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The Truth About Environmentalists

I’d thought about several ways to begin this post. Should I talk about Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth?” Should I talk about Greenpeace? Global warming? What about how to store nuclear waste from power plants, or warheads? There are a lot of things I could talk about, seeing as how America is the worlds #1 polluter per capita. But, I chose not to talk about these things. I chose to start off by saying that no one really cares about the planet. Not in and of itself.

The truth is that the only reason anyone claims to care about this planet at all is because our actions may, at some point, cause our own lives to suffer some type of inconvenience. We might end up in an uncomfortable situation. Ocean levels may rise, threatening our Oceanside condo. Without an alternative source of energy, we might not be able to get to work, in order to consume more stuff with the money we earn. And, of course, we all need to heat our homes. Why do we need to do that? Because humans couldn’t actually live in the Northeastern US, in the winter, without heat. Humans didn’t originate in cold climates. We moved here. It was our choice. So we need to make our lives comfortable. It’s our “Manifest Destiny.” Meaning, we do what we want, when we want, in the name of God or Allah or Buddha – or just because we really, really want to no matter what.

And how do we make our lives comfortable? Well, that comes at the expense of the planet. We burn wood, fossil fuels, anything. And we never worried about this stuff before. Not until it became known that we may not be able to continue with this behavior ad infinitum.

And so, a search for alternative fuels ensues. We need to be able to constantly consume.

But how much do our actions really effect this planet? Possibly in little ways. Sea levels rising. Stronger storms. Radiation. But, so what? Would that be considered significant change? Our planet has been through a lot worse than those little things in its 4,500,000,000 years in existence. Humans have been roaming this planet for only a few hundred thousand of those years. Heavy industry has only been around for a few hundred years.

We’re so self-important, aren’t we? I don’t think we could stand the realization that we’re only a temporary fixture on this blue and green marble floating through space. That nothing we do could really effect the planet in any significant way. Nothing we could possibly do couldn’t simply be flushed away by a tsunami. Even the most toxic radiation goes away after a few hundred thousand, maybe few hundred million, years. No real significant impact.

What has our planet been through before we humans entered the picture? Ice Ages. Nuclear winter. Meteors. Molten lava covering its surface. Solar radiation (before the presence of a strong atmosphere). So yeah, these things have had a little more of an impact on the Earth than we humans and our Styrofoam and our CFC’s.

The interesting thing is that if we do end up being a big enough pest to our planet, it will simply rid itself of us. We’re merely a parasite on Earth’s skin, picking and tearing and biting. Hurricane Katrina was Earth scratching an itch. So was the Black Plague.

Our planet isn’t worried about carbon monoxide. It has its own corrective mechanisms. Whether it be rising oceans or increasing planet temperature; it will all eventually lead to a disruption in food supply, an increase in disease, and an eventual end to the human race. The Earth makes no distinctions between humans and any other object on its surface. Just ask the dinosaurs about that.

Our planet will be here long after we’re gone. There’s nothing we can do to destroy it. And that fact alone probably hurts more than the illusion that we are destroying it (making our lives inconvenient). Maybe that’s our “inconvenient truth.” The fact that anything we do is actually insignificant as far as global impact is concerned.

This is not to say that I have a pessimistic view on life. I’m just thinking about it in terms of objective reality. Putting our role in the Universe in perspective.

I suppose this is the real dilemma of the human condition. We are controlled by the survival instinct, putting our own survival above anything else. At the expense of anything else. Maybe it’s a struggle to be self-important. Maybe, because of the way our mind functions, it’s impossible for us not to be self-important.

I think it’s great that we’re looking for alternative sources of fuel. But we shouldn’t be doing it under the false pretense of wanting to “save the planet” by not burning fossil fuels. Do it because you don’t want to end up paying $15 for a gallon of gasoline. Our economy depends on an economical fuel source. And how much does our economy matter to the planet? Ha. That’s funny.

Anyway, read a book.

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