3 Aug 2005
Is the concern for the state of the planet a fear over the potential longevity of the planet itself or just the environment that will allows us humans to continue to exist? I think it is quite obvious that the answer is the latter suggestion. There are two pictures here, the Little one that considers us and the Large one that considers Earth.
A characteristic that both we and Mother Earth have in common is a tenacious level of resilience. We have survived together over 4 million years, both the onslaught of cosmic events like meteors and the home grown variations of environment that the earth provides. However, I feel that is no doubt that the earth will still be spinning in space long after we humans are but a memory of concrete foundations and a polluted atmosphere, despite our best efforts.
Dominant species come and go. Presently we Human Animals are experiencing a population explosion that, because of our technology, is not able to be checked by the balancing scheme of Gaia. We can overcome famines, earthquakes and diseases that might otherwise crop our constantly burgeoning population back down to a reasonable number. John Gray, in Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals’ talks of a population check from over 6.6 billion to around 1.25 billion as being necessary for us to exist in a harmony within Gaia.
As Gaia is unable to balance us human animals out, as we have taken control of our destines to a far greater extent than, say, the dinosaurs, perhaps it is only fitting that we do the job ourselves. I will have to admit to a moderate level of misanthropic opinion resident inside my cranium but I refuse to believe that humans have more rights to existence than any other fellow animal on this planet just because we have more power. If we cannot sort out our place and behaviour within Gaia and on this earth then perhaps we will get what we deserve.