I imagine the environmentalism movement is getting a boost lately, due to that oil leak thing, but I haven’t followed that news well enough to really contribute anything. Gar mentioned Tuesday that he thinks the way to solve the problem would be to say anyone who plugs the leak gets the well, and I think that’s a pretty good idea.
I had a thought more about environmentalism in general I thought I’d write down, though. I’m pretty pro environmentalism, though in many cases I can certainly sympathize with the dissenters. But there are those people who seem to think environmentalism is a kind of weakness, and seem to purposely oppose it just because they can. Or some people just don’t admit that the environment is an issue at all. So I’ve got a idea those people should consider.
We, as people, are at the point that we frequently affect the world on a global scale. We can, we have, we do, and we will. This is fact. Here are some examples off the top of my head. Global warming. Deforestation. Over fishing. Nitrogen fixation. And then I’ll add in general chemical pollution since it seems that the sum of all our chemicals dumped into the environment certainly has had a global effect. These are all complex problems w/ many cause, effects, and interpretations, but it is an untenable position to say, at this point, that humans don’t impact the global environment.
Ok. So… now you agree with me there. For the next step you are going to have to believe in evolution. Not even that crazy controversial evolution by natural selection, though, just evolution by selection. I could go into why you should believe these things, but I have before, and I’m not into it at this moment. Just slap yourself if you’re still pretending evolution is “just a theory”.
K. So, we’re having these negative global impacts and maybe not yet (probably yet… shhhhh…) but say hypothetically eventually these negative impacts are going to cause living things to die. Now, as a greedy self important human, I definitely don’t care what happens to some tree/microbe/monkey/dolphin but lets consider the effect these deaths will have on the species. There are two possible outcomes for the species, either they will go extinct or they will evolve to handle whatever we did.
Now, nobody really thinks it would be good if pretty much all the life died out. But what about that second option. That sounds good. I submit that it probably wouldn’t be that good. I can’t predict what the results of evolution would be, but I can tell you that just because we cause the problem, does not mean we enjoy the solution, in fact, probably the opposite.
One solution to us dumping tons of plastics in the ocean would be to evolve to eat plastic which makes plastic pretty useless. It would become like any other material once there’s all kinds of stuff eating it. Or if we’re moving into your environment, you could evolve to be a predator of humans. So far that hasn’t really worked out, can’t see that one happening too often, but ya never know. More likely they’d do the pest tactic, like pigeons, rats, and cockroaches. We all need more of those. Or evolve to eat our crops and livestock, or spoil our food products.
Look, the specifics are impossible to predict, and frankly kinda silly. Most likely things will just die. My point is, any life that doesn’t will be in a constant arms race with us if we have a general anti-environment attitude.
At some point we’re going to have to stop going against the environment. If we don’t we’ll just continually have to struggle to maintain what we have, assuming we don’t just wipe everything out. Being an environmentalist isn’t being a stupid wishy washy hippy, necessarily. Maybe it just makes sense. Maybe we can engineer ourselves into the environment so we’re not the thing all life is evolving against.
Plus, don’t you want your grandkids to have something bigger than a cat to shoot?