Thursday, October 12, 2006

People Bad. Not-people Good. Ugh.

It seems that four out of five articles I read incorporate the hackneyed, presumptuous angle that the civilization of man is bad. Can't these people come up with anything else? Don't these environmentalist blowhards realize that their arguments are anything but compelling?

Today, I refer to New Imagine Earth Without People. While the subject matter makes for an interesting read (conjecture as to how planet Earth would adapt in an unpeopled condition), it's lines like this that truly make me roll my eyes:
In just a few thousand years we have swallowed up more than a third of the planet's land for our cities, farmland and pastures. By some estimates, we now commandeer 40 per cent of all its productivity. And we're leaving quite a mess behind: ploughed-up prairies, razed forests, drained aquifers, nuclear waste, chemical pollution, invasive species, mass extinctions and now the looming spectre of climate change. If they could, the other species we share Earth with would surely vote us off the planet.
Swallowed? Commandeer? Mess? Looming spectre?

Let's just cut to the chase and distribute cyanide pills to everyone. I'm not disputing these facts. I just take issue with the foregone conclusion that converting God-given lands to useful purposes is somehow reprehensible.

I love the invention of another amusing evil:
In some countries, including Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands, there is no longer any night sky untainted by light pollution.
"Bobby, turn off that flashlight right now! Don't you know you're tainting the environment?!"

I suppose if you define "pollution" as something that wouldn't exist without mankind, then sure. I suppose that means every last building, invention, composition, utterance and breath of every human on the planet is a form of pollution. Our very thouhts must be wreaking havoc on the normally pristine psychic enivornment of the planet.

My position can be nicely summarized by Mr. Hollohan, my 9th grade English teacher. Regarding the ongoing struggle between mankind and the Earth, he said that ultimately the Earth will win, hands down. The article states that some of the "damage" we inflict upon the environment will take thousands of years to heal. In geological time, that's the blink of an eye. From the perspective of Earth, it's nothing more than a mosquito bite. We humans aren't as powerful as we think we are.

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