Sunday, March 2, 2008

Koyaanisqatsi, baby

I responded to a diary on with the comment below. I liked it enough to want to preserve it here. Maybe I can evolve it into an essay someday.

Life out of balance, crazy life, a way of life that cannot continue. We are witnessing the largest human-made alteration of the ecosystem ever, much larger than the destruction of the North American megafauna when the Paleo-Indians came over the land bridge. Is "the planet" in peril? Is "Nature" in peril? Of course not. The planet will be fine and Nature will do what it always does: heal and move on once the irritant (in this case, humans) is no longer there to irritate it. Lots of species will disappear thanks to our predations, for sure. What most people mean when they say "We have to save the planet!" is really "We have to save humanity, specifically our high-maintenance modern Western lifestyles and infrastructures!" From a purely selfish perspective, of course, we all root for this project to succeed (we all have a vested interest, after all). But from an objective, planetary perspective, should this project succeed, so that humans can screw things up in slow-motion in the future, rather than in fast-forward like we're doing now? Very problematic.


mofembot said...

I appreciated your response to my dkos diary, and I think you should indeed turn it into a full-fledged essay.

CrustyPolemicist said...

Thanks for the encouragement, mofembot. I think it might be worth doing; there are a lot of interesting issues involved. And thanks for stopping by!