True greenies woud kill themselves

Okay, so that’s a provocative way to start a topic. Admittedly, there’s a lot of tongue-in-cheek involved but there remains a very serious issue at the heart of it.

The inescapable fact is that every human being leaves a footprint on Earth. Some seem wilfully profligate and appear not to care how much damage they cause to the environment. Others commit their lives to rectifying the damage of others and their vocation is admirable. The majority of us just stumble on, wishing the ecosystem was not under such threat but also wondering just where the truth lies in the claim and counter-claim that dominate contemporary debate on the issue.

The simple fact is that every human being degrades the environment whether individually or collectively. No matter how hard we try, we create a negative impact.

Which is what makes every assertive greenie a pain in the butt.

The holier-than-thou gospelling they so frequently favour is intended to invoke fear, create uncertainty and engender guilt. They are as bad as any preacher threatening hell and brimstone as a proper reward for sinners.

They hold themselves up as the only legitimate guardians of the planet and their zeal is as righteous as any reformed smoker or drinker. Which is appropriate because, so long as they are still breathing, they are transgressing their own espoused ideals.

Yet they never acknowledge this innate hypocrisy.

Their lecturing and hectoring is always outwardly focused, conveniently ignoring their own transgressions against Gaia. They truly are rock-throwers living in glass greenhouses.

One could be charitable and extend them some latitude. But their condemnation of the rest of us is so relentless as to exclude leniency. They denounce us as tainted creatures who seemingly care not that we leave behind traces of our occupation of this planet.

But none of us have a say in our arrival on Earth. We are passive participants in the gift of life. We have already indelibly imprinted this globe before we reach the age of reason, far less an age at which we can meaningfully explore our individual place in the scheme of things and how we might approach environmentalism.

The aphorism: I think therefore I am could just as easily be expressed as: we are because we consume. An inescapable reality underpins both.

If we look beyond the frontiers of this world at the unfathomable immensity of the universe, we have little choice but to recognise Earth as but a grain of sand on a beach of vastness beyond knowing.

In which case, is there irreparable harm to be caused by the consumption of this planet as a resource to foster the progress of humanity?

For there is another reality we should not ignore. It is that no matter how flawed our progress is, humanity continues. On balance, over the millennia of our existence, good has always outweighed bad. We learn from our mistakes – admittedly not sufficiently well to not repeat most of them – and we metamorphose as we innovate and adapt to continual change.

As a race, we exhibit many characteristics that do not inspire confidence in our prospects of long-term survival. But the chance remains and our innate life-force decrees we pursue available options.

Which means Earth will pay a price. As will many subordinate life-forms. All regrettable, but given the immensity of the universe hardly an event of significance beyond Earth’s atmospheric boundary.

So, the next time an environmentalist harasses us and inculcates fear and guilt, tell them to go kill themselves. Otherwise they are simply being two-faced and hypocritical. The very act of living degrades the planet so what choice do they have?


Acknowledgement: Alex Briers.