The Late, Great Planet Earth8-Jul-2008
No, this is not about Hal Lindsey’s famous book. Rather, I had intended to write an article about anything other than energy/the environment However, two blog posts dragged me back in (screaming and kicking, you can be assured).
“[We can] neither save nor kill the earth (or the environment, for that matter).
“Mankind’s existence on this world is but an eye-blink, geologically speaking. No matter what we do to this earth, life will continue. We may destroy our own kind, and we may destroy other species. But, after we are gone, other species will evolve, and the earth will have forgotten about our brief presence. Hundreds of millions of years of life preceded us, and hundreds of millions of years of life will succeed us – regardless of what we do now.
“If we cannot destroy the earth, we cannot save it either. Therefore, what are we actually trying to save with environmentalism? ”
Making such broad claims of “saving the earth” smacks of smug, self-righteous, false-altruism. When someone says they want to “save the earth”, they imply that anyone who disagrees with them wants to destroy it. Such hyperbole is not helpful. A common consensus would be much easier to achieve when the real goals are spelled out. Otherwise, we may just as well be arguing over religion.
The author of the second blog I listed, responded with a well thought out response. In it, he stated a sentiment I can agree with; that the goals of environmentalism include the conservation of resources.
I would ask though: Conserve for whom? Ourselves. Future generations. Other species. After all, nature really doesn’t give a damn if we destroy an ecosystem; over time it will be replaced – but it’s impact on us humans can be devastating.
We should embrace environmentalism, not because the earth is in peril, but because it is the right thing to do – for ourselves.