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Save the Homo sapiens

by Nic Darling on February 3, 2009 · 8 comments

in Philosophy

“What are you trying to do, save the planet all by yourselves?” asks Joe Cynic (pardon the leftover “Joe” joke from the campaign), and the answer, of course, is “No.” In fact, we aren’t trying to save the planet at all. This beautiful planet, which we are undoubtedly screwing with in new and unpleasant ways, will be fine. It will still be here long after our species has ________ (choose your own verb: poisoned, nuked, eaten, cooked, etc.) itself into oblivion. It will continue, as it ever has, to spin its way around the sun and support life for a long, long time after we are gone.

This is not to say that we aren’t effecting the planet’s current ability to sustain some types of life (RIP Passenger Pigeon), but that effect only lasts as long as the natural system tolerates our parasitic activities. Once we’ve been purged the planet will recover as it did after the meteor shower that killed the dinosaurs, the ice age that made large portions of its surface nearly uninhabitable and the environmental policies of . . . well . . . every world leader since.

Our scramble to begin living more sustainably has nothing to do with the planet. It has to do with us. It’s a species thing. We are suddenly realizing that if we don’t make some changes this place is going to become an increasingly uncomfortable and, eventually, impossible place for us to live (sort of like Buffalo, NY ;) ). All the talk about saving the world and protecting the earth is really just an attempt to stick around a bit longer.

So, let’s start a “Save the Homo sapiens” campaign (giving credit of course to Douglas Adams and his dolphins) and be honest about what we’re doing.

If you enjoyed reading this post I can promise you'll love our new writing over at Postgreen Homes. Yeah, we know that's the same thing your favorite band said and their new album is nowhere near as good as their early stuff, but seriously, we are actually still getting better.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brett Gobe February 4, 2009 at 11:26 am

Agreed, Buffalo is awful.

2 mc February 4, 2009 at 2:49 pm

buffalo? the lake effect snow and wind chill are awful but there is great art (albright knox), architecture (six FL Wright homes alone, as well as buildings by Sullivan, Gwathmey, Richardson, Saarinen, etc), beautiful parks/parkway system (Olmsted/Vaux), and the people are great. and most relevant, Gwathmey’s Burchfield Penney Art Centre is a green museum, i think the first of its kind in ny state. sorry for the rant but there many places much worse than buffalo.

3 Nic Darling February 4, 2009 at 3:08 pm

I actually agree with you about Buffalo mc. There are definitely much worse places. As a Western/Northern NY native I was merely taking an underhanded dig at my Buffalo pals.

Brett there is from Rochester. The constant absence of sunshine just makes him grumpy.

4 mc February 4, 2009 at 3:35 pm

great, a buffalo hater from down the road. saw the smiley face but had to comment. glad you guys aren’t really hating on buffalo. also heard buffalo made #37 on the ny times 44 places to visit in the world in 2009 with mention of the gwathmey LEED certified green museum. i lived in rochester/buffalo as a kid – very happy to have moved to philly area but can appreciate western ny now that i don’t live there.

5 Liza February 4, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Can’t comment on Buffalo, but no one wants to be living in South East Australia right now either with temps soaring in the mid 40 degree Celsius range! Love the idea of “Save the Humans”! Can we get a t-shirt? Should have a disclaimer on the back saying something like ” But not at the expense of ecosystems and other species”… It’s always good to go out smiling, if not laughing at our own stupidity!

6 Jerry Hajek February 4, 2009 at 8:34 pm

“Save the homo sapiens”….I dunno, y’all, but I’m not a great fan of “us” as a sentient species. Despite what we’re capable of, and the potential we occasionally exhibit, we seem to spend the bulk of our collective time, energy, and resources proving how little we’ve evolved from our ancestry. Always two steps forward, three steps back, and a stumble to the side.
As I think was quoted on the Last Whole Earth Catalog (the ‘dead tree’ version), “We’re smart, but not wise”.
We Really need to ‘wise up’, A LOT, Really Fast.
But our track record… *shrug*
(My spouse calls me cynical. I claim to be a realist. You can call me whatever. I really would rather be proven wrong in the final analysis, but I have these bad dreams…..)
Buffalo? Lots of folks live there. It could be better. It certainly could be worse. Those who can or care to, leave. Those who don’t can’t or won’t. Pretty standard practice, IMHO. I’ve lived in a number of places in this country at this point, and each has had the neighborhoods you admire, and the ones you pass through Quickly. The US is not ‘homogenized’; it reminds me of buttermilk…..
….that seems to be just about hitting the ‘expired’ date….
We seem to collectively sleepwalk through this, flashes of insight drowned out by the white noise of our lives. The lucky or driven few get to rise above the murk; most seem to get distracted by greed or ‘shiny objects’, the endless distractions that parade before us lucky ‘civilized Westerners’. A lot of our kin around the planet will NEVER be so vaguely ‘lucky’….
Some aspire to our situation; that makes me nervous. Not that I denigrate that aspiration. But the planet can’t handle it. We’re finally waking up to that.
Some REALLY HATE US. I can’t blame them; the West has basically run roughshod over them (No, let’s not argue politics. Really Look at history, theirs & ours. We’ve not played ‘fair’, by any measure…).

Sorry for flinging a cold, wet, dirty blanket on the floor.
I like what I read here, generally.
But at what point do we ‘save’ ourselves? At the expense of everything else? I don’t want to hear the dolphins thanking us for all the fish either, but we really should act like we’re worth saving before we start yet another childrens’ crusade.

(I’m actually fairly pleasant in ‘real life’…;) You might make the mistake of liking me. *L*)

7 honeybee33 March 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm

I’ve heard a number of Buffaloans make similarly disparaging comments about Philadelphia. ;~)

“Home is what you make it.” Glad you’re doing so much to make home so much better – no matter where it is!

~ hb33 ~

8 Nick Gretener October 30, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Re save the species, check out new book at

Looks at history of the species and the possibilities, choices to be made to enable its future existence.

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