- Bryan Maloney
- Rockport, TX
- United States
Laboratory Coordinator, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
This conversation is closed.
Nature does not care. We need to accept this.
Nature has no wisdom. Nature has no mind. Nature does not care what happens. Nature just is. There is no "balance" that is "maintained" except through the stochastic interplay of opposing forces. So long as we cling to the superstition of a "wisdom" or intent-driven "balance" of nature, we will continue to go down dead ends when it comes to sustaining our existence as a species.
There have been massive extinction events in the past. Each time nature has gone on. Nature doesn't care that the giant dinosaurs are dead. Nature doesn't care that the entire ecosystem of earth was destroyed when the atmosphere became oxygenated (yes, oxygen was an ecological disaster, it killed off the carbon-dioxide ecosystem that went before it).
There is no "proper balance of nature". Plants and non-human animals do nothing active to "maintain a balance". They simply lack the efficiency we have at exploiting the world. Every species will exploit up to the limits of its ability.
We are unusual in that we have the capacity to voluntarily limit our exploitation and intentionally husband our resources. So long as we cling to a childish, superstitious view of "nature" as some kind of "caring" or "thinking" being, we will keep running into dead ends and refuse to step up to the plate and act like "adults" (as a group).
Even the philosophical underpinnings of anti-environmental conservatives take this superstitious view of nature. They subscribe to the "mother nature can bear all burdens" superstition (i.e., the environment will magically "fix" things), the "God will provide" superstition (there will always be some magical "fix" from technology or unforeseen events), or an immanent end times belief (the eschaton is already upon us--nature has a pre-planned "end", so we don't need to think about the future).
Behind both environmentalist and anti-environmentalist still indulge in the same fantasy, that there is a "mind" attached to "nature".
We need to realize otherwise.