Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Plague of Two-Legged Locusts

Locust plagues were feared even back in Biblical times. As described in Exodus, Moses beseeched the Pharaoh to release the Hebrews, and when he didn't a plague of locusts came with the east wind and "covered the face of the whole earth ... and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees ... through all the land of Egypt."

Locust plagues continue to be a major problem in Africa, Australia and the Middle East. They propagate extremely quickly and then immense swarms can travel long distances (over 100 kilometres a day), consuming, consuming, consuming everything in their path.

Humans are similar. Our population has grown incredibly quickly, from about one billion in 1800 to almost seven billion today. It's the same rapid population explosion as for locusts, just on a different time scale. Humans also consume, consume, consume.

Natural barriers such as lakes eventually halt locust swarms. We humans also take action against them (spraying pesticides). In contrast, there are no natural barriers or limitations to halt the runaway human population, and furthermore we ignore the problem.

The human population explosion is unprecedented in history, and is extremely frightening. Nothing like this has ever happened before. How will it end?

The Bible talks about locust swarms as not just a natural event but rather as a punishment, an expression of Heaven's displeasure with human behaviour. The ultimate irony is that we are being punished by a plague of ourselves, the most powerful, devastating species imaginable.

1 comment:

Peter Wilson said...

Very happy to find your Blog which reflects many of the conclusions I have come to in considering the plight of the human race.

I have been looking for a graph of locust plague build up because I suspect the shape of the curve would look very like the human population growth curve. If these two curves were published together on a graph it might make people think. Are you aware of a locust plague numbers curve???