“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.
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