Sunday, April 27, 2003
Re: Our Place in Nature
David Suzuki's latest essay ("Time to rediscover our place in nature", Sunday, April 27, 2003, pp. A4) on his self-alleged imminent ecological crisis is one of the most dismal and depressing I've read for some time.
His human-phobic diatribe clearly reveals his view of our place in the natural world. He and his colleagues are convinced that we should return to our one time position as hunter-gathers existing on scraps from the "natural world".
David! Wake up! Humans are part of the natural world. We have become a highly successful part of nature in recent millennia because of our science and technology. Why can't we take some pride in our accomplishments?
Our use of nature's energy stores has compounded our success as it has allowed us to increase the carrying capacity of the earth. This applies to our own lives as well as other aspects of nature including the agriculture needed to feed us. We can foresee that fossil fuels may be exhausted in several more centuries. Our human ingenuity has great potential to harness energy from other sources that will allow flourishing of all life on earth for many more millennia.
David laments our lack of recognition of "nature's exquisite interconnectedness". Actually, our discovery of, and response to, the climate change issue demonstrates extensive appreciation of our role in the natural world. All life on earth depends on the cycling of carbon and nitrogen based compounds. Humans are an intimate part of that cycle and we are taking steps to monitor and control our influence as necessary.
Humans still have a long way, and many generations, to go forth in abundance on this planet. The sky may fall eventually, but that prospect is not near. Perhaps we should accept that we are a useful and productive part of nature and allow a little bit of credit for, and enjoyment of, our role in it.