… the idea that humans are a fundamentally destructive presence on Earth, a carbuncle or itchy sore, is now widespread, even respectable and fashionable …
I find the most annoying and plainly stupid greenies - and environmental types - to be those who seem happy to equate humans with parasites and bugs and in some cases, the Earth as some sort of living organism akin to a unicellular cell.
We have for example, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who would speak out against fly squatting to further its cause or the Earth Liberation Front who prides itself on speaking up against all the 'atrocities committed against the environment and all of the species that cohabitate in it', no doubt silverfish and fleas as well. Perhaps it was the late Kurt Vonnegut who in ’07 said that the, ‘Earth's immune system is trying to get rid of us’ line, that inspired the idiocy or their premise.
It was this morning’s article in The Australian, Beware the greenies who think people are parasites that provided the impetus to highlight these most menacing of enviro friendly types:
Eco-terrorism is a manifestation of the human-baiting in modern culture … in earlier eras, from biblical times to the dawn of the Enlightenment, Earth was seen as the property of man, something we should conquer and tame and use to our advantage. Mankind should have "dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and every other living thing that moves on the Earth", said God in the book of Genesis. Even more forthrightly, a follower of the great scientific thinker Francis Bacon (1561-1626) said man should "put nature on the rack" and extract its secrets.Read the whole piece here
Today, by contrast, man is seen not as the owner of Earth but as a pox on it. We're an alien presence, an infestation, a malady that has made the planet terminally ill. Indeed, some now argue that Earth needs to be "liberated" from human beings, set free from our toxic presence so that it can revert to being a wild, unspoiled ball of water and gas hurtling happily through space … In truth, the idea that humans are a fundamentally destructive presence on Earth, a carbuncle or itchy sore, is now widespread, even respectable and fashionable.
John Gray, one of Britain's most respected intellectuals and until recently the professor of European thought at the London School of Economics, says humanity is a "plague on the planet". He echoes James Lovelock, the Gaia-inventing granddaddy of modern environmentalism, who thinks we have become a disease: "Humans on Earth behave in some ways like a pathogenic organism, or like the cells of a tumour or neoplasm. The human species is now so numerous as to constitute a serious planetary malady." From this warped point of view, it makes perfect sense to "liberate" Earth from humanity, in the same way a surgeon "liberates" a person's body from a cancerous growth.
Many now believe that natural disasters or the emergence of new diseases are attempts by Gaia to rid "herself" of the human virus.
How can we take seriously and organization like the Earth Liberation Front when its very own website says, ‘we do not engage in illegal activities’ but in bigger italic print we also read, ‘The Earth is not dying, it is being killed. And those that are killing it have names and addresses. What are you doing tonight?