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Save the Earth?

We do not need to save the Earth, it will be fine without us.  We cannot preserve the ecosystem because there are many, and they are constantly changing.  There has never been a time or a condition of the planet that has been inherently superior to any other.  There is nothing particularly superior about organisms that have been here for centuries, over ones that have just arrived from Asia in cargo holds.  All existing species are successful invasive species.  We are fairly successful, but far less so than cockroaches.  Most of the organisms that have ever been alive are dead, and their kind extinct.

We need to get rid of sanctimonious claims that Earth is our mother and we must nurture her.  Earth does not care whether we die out or not; it would be just fine as an iceball again.  Mars is not dead, and does not need to be revived.

The only entities to whom our continued existence as a species matters are ourselves, and possibly our dogs.  Certainly not our cats, still less our goldfish.

We need to get over the idea that we are harming nature.  We are nature.  Everything we do is natural, even if it leads to results unfavorable to ourselves.  We need to stop thinking in terms of preserving a sacred other, and realize that what we must do is keep the Earth suitable for ourselves to continue to live on.  That’s it, no holy quest, just pure self interest.  It’s something we’re rather good at.

Even then, if we are wildly successful, our species will no longer exist in a few million years, just as our Australopithecine ancestors no longer exist as a species.

Moral imperatives can be successfully refuted by mere denial; solid arguments based on evidence of our pure self interest are much more difficult to refute.  That’s just the way things are.

11 thoughts on “Save the Earth?

  1. Excellent. You shot down so many sacred cows in that one post that I think the only people left to like it will be a few old tough buzzards like ourselves who enjoy rummaging through the remains of old skeletons. The only thing that I would add is that evolution serves one purpose alone, survival, not truth, so there is also no reason to put our hope in salvation through science.

  2. Yep, if we (man) disturb the balance of the environment, Earth’s environment will change (slowly) so as to rid itself of the thing (man) which unbalanced things on this little ol’ rock of ours.
    We will not destroy Earth, it will destroy us because of our polluting behaviour.

    Pollution is the major problem and politicians are the only ones with the authority to restrict the polluters, but they won’t.

    Cartoon illustrates the result . . . . .



  3. “We need to stop thinking in terms of preserving a sacred other, and realize that what we must do is keep the Earth suitable for ourselves to continue to live on.”
    Your indifference to non-humans makes me sad. Such total indifference to other species. I have to disagree with you, although I don’t expect to change your mind. Of course it is not the planet we must save – it will be here with our without us, and nature would, I believe, be better off without us. But the earth does not belong only to humans. The way we go about destroying habitat for other species does not speak well for the integrity of our species. You say “We are nature. ” Well, yes, we are but we don’t have a moral claim to preserve our part of nature at the expense of elephants, mountain gorillas, snails, or ferns. We are not worth “saving” if we cannot understand the moral claims of other species.

    • First, your comment betrays the duality between humans and nature that I believe is the root cause of our problems. In looking to the interests of humans, I am not ignoring the welfare of other organisms. Indeed, it seems clear that our welfare is inextricably bound up in theirs. Whether this is moral or not, and whether we are worth saving, doesn’t interest me in this context. Come to that, does your cat have a moral duty to preserve the mouse population in your house?

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