A radical hope for humanity and the environment

Why we must abandon ideas of pristine nature

Inertia is a bitch. Imagine a freight train rolling downhill or a cargo ship drifting off course; forces in motion and beyond our control. Something valuable will be lost and in many cases, there is nothing we can do that will prevent this. We feel helpless and headed for a crash.

The forces of human civilization seem like this sometimes, an unstoppable freight train. Today almost everyone strives to emulate the consumer lifestyle of an economic global elite, with increasingly dire impacts on the global environment. Historic ecosystems, in particular places, will collapse. Since many environmentalists value nature, in ecosystems and existing biodiversity, as autonomous from human interference, we are facing what Bill McKibben calls the "end of nature" in his 1989 eponymously entitled book. The Anthropocene has tremendous inertia in light of which the good of "natural" landscapes, biodiversity, and historic ecosystems, will be lost.

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Rob Cornelius 3 February 2020

I get the point that all species have changed their local ecosystem to their own advantage. The advent of photosynthesis and raised oxygen levels killed millions of species for example.

Homo sapiens are the first species to do this and understand what they are doing. Not only that for the people in charge don't care about what is going on, as long as there is money to be made. That's is the difference. It is what sets us apart from every other species. We destroy our environment on purpose.