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Re: the future is wild, review



HP Rita Miller riposted:
<The dinos could only effect their ecosystem as carnivorous predators 
and as
herbivorous prey. They were limited in how much they could affect 
their
world. They did not build, make tools or poison the system with 
insecticides
and petroleum products. Their natural world was not damaged by 
their
presence. They were supposed to be there.

Well, we are too...>

Don't underestimate 'em, please.  Calling some swimming and flying 
reptiles honorary dinos, how many competitors of even moderate 
size did they 'tolerate'?  They may have used physical capabilities 
in place of tools, but they were quite effective.
Though you do have a point that extensive accidental human damage 
is probably a unique achievement.

You also asked:
<did nature ASK us to overbreed our populations>
Well, yes, species do breed, and successful species breed more 
than unsuccessful ones.  We do have more of our young living 
to adulthood than some other species, and as the father of two 
daughters I wouldn't have it any other way.
and
<Did nature request that we build massive cities, poison the 
surrounding land, driftnet the oceans, burn down the forests, 
create atomic weapons, dump our heavy metals in ocean and on 
land?>
Well, yes, species do create comfortable spaces for themselves, 
gather food, protect themselves, and discard wastes.  Humans 
may have done more incidental damage than others, but by exaggeration 
of natural functions.

The part of what you're saying that I'd agree with is noticing 
and lessening consequential damage, but I disagree that there 
is anything inherently wrong with human success.  When you conclude:

With all that curiousity, intelligence and creativity, surely 
we could find ways not to rape the planet or to do it less. Yes, 
we are only human -- ONLY human.

I'd say no, exactly human.  You should not define humanity by 
its mistakes, nor denigrate humanity for being successful, nor 
observe that recognition of human achievements leads only to 
arrogance or a groundless sense of superiority.  People do take 
responsibility for damage because they recognize both the consequences 
of their actions and their ability to fix mistakes, acts considered 
mistakes because of the damage done.
Let's not ascribe too much significance to errors, please.





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