The news has been full to bursting for as long as I can remember with the issue of ‘green’ living; What’s your carbon footprint? Are humans causing global warming? Is it cow farts? It goes on and on. But the real question is it even possible for us to fight our very nature to ‘protect’ Mother Nature?
Agent Smith’s comparison of humans to viruses struck a chord with me back in 1999 when The Matrix was released.
I had felt that way for some time at that point, but had never put it into words. He did so eloquently. As I get older and see more of the world, it still rings true. We do not form a symbiotic relationship with our environment naturally. We take and take until things can’t give anymore and then we move on. As we grow as a species, we do a better job of cordoning off the areas that are unpleasant but we don’t fix the problem, only keep it out of sight.
My eighth grade science teacher once said, “Human beings tend to make their habitat uninhabitable.” She was right.
I will use my trip to Kuwait in the summer of 2010 as an example. My previous visit was very short, road trips were confined to the hours of darkness and we didn’t leave the base for any reason other than to get on the next plane. This trip, though, we did a lot of driving around and I got to see a lot of the country in daylight. The philosophy over there seems to be, “The desert will reclaim it.” Broken down cars, plastic water bottles, household appliances, litter; all strewn about on the side of the road and out into the desert as far as I could see.
It doesn’t appear much better here in America. Everywhere you go there is litter, traffic and waste. People will sacrifice cleanliness and conservation for more money and convenience.
The scary part is I’m strangely comfortable with it. On a primal level, this seems right. People who are whining about how we are destroying the earth aren’t catching on because they don’t speak to us on a primal level. They don’t appeal to us in a way that makes us feel that their message is truly in our best interest. Deep down, I know I will adapt. My species will overcome.
Environmentalism is something guys use in college to make a woman think they are sensitive and care about something other than the contents of her panties. It is another subject we can use to try to feel better about ourselves. We are still little more than animals deep down. We have desires and drives and needs. For now, comfort, ease and profit rank higher than the environment. It isn’t right or wrong, it’s just how things are.
And, to paraphrase (as I often do) the late, great George Carlin; we aren’t much of a threat to the planet. We are a minor annoyance to a celestial body that has shrugged off errant meteors, tectonic shifts and magnetic pole reversals.
Winner: Human Nature, but in the end Mother Nature will be around much longer than our species.