Transcendence And Volcanos In Lanzarote
Ann and I run over the volcano as the sun rises each day. The distance is four miles and the lava trip hazards number in their thousands. It is cool and we watch the sun rise as a flaming ball over the Canary Islands. To the south, Fuertenventura sits out in the sea, romantically calling. The author Gaia Vince’s Transcendence and volcanos in Lanzarote seem perfect bedfellows.
This island, a mass of larva and ash, is a strangely apt place to read this best seller. Here, there are no trees without irrigation, few birds or animals although it’s starkness has a certain beauty. Yet, everything supporting human life on this island, the buildings, roads, cars, tin openers, all have to be imported. The humans come and go by air. The carbon footprint of the island is huge and you cannot offset it by planting a tree!
What is amazing is how modern Lanzarote has been created by humans, specifically by our large brain. Gaia Vince explains how we humans, unlike apes, have reduced our gut in response to cooking our food. Cooked food, it appears, is ten times more nutritious than raw. The energy once used by our gut was redirected into our expanding brain. Because of our big head, women need help to give birth. The baby then has a floppy head and is dependent for so long. Yet, that human brain is remarkable. It creates the planes and boats that bring every item of food to this island to nurture me and Ann. The paleo diet of home was never an option in this place of dust. The island was not inhabited in prehistory.
Transcendence and volcanos in Lanzarote
Walking along the promenade, a flight of swallows wings above us. I see them and realize they are part way through their migration to Britain. They have an innate sense to follow the sun, year in, year out. Without our big brain, they cannot change. Neither do they have any carbon impact; they do no harm to the world. As for us, a plane will wing us home and we will beat the swallows back to their summer retreat. The carbon we create on this, our only flight in two years, will contribute to global warming. But, how amazing we primates are. We can fly to this sunny hotel beneath a volcano, eat food from all over the world and fly home faster than swallows.