Each one of us that is witnessing the supremacy of our human species over the rest of the beings and their destiny. Our numbers have reached an unprecedented number in the history of mankind – more than two million years in the best estimate – at sometimes it seems this Earth belongs to us and ONLY for us.
Millions of us have occupied every continent of this blue planet and have adapted its environment to their needs. The latest scientific estimates indicate that half of the land has been changed because of human activity, half of fresh surface water has been exploited, and one fourth of the birds on the planet have been extinct because of us!
But that was not always the case!
In fact, whoever observed our specie will confirm that 99% of the organisms found from the beginning of life – would disappear in a matter of thousands of years.
And it’s true, thousands of years have not passed and the Glacial Period of the present “Ice Age”, which we are still in, started 2.5 million years ago and continues, but it goes through stages whenever it’s active. These stages of glacial phases are receding and things settles down after a while. “Inter-glacial period is what we are going through these days”.
This period which transformed the fertile environment in which our ancestors lived and fed on their goods to plains and desolated lands with food scarcity.
This ice age lasted for tens of thousands of years.
These terrible conditions killed nearly 95% of our species and we were threatened with extinction. Only a few scattered families survived in areas where food and shelter were available on the coastline of southern Africa where environmental conditions were more favourable and less virulent.
Our ancestors have miraculously surpassed the disaster, clearly expressing our flexibility, our intelligence and our enormous ability to adapt to any environmental conditions. This victory may have been the greatest victory in the history of all mankind. Why not? Without them we would never have this foundation that is now the “master/superior” of these lands.
After this setback and after the end of the Ice Age in the year 120,000 BC, our ancestors began to recover, recovering their strength and numbers and returned to colonize the continent of Africa more widely than before.
Nearly 50,000 years of environmental stability have passed, but subsequent generations have had another date with cyclical climate fluctuations. Between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago, the next glacial period was at its peak. In this period, too, one of the greatest volcanic eruptions in history was in Lake Toba in the place we call today Indonesia.