Captain Corruption\'s Commentary

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Man- the Environmental Rapist? Not possible.

Explain to me this: Why is it that if a beaver builds a dam its "natural" but when a man does it its "artificial?" Don't both actions displace a squirrel or two?

How do we know that in the grand scheme of things we aren't doing exactly what wants us to do? How do we know, to paraphrase , that we weren't placed here to create the plastic layer, so that a million years from now cockroach archaeologists can have some neat four tiered red plastic hats to display in their museums?

I want clean air, I want clean water, and I don't want to maliciously slaughter species after species but ya know what? If they can't adapt, they're doomed. I bet the rats and possums, pigeons and roaches love us humans. The buffalo could no doubt do without us.

It is arrogant presumption to assume our measley species can do permanent long term damage to a planet.

See, thing is, I'm not denying that have predicted disaster regarding some of our species' behavior. Build a city below sea level and on a swamp and you're asking for some sort of trouble.

"They said it was daft to build a castle in the swamp, but I built it anyway... It sunk into the swamp...."

I'm denying the oft expressed sentiment that we are raping the . Why? Because we humans are every bit a part of the environment as every other species on the planet. We came out of the same primordial soup or from the same creator as all the rest of them. A beaver dam, or a termite mound, or a friggin nuclear power plant, were all created by one of 's creatures, so why is one "bad" and "artificial" while the rest are "natural"? If we build a nuke plant and it melts down, well, how do we really know that God didn't WANT us to, so he could have an excuse to introduce the two headed turtle?

We're part of the total package, and the concept that we measly humans can save the or destroy the Earth is just ludicrous. All we can manage to do is make the immediate slightly more or less comfortable for ourselves and our progeny. That minor tampering we do may indeed have some consequences... Build on a hillside in and you better not expect your structure to last a century. Build in the flood plane and ya better have a boat. Build a nuke plant on the cheap and ya might glow in the dark some day. Build a city below sea level and some day trouble may come, no matter how you prepare. This is just part of the deal of any species' existence on this planet. The ants in my patio cracks couldn't possibly have predicted the doom that would befall their cities when they started building... They staked their claim and made the best of it anyway, at least for a while.

Mother nature points out how powerless we truly are all the time in minor ways... Lightning strikes, tornados, mudslides, forest fires. Every once in a while she shows us in much bigger ways... whammo, 200,000 dead in the blink of an eye in a tsunami. These sorts of events are my evidence that to the Earth we ain't nothin' but another little critter on the surface. We've only been here for the proverbial drop of a geological bucket, and we've only been building our evil "artificial" whatever's for a tiny miniscule of a fraction of our species existence. The thought that we've managed to disrupt in any significantly permanent way the patterns of an environment millions of years old in just a century or two requires an enormous leap of faith.

The "damage" humans do to the environment is a matter of degree and or opinion, and immensely difficult to measure. Again, as the dinosaurs died to give us to fight over, perhaps we are creating depleted to give the roaches a to fight over. Who knows?

I sure don't.

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