A couple of items caught my attention on the Drudge Report yesterday, but they have a common theme. One was a story from the UK Daily Mail about women who are having abortions or getting sterilized because they want to battle overpopulation, a problem they feel threatens the planet. One of the women quoted in the story said the following:
Having children is selfish. It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet. Every person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population.
And apparently, she was born without a sense of irony. The women in this article remind me of a point I've brought up in terms of the abortion debate. Have you noticed that all of the people who support the "right" to an abortion are alive? They should thank whatever deity they worship that their parents didn't decide to exercise the "right" they advocate.
The other story was from the London Telegraph reporting on two American cosmologists who believe humans are responsible for shortening the life of the universe. I'm not a scientist, but I'll do my best to explain the logic here. The hypothesis/philosophical debate is that the universe changes when we look at something. Using that logic, astronomers may have brought us closer to destruction by observing dark energy. Dark energy, according to the article, is an "anti-gravity force which is thought to be speeding up the expansion of the universe." I'm not so sure about the validity of the idea that looking at something changes it, but I can say that people not looking at something has destroyed the film careers of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
The common theme in both of these stories is the assumption that humans have the power to destroy the planet and, apparently, the universe. As nifty as I am, I know my limitations, and I know I don't have the kind of power the anti-overpopulation women and the cosmologists think I do. And neither do you. As Rush Limbaugh has pointed out, the Earth has the ability to adjust to anything we do. Does this mean we should rush out and start dumping nuclear waste in our backyards? No. But it does mean we shouldn't worry that not recycling is going to cause the Earth to spin hopelessly down a spiral of environmental disaster.
But there is a flip side to the "humans are destroying the planet" idea. Could it be that the same people who think humans destroy the environment...also believe humans can save the environment? It fits with their general belief that if people listened to them, the world would be a better place. And what better way to feed your ego while appearing to be environmentally conscious than to elevate yourself to the level of God? That's why some people think of modern environmentalism as a cult or a religion.
But let me reiterate my main point: we don't have the power to save or destroy the environment on a massive scale. We are a part of the system, not above it, not below it. We're in it. And as such, what we do can be undone by other forces in nature.
Kinda puts your place in the universe in perspective, doesn't it?