A recurring theme – search for immortality – appears in most of the literary works and lives of men. Many have set out in search of some elixir which could help them defeat death and enable them to witness life forever. The quest is still alive in the hearts of some eager men, when ironically; the life of their habitat has been devastatingly cut short. In the epic poem of Gilgamesh, considered the first piece of great literature, the heroic King of Uruk, who is two-thirds god and one-third a man, sets out on an arduous journey – a quest to find the secrets of eternal life. As soon as he finds a herb said to grant him eternity, a serpent appears and steals it from him, concluding a lesson that immortality is perhaps something ‘reserved’ only for the real gods.Unlike Gilgamesh, Qin Shi Huang, the first Chinese emperor who also wanted to live forever, did not embark on a journey. He instead issued a decree for a search of all China fora potion that would grant him immortality. But no potion managed to fulfill his quench to live forever, and he died at the age of 49, in 210 B.C. Perhaps to prove that Gilgamesh and Huang’s efforts were not in vain, Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a 21st century scientist and researcher, claims that the first modern human who may live up to an age of 1000 years may already be born!As chief science officer and co founder of a US based research foundation, de Grey has set out to end biological aging and believes ‘a world free of age-related disease is possible.’ Speaking at an event in London last year, de Grey had said that science will have found a way to perfect anti-aging treatments within the next 20 years. It may be a sad paradox, however, that Earth’s existence is itself in a jeopardy, the very realm on which Dr. Aubrey imagines millennium old men strutting around. After a surprisingly long battle with a crippling illness, before renowned scientist Dr. Stephen Hawking succumbed to mortality earlier this year, he gave his doomsday prediction – a shocking nine centuries earlier than his previous calculation – which sums up the theory of everything here on Earth.In recent years, Hawking had warned about how super artificial intelligence (AI) would end humankind and how ‘contacting extraterrestrials would go bonkers for humanity’. Nearly two years back, he said we have 1000 years to leave Earth. Arguably, it seems that we did pretty bad, as in his last prediction he cut our time on Earth by 900 years in one swoop and left a hundred more years to live. Hawking had explained that humankind’s days on Earth are already numbered because of climate change, asteroid strikes, epidemics, and overpopulation. The only way to survive? we need to change planets, and fast. So it seems that after ravaging and devouring the green planet, mankind is aiming for newer pastures, although not necessarily greener.A private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company has already outlined plans to make it happen and the destination for humanity is Mars. And while the Red Planet isn’t exactly that near, neither is it too far. The CEO Elon Musk intends to land people on Mars by 2025 and set up a colony by 2033 – which is well within Hawking’s timeline. However, reaching Mars and setting up a stable habitat could take a couple more decades at least. But there are others working on it, too: NASA already has a program for getting to Mars, and China’s also working on its own mission to the Red Planet. Humans are willing to research and spend enormous funds in converting an inhabitable place into somewhat live-able and spending even more to reach there, but despite warnings, pleas, researches and predictions, they are not contemplating to make effort to save their prevailing habitat, now threatened by their existence.The Leuser ecosystem on the island of Sumatra – home to some of the world’s most ancient forests – is gradually being destroyed by giant corporations, a leading conservationist has warned. In an article for the US News & World Report, Dr Ian Singleton writes that if the Amazon rain forests are the lungs of the Earth, the Leuser is its heart – beating with vitality for us all. It is the last place on Earth where elephants, tigers, rhinos and orangutans still live together.But ‘industrial’ palm oil plantations, mining, logging, energy projects and new roads and infrastructure are‘eating away at every corner of the ecosystem’.The industrial revolution that began in the 18th century, while greatly improving the quality of life, marked the end of sustainable living. As people got used to more comforts, they yearned for more. To fulfill their needs, more factories and industries were built, but their produce cost the ecosystem.Pesticides, herbicides, large landfills, waste from food processing industries, and nuclear waste generated from nuclear reactors and weapons deplete our soil of its nutrients and make it virtually lifeless. Effluence from industries, fertilizer run off, and oils spills pollute the water and greatly harm the marine life. Burning of fossil fuels and toxic gases produced in factories further causes air pollution.Pollution occurs at different levels and it doesn’t just impact our planet; it impacts all species, including mankind, who dwell on it.Earth is very good at recycling waste, but people are generating far more than earth can cope with.As Mahatma Gandhi put it, ‘Earth has enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.’Humans are the most polluting species, but then only humans can think and act to make positive changes in the environment. And they already know what to do: protecting native species, controlling wildfires, reforestation, finding renewable energy sources, conservation and recycling tips are only some of the efforts which few are making and many are propagated to follow. However, a much stronger urge needs to be enforced in all countries, for only through a collective effort can a minimum result be obtained.Humanity has accomplished a great deal of innovation. We learned to fly, built huge machines, cured diseases. At the same time, we’ve caused our fair share of destruction too. It’s time that we fix the problems of our creations. It would also be nice if we accept ourselves as mortal humans and instead of aiming to live forever, try to live our numbered lives in peace and tranquility, on our home planet, Earth.