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industrial human communities are ‘detritovorous’

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We Are the Threat: Reflections on Near-Term Human Extinction


This new, properly ecological perspective on humanity shows us that Homo colossus is, in fact, a detritovore. A detritovore is “an organism that subsists by consuming detritus,” or waste products. (Conventional examples of detritovores include algae, fungi, worms, potato bugs, and fiddler crabs.) But if we recognize that what Homo colossus consumes, above all else, is fossil fuels – for example, via foodstuffs that exist and can only exist in adequate quantities through the use of fossil fueled technologies, like industrial agriculture, and supply chains that require vast fleets of fossil fueled vehicles, etc. – then we can clearly see that humans, too, have become detritovores. Accordingly, “industrial human communities are ‘detritovorous’ insofar as they depend on massive consumption of the transformed organic remains from the Carboniferous period known as fossil fuels.” That is, instead of feces, our detritus sources are lumps and puddles of fossilized corpses. These long dead organisms, when they were living, obtained their own energy either directly or indirectly from photosynthesis.

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February 21st, 2018 at 10:24 am

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