NOAA scientists use the best scientific and commercial information available as the basis for their listing decisions. Scientists may not consider the economic impact of listing a particular species. A species must be listed if it is threatened or endangered due to any of the following five factors:

  1. Present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;
  2. Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;
  3. Disease or predation;
  4. Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and
  5. Other natural or human-­‐made factors affecting its continued existence. Check,            , check, check, check

The earth (read: modern civ) is endangered, on the verge of collapsing under hubris, which is much heavier than it sounds—don’t be fooled by that h—heavier than any debris flow, deadlier than a mudslide, swift as a landslide, gentle as a bear cub until the mother arrives.

You might be interested to know that the Fat Man and the Little Boy weren’t all that exploded in the mid-­‐forties. Since then hubris has gone big time.  If words were stock, and you’d invested in “hubris,” well, imagine buying Coca-­‐Cola or Facebook stock well before any splits.

As it looks, only frogs and slugs will be around to collect the dividends.

T. Geronimo Johnson is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Johnson has taught writing at UC Berkeley, Stanford, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, The Prague Summer Program, San Quentin, and elsewhere. His first novel, Hold it ‘til it Hurts, was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award. Welcome to Braggsville, his second novel, follows four UC Berkeley students who stage a protest during a Civil War reenactment in the heart of Georgia.