I was on the Greenpeace website recently, and came across an expression that is likely familiar to all of you – “this fragile Earth”. Within this familiar idiom lie a number of misconceptions about our planet. Let’s discuss a few of them.
Myth 1: The Earth is vulnerable.
The Earth you walk on has been around for hundreds of thousands of years, and will continue to go on, for hundreds of thousands of years, after you die. The Earth is not an egg one accidentally cracks. Instead, it is like a giant wall: you don’t make the wall fall over if you kick it, but if you hit this wall repeatedly with a sledgehammer, that might change things. This is a far more accurate representation, in fact, since even one guy hitting a wall with a sledgehammer for a while isn’t going to do that much, but a thousand guys hitting even the Great Wall of China over the course of a few generations will eventually break it down. And dude, that thing is visible from SPACE.
Myth 2: The Earth’s ecosystem is delicate.
This concept is so widely accepted it blows my frikking mind. What people mean is that the smaller ecosystems on the planet are fragile. The Earth itself is a robust organism, much like a human being, and calling it delicate is a great disservice to it. When healthy, it resists disease like a motherfucker (and corrects balance very adequately, too boot). It is a veritable colossus of staying power. To accept this myth is to delude yourself into thinking that what we, as a species, are doing to this planet is a mere poke, a slight shove. (As in, “oops, I slightly overcooked this pot roast.”) Herein lies the very seductiveness of our lifestyle, in fact: every individual that thinks, “so what if I don’t recycle this?” should start visualizing SIX BILLION PEOPLE throwing away their goddamned Krispy Kreme box. Their apartment filled with Krispy Kreme boxes. Every day.
Myth 3: The Earth needs you.
This is the most wrong out of all of these. Guess what: You care about the Earth (or should) because you need it to live. It does not need you to live. When we all die, the Earth will be like “finally! Now I can kick my feet up and watch football,” because there won’t be six billion nuisances crawling all over the place, dropping their precious Krispy Kreme boxes all over the place. In fact, if all of us die because of the way we treat “this fragile Earth,” it isn’t “this fragile Earth” that’s going to be dead – it’s us. The whole concept that environmentalism needs to be a selfless act does a terrible disservice to environmentalists, who should instead be saying “Do you realize you are going to CHOKE, you fucking idiots!?!?” The most selfish out of all of us should be the most concerned, because he will lose what he loves most: himself and his loved ones.
Conclusion: The Earth does not need you to care for it. It is fine and will move on after it has systematically wiped out every single bothersome human on the surface of the planet, which it will do if it feels the necessity to. Following that, it will continue to float through space, probably inhabited by cockroaches. And all those cockroaches will be laughing, and they will be laughing at us because we were too stupid to get our acts together. Cockroaches. Think about it.
People, do not recycle because the Earth is a teary doe-eyed creature that needs your protection – though some of the species that are on it might be (and they are disappearing at an astonishing rate). Instead, recycle because it will reduce the chances of your children perishing, young, grey-skinned and unfulfilled, in a carbon-monoxide rich wasteland of a world. Participate because the upcoming war over water is not going to be pretty, or because it will leave you without your precious Minute Maid orange juice, for all I care. But take control of your lives, or you will lose it. Assess your priorities.