Are Humans Good For Planet Earth?
Are Humans Good For Planet Earth
We were never asked to take over the planet, we just did it. I am not so sure that we are doing a good job.
For millions of years the planet got along just fine without our leadership. The trees produced oxygen, the oceans produced fish, and sure the planet got hit by a meteorite or two and the climate got hotter or cooler but species survived or not on their own abilities. It was a natural thing that determined a species success or failure. Then we humans took over.
Two things happened. First we decided that we were more important than any of the other species and second we increased the speed of change. The first point should be obvious. There is not much that we won’t eat if we are hungry or destroy if it is in our way. Our numbers are growing to the point that the planet is straining to feed us. We will genetically modify other species to suit our needs. Which brings us to the second point; we have increased the pace of change. Changes before the human species were slow and measured, tested by thousands of years and hundreds of circumstances. You can read about more change in a single issue of the New York Times today than happened in the entire year of 1725. We don’t have time to absorb all the new things or all the new ideas before they are replaced by newer ones.
Did you know that when the first settlers landed in America that a squirrel could climb a tree on the east coast and not touch the ground until the Mississippi river. Now there are roads and houses and farms and ranches, the forests are gone. They were in our way.
Now add technology to the mix, I am writing this on a computer and posting it on the internet all in the same day. It is like time is being compressed and no one is watching the clock.
We are not the only important species on this planet. We will not survive without the others. As we continue to change things to our will, we better remember that this planet is our home. We don’t have another plant to move to when we use this one up. It took millions of years for oil to pool under the Gulf of Mexico. It took up a few months to foul the water of the Gulf with that oil. A hundred years from now our food will still come from the soil we poison with pesticides. We poison our rivers and other water sources like they do not matter. We are using resources at an unsustainable rate and in the process doing irreparable damage to our home. We are destroying plant and animal species at a rate that far exceeds their creation. We may be the most intelligent species on this planet but we are also the most irresponsible.
Any change affects the planet like ripples on a pond. We all have that one thing in common. We share this planet. The ripples of others affect us all. We need to consider how the change we make affects this planet we share. We need to treat this planet, Earth, like we don’t have another one to move to when we have used this one up. It is our home, our only home.