The novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" (DADOES) is a science fiction novel by American writer Phillip K Dick. The events in the book are taking place in a future post-apocalyptic time, where the earth and everything in it is damaged significantly by the fictional war. Most of the animal species are threatened or extinct because of the extreme levels of radiation during the war. Most people have immigrated to space colonies, where the conditions are less extreme. However, these colonies are off limits to people who have special conditions.
Although this novel is taking place in a future post apocalyptic time, where the main pollutant is radiation; the post apocalyptic world painted in the book has some similarities with nowadays;
- Habitat destruction. Habitat destruction in the book is seen as a function of nuclear radiation. In the today's world, it is caused by pollution, the introduction of new species, human encroachment and global warming.
- Extinction and near extinction of species. Human beings are responsible for the mass extinction of species, both in the book and in the real world today.
The planet is going through the crisis, the population is growing at such a rate that, the world's resources cannot sustain it for much longer, the wild population of animals and plants is shrinking, the effects of climate change are starting to get obvious, and disasters are much more severe, partly because over population is pushing people to disaster prone areas and partly because human related causes are on the rise.
My biggest concerns are that, at the current rate, the world may soon find itself in a crisis, which could threaten the very human existence. The rapid population growth rate that is being witnessed in most parts of the world, especially in the third world countries, will deplete the natural resources that sustain life on the planet. There will also be more marginalization of the flora and the fauna as human encroachment pushes them into the less productive areas. The rate of pollution may also make the planet unsuitable for human habitation. For instance, the depletion of the ozone layer means that direct sunlight is becoming more and more dangerous, materials dumped on the surface, such as nuclear waste, pose a threat to human life as some of them may be carcinogenic (Underwater Astonishments). Pollution of the water also kills marine life.
The people in the 1960s had similar concerns. This was during the cold war and the two most powerful countries in the world were at each others throats, just like in the current times, humanity was threatened by its self.
In Dick's book animals, which had nothing to do with the war were the most heavily affected by it, though human beings survived. The people should have given more thought to the innocent bystanders, but they did not. The same case scenario is true nowadays. People in the third world countries were the most heavily affected by climate changes and global warming, yet, like the animals, they are innocent bystanders. The natural world will have to adapt to the changes, a lot of species will perish, but nature will find a way.
In conclusion, if the current rates of encroaching civilization, over population, pollution and global warming persist, the world may witness a crisis; but hopefully, human beings will increase their conservation efforts and avert the looming crisis.