exercise care in keeping the planet healthy." Thomas "bounced back" to voice his opinion on deforestation and the pollution from the ozone.

He cited how "seven species a day become extinct. Various bugs and insects are destroyed by various herbicides and pesticides. Frogs are disappearing. Various mutations of amphibians and fish are showing up due to chemical pollution." Scott thinks "the environmentalist and media tend to over exaggerate." "News always seems to take on a negative and pessimistic connotation." "And extremists seem to always have a negative point of view."

Catherine believes that humans "are capable of change and have the ability to adapt very easily and readily when necessary." "We can leave the old behind and go for the new." Aziza remarked that, "the earth does have an intelligence of its own. If we do become extinct, perhaps we will change form." She tries to "live her life each day in a spiritual way - to have faith and trust that something good will always happen."

"We need to live in the now, with the moment." We as humans can contribute to the continuation of the human species by individually recycling, being practical and economical. "We also need to believe that what we do every day does matter," she continued.

"But, humans are work and stressed- oriented to where they "have no time" to observe the natural progression of a day, the sunrise or sunset. They pay no attention to the millions of things that occur around them daily," said Norman. "We tend to ignore and don't want to take responsibility for our own actions." "We never stop to consider how daily choices and actions not only affects our selves, but everyone on the entire planet," he concluded.

Samuel says we as individuals are significant, but yet insignificant. Powerless, but yet we can be powerful by taking personal responsibility for our actions. Claudia said, "As consumers, we need to consume less." Dennis thinks "if we consume less, we become powerless." "In a way, we are screwed. Production and consumption must be balanced."

Gandhi stated, "Be the change that you seek," Thomas quoted. Dennis continued his thought on people in power by stating, "It seems that the more one is visible in a position of power, the more they tend to be scrutinized by the government and various business organizations."

Marcus wondered if we would "pattern our lives more after the quiet and simple ways of the Amish, would this give us more time for working with creative ideas?" Samuel says the ideal is to consume less and produce more. The group then spent time concluding the main points of the evening's topic. Dennis believes that nobody is going to change their life drastically.

Mary appreciated the comments and believes "humans need to change their ways." "Small changes affect the overall big picture." She also feels that the scientific point of view is very important. Shawn hopes for the future that "people will want to change and use their potential to change." This takes caring people. Jeff says, "it is up to us to know what is right. We need to take individual responsibility for our livelihood."

To Norman, it seems like "corporations, organizations, and governmental agencies lead the individual into what they don't need." He's also observed that "humans tend to not act until something drastic happens." "Why does it seem that community only happens during disasters?" He wondered. Marcus has "hope" for the future of humanity. Thomas says, "we should live each and every day fully and by our gut." Scott says, "there is no stopping people driven by economics."

Catherine "fears extinction, but has hope for us all." Aziza is glad to be here. She doesn't like the conflict that exists between nature and man. She believes "we need to live less stressful lives, recycle what we can, and eat organic food." She's hopeful that "we will survive as a species" but, doesn't feel "we have control of the future."

Mary is "grateful" to be here. She has seen people "make changes over time" and thinks this will continue. Rebecca says, "there is a unity of people that we could become aware of." "We could be using technology to our benefit." Monica believes "we don't have any control over the bigger picture. Small changes is what affects the whole - personal changes." "We have chosen to come here, we have the power to change if we want to." This concluded the evening's discussion.

Our next Café-Salon gathering will be August 7, 1999 at the Troubadour Bookstore located at 1638 Pearl Street. Start time is 6:30 p.m. Hope to see you there! Invite your friends!

Reported by Alessandra

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."


- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.