There is no doubt that humans have had an enduring impact on the face of the planet. In his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari sheds light on the human journey over millions of years. He notes that despite being on the planet for a relatively short amount of time, modern humans have introduced drastic changes, most of which have been adverse. While the book primarily offers a historical account of the history of humanity, it also highlights the influence that man has had on the natural landscape. While it is lambasts humanity, Harari’s book inspires readers to reflect on how their lifestyles could be contributing to environmental damage.
The main message that Harari conveys in his text is that in the entire time that it has walked on the planet, the human race has caused nothing but decimation and destruction. For the most part, this is true. Such problems as climate change and deforestation serve as evidence of the destructive effects of mankind. When he wrote the book, Harari must have intended to caution mankind that unless urgent action was taken, the planet would be doomed. This book could inspire action to reverse the damage that the planet continues to suffer.
Harari describes humans as greedy and fraudulent. He goes further to accuse this race of having perpetrated an unforgivable atrocity against the planet. These accusations are indeed fair. According to Harari, humanity is a pest whose wanton destruction of the environment must be addressed. There is no question that the book could help to inform policies to safeguard the environment. To secure its future, humanity should heed the warnings that Harari issues and move with speed to secure the planet.
In his discussion on how humans have given rise to such practices as agriculture, Harari suggests that humans have essentially created a crisis. For instance, he argues that such problems as poor nutrition are the result of unwise agricultural practices. By linking agriculture to the health problems that humanity faces today, Harari expands his discussion beyond environmental damage. He essentially prompts readers to reflect on how their own lifestyles and decisions contribute to some of the gravest challenges that humanity faces today.
Overall, Harari’s book is deeply informative and based on verifiable information. For instance, he properly tracks the development of the human race through history. He identifies language and the agricultural revolution as among the forces that have fueled human progress and development. Therefore, it is fair to conclude that the book makes a commendable effort to inform and enlighten readers.
While he dismisses modernity, Harari expresses nostalgia for the Stone Age, a period when human life was simpler and the planet suffered less damage. When considered from the perspective of environmental destruction, Harari’s ideas and feelings are valid and understandable. His desire for mankind to embrace the values and practices of the Stone Age suggests that he is deeply concerned about the current trajectory of humanity. Unless countries take steps to protect earth, as Harari suggests, the Stone Age could become a more attractive alternative to living in an irreversibly ruined planet.
It appears that when he authored the book, Harari was immensely displeased with mankind. His apparent frustration can be seen in his description of modern humans. He suggests that despite massive technological developments, at their core, humans remain animals that hunt and gather. This is somewhat true. Such issues as uncontained exploitation of the natural environment indicate that humans are nothing more than hunter gatherers. While insulting, Harari’s description is clearly intended to stimulate mankind to act to protect his home.
That Harari has little faith in mankind is not in dispute. He makes this clear in the book. For example, he expresses disgust at such issues as pornography and obesity. The problem with his perspective is that it is limited and unfair. Pornography and obesity are complex issues that can only be understood when one adopts a broader and more objective framework. Harari is simply too disappointed. However, the concerns that he raises are significant and should be taken seriously. Obesity is particularly problematic and should be tackled at all costs.
All the arguments that Harari raises lead to his conclusion that modern humans are miserable and that their ancestors were much happier. This conclusion is indeed bold and causes readers to pause and reflect on whether modernity has made it nearly impossible for humans to find happiness. It can be argued that Harari’s characterization of the human experience is inaccurate. While such problems as depression are becoming more prevalent, humans have made remarkable progress in promoting fulfillment and helping individuals to pursue happiness.
In conclusion, Harari’s book is not intended for those who are convinced that humanity is perfect. It is for the enlightened ones who agree that the human race is broken and in urgent need of fixing. Harari expertly outlines some of the most important questions that have not received much attention. He offers a rigorous examination of human history and the delicate balance that humanity must achieve between protecting its home and pursuing economic progress. This book should be included in any and all discussions about the future of the planet and the fate of humanity.