From Earth's POV, are we a virus?

A number of years ago my friend came to the conclusion—after putting years of research into the hypothesis—that, from the Earth's point of view (POV), humans are a virus.

Riddle: What is it that attaches itself to you; then multiples at an alarming rate and destroys you by disrupting your vital functioning systems and destroying critical support systems you rely on, despite that meaning that it will die along with you when it finally kills you?

Answer: A virus.

They should give that one to Edward Nygma in Gotham (a TV series). Nygma is always putting his little riddles to people around the police station in Gotham. I think that Nygma and the Penguin are my two favourite characters in Gotham. The actors doing those parts do them so well.

Meanwhile, back to the premise that "viewed from the Earth's POV humans are a virus".

Let's see—a few things I can think of:

  • We are destroying the creeks and rivers.
  • We are cutting down the trees that help produce the oxygen that sustains all life.
  • We are changing the composition of the upper and middle atmospheres in a number of ways (ozone, nitrogen, etc).
  • We are polluting the lower atmosphere to the point where in some countries we won't be able to breath unassisted outside within the next 50 years—this already happens in from time to time in Europe, the UK, China, and parts of the USA.
  • We are 'fracking' the Earth's crust.
  • We are polluting the oceans with chemicals, gasses, and plastics.
  • We are de-stocking the ocean's at a rate where eating fish caught in the ocean will be but a memory that old people talk about within 100 years, except for the very rich who can then afford to pay about $200 per kilo for snapper (at today's prices).
  • We are directly and indirectly killing off all the positive and useful, non-virus, mammals on the planet.

The number of people on the planet hit 6 billion sometime in 1999 and zipped up to 7 billion sometime in 2011. Baring a massive pandemic or a comet colliding into the Earth, the forecasts are for the population to hit 8 billion by about 2022.

Mexico City.

The picture above is from an item The Guardian titles "Over-population, Over-consumption" (here).