Humans are incompatible with nature

I often think that it is in the nature of humans to destroy the Earth.  I understand that this might not be a popular idea from what I saw in class today but I believe that human settlement is incompatible with keeping nature as nature is intended to exist.  This originates from the fact that although humans are animals and originate from nature, the only way that humans could have zero negative impact on nature is to abandon all technology and return to a society of hunter-gatherer nomads.  This was the way that we were birthed from nature and it is the only way we can operate within its conditions without hurting it.

Today we talked about biophilia and how humans have some sense of longing for nature.  Although I agree with the biophilia hypothesis and that it exists, I would argue that it is only something that occurs due to our technological society.  Because we are spoiled with modern wonders of convenience and comfort, we see nature as enchanting.  People (typically) make the decision to go camping for a weekend, not for months.  That isn’t a bad thing, but it does indicate that we want would rather appreciate nature from a distance as opposed to being a part of it entirely (returning to a society of hunter-gathers).  Since we are no longer willing to be a part of it actively, we are continually exerting negative pressure on it.

What I think is also somewhat indicative of the destructive relationship with humans and nature is how similar we are to a cancer if Earth was a human body.  If you look at what makes cancer cells unique to other cells in the body you would see: unregulated growth, diverting resources to the cancer tissues, metastasizing (going to as many parts of the body as possible), and of course causing harm or death to the individual.

Looking at these attributes for humans, there is essentially only one country that practices some regulated growth – People’s Republic of China.  Anywhere else you can have as many children with as many women that you want.  To produce one pound of beef requires between 450 gallons of water (beef industry estimate) and 2500 gallons of water (Newsweek figure).  Considering just how much resources one meal might stress the planet, unregulated population growth is extremely destructive.

Diverting Earth’s resources to our cities, homes, foundries, farms, and anywhere we settle is essentially inarguable.  The only places where we might see this occurring at a minimum would be either tribes or very small towns that exist in temperate climates with access to fresh water.

Humans have continued to spread out from Africa since our evolution first occurred tens of thousands of years ago.  We now occupy every continent and some amount of space.  The fact that we feel entitled to occupy any land we want is never questioned and often encouraged.  Sometimes humans enjoy moving far from where they were born, some prefer not to, but most are able to.

Humans without question cause harm to the Earth.  We pump chemicals into the skies and oceans and we slaughter its animal inhabitants.  It is this that I often see humans as simply the cancer of Earth.  I don’t think this makes us evil, it merely makes us incompatible with the body that gave us life.

Nuke the whales poster was chosen because that is essentially what we are doing to nature.

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6 Comments

  1. This is a really interesting point of view. I actually kind of agree with you. When thinking of humans, we always stand out from nature in a certain way. We build houses to be separated from nature, and only take certain trips outside. I believe we are compatible with nature, but I believe we choose to live in a way where we are separated from nature with nature still easily accessible.

  2. After I read this writing, I feel like what you are saying is right. We human beings are pretty standing out in certain ways and we are recognized as an intelligent and superior species. So I think we should use our abilities and brain more wisely to stop polluting and destroying our land and other lives.

  3. we humans are definitely a part of nature but we also alter it more than any other species. We need to get be able to stop all of the polluting and be able to live in peace with the earth. We should be protecting the ONLY known place we can live as a whole and not just nationalization of specific parts of the world. The whole earth should be protected.

  4. It is too bad that it has taken humans this long to realize the damage we are doing to the Earth. If humans were aware of the issues that humans have brought to the Earth from the beginning and chose to live in a completely different way, in a way to almost compliment the Earth, I wonder how the world would have turned out. Instead of being cancer, perhaps referred to as nutrients. Humans probably wouldn’t be able to survive. Is it in our human nature to act in the way we do?

  5. First off I love that picture. And i totally agree our current technology is very harmful to the world overall. And a for sure way to make everything go back to normal is go back to the time when few tools were used. It maybe to late though since our output of co2 is to much with little downtrend of overall outlook. Especially with the human population, as it will more than likely have another boom of kids since now we have 7billion people in the world and if current trends of births occur we may over populate the earth.

  6. While China has slowed down it’s population growth for the past 4-5 decades, there have been some unintended consequences (from the one child policy) but I think that’s because of the culture that values boys over girls.
    India is another example. Unlike China that has slowed down it’s population growth, India’s population growth is still rising and probably over take China in a decade or so. Like China unfortunately, that culture also tends to value boys over girls. In both cases, the female to male ratio is uneven in favor of boys.

    Here is another thing, in India, the more boys you have the better (from their perspective) the better because if you get them married off, your family gets a “dowry” from the bride’s family, therefore more financial stability)

    Love your blog post!

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