On How We Are NOT Destroying the Planet…


Contrary to what you may have heard, humans are NOT going to destroy the Earth. If you know me at all, you are probably shocked or at least a little confused by this statement, but hear me out.

Whenever two or more amateur environmentalists (of which I am one) get together, we love to talk about how awful humans are and how the mere presence of humans (others, not us, of course) will eventually cause Mother Earth to fail. Well, I’m sorry to tell you, humans just do not have that much power. We did not build her, and we cannot destroy her.

People talk about “getting back to nature,” or “spending time in nature.” The truth is humans are nature. We are as much a part of nature as the trees and birds. But, somehow we think we are above it all. We are highest on the food chain, therefore, it is us versus them. But, lions eat gazelles and cows eat grass. Lions and cows are a part of the same nature as the gazelles and grass. Humans are no different simply because we consume other parts of nature. We are made of the same cells as every other mammal that walks the planet. We are nature.

You know what else are a part of nature? Dinosaurs, stellar’s sea cow, and the pig-footed bandicoot, to name just a few now extinct animals. Plants, like glossopteris and cooksonia, were an important part of nature but are no longer in existence. There are two main reasons for extinction of plants and animals on this planet, climate change (both pre-human and modern) and habitat destruction (both by natural causes and human invasion). It is safe to say that we humans had nothing to do with the disappearance of the group of animals called dinosaurs. But, Earth for some reasons or another (some say an asteroid) was no longer able to support certain species. But we know for certain that humans caused the near extinction of many species of whales, elephants, and rhinoceros through hunting. Conversely, the intervention of other humans, some species were saved and are now thriving. We also know that human led industrial farming and the meat industry is causing terrific damage to the topsoil. Manmade pesticides are killing the pollinators that are crucial to food production, making genetically modified food necessary to keep up with the demand. We know the use of fossil fuels and the removal of trees is creating an imbalance of carbon in our atmosphere. We know all that. The good news is awareness is up, and some people are trying to undo what we have done.

But that doesn’t get us off the hook, humans are the number one reason for habitat destruction, which is the number one reason for species extinction. We build our houses, our businesses, our *(%&$*#& turnpikes, without regard for what we destroy in our wake.

My family and I did a road clean up this week and I made some interesting observances. In spite of human attempts to kill nature, nature finds a way. Honeysuckle vines covered car parts left along the roadside from long ago traffic accidents. Trees grew into old tires dumped by humans to save the $3 disposal fee; while leaves decomposed inside and tiny creatures slept over winter. Bittercress grew inside old glass bottles creating tiny terrariums. Moss and worms grew under bottles and plastic jugs.

A glass bottle with bittercress growing inside.

It reminded me of what I’ve grown to know is true. Nature will, in fact find a way. Humans will not destroy this Planet, we simply do not have the power to do. Nature will prevail.

Moss growing under a discarded bottle.

Try as we might, the Earth is still bigger and stronger than we are. She was built and maintained by something or someone greater than us. In the battle of Earth versus human, we don’t stand a chance, and that should concern us all a great deal.

Yes, as a species, we humans are doing our best to remove what we consider nature and destroy the planet. Don’t get me wrong, if destroying Earth is our goal, we are doing a really good job of it. She is suffering under the burden of our insistence that she belongs to us to do with as we please. But some day in the future, our efforts will result in Mother Earth’s refusal or inability to continuing supporting human life. Mother Earth’s tit at which we feed will eventually dry up. The land will not be fertile enough grow the food we eat. Thus, without the plants, oxygen be unstable and not plentiful enough for us to breathe.

WE will die off. But Earth will rebound again from our ashes. She will survive, WE will be extinct. This is good news for Mother Earth, but bad news for her reckless children who simply will not listen to her warnings.

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