“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.”
Edward O. Wilson
“I don’t like formal gardens. I like wild nature. It’s just the wilderness instinct in me, I guess.”
People whose wilderness instincts haven’t been ground into pabulum by the daily grind and who still know and acknowledge the differences between a forest and a tree farm, a meadow and a lawn, a river with and without dams and the relative values of long-term environmental health and short-term profits, also know that homo sapiens is a part of nature, the ecology and the web of life of Planet Earth. As E.O. Wilson succinctly points out, mankind is neither master of life on earth nor essential to its existence. Members of our species who are incognizant of this reality are, at best, deluded. Words are insufficient to describe those who appear incognizant but in reality are not. Among the many precious, irreplaceable treasures of life, including clear air, clean water, life sustaining seas, mountain glaciers, healthy soil, jungles, forests and democratic economy already being sacrificed to their delusions and addiction to greed are the quality and security of the lives of your grandchildren and mine.
That pisses me off. In my view it should piss off everyone at a deep gut level. Every human, with or without grandchildren, is inextricably connected to everything that lives past, present and future and every individual thought, word, action, inaction and standard of integrity affects the whole. I wish for my grandchildren the best of healthy, vibrant, engaged lives guided by wilderness instincts and compassion. Anthropogenic global warming climate change deniers and other adherents of/participants in the anthropocentric anthropocene sham/scam (AASS) don’t give a shit about your grandchildren or mine or about the other irreplaceable treasures of life. Deniers are the 21st century’s mental/emotional/spiritual/ethical descendants of European Medieval inquisitors of the middle ages and the perpetrators of the Salem Witch Trials of 17th century America. These people, literally, do not think twice about sacrificing the living and the unborn to the status quo of dead and discredited superstitions. The AASS’s standards of honesty, intelligence, morality, ethics and compassion are perhaps best exemplified at this writing by Donald Trump and a few years ago Dick Cheney, who was happy to take time out from justifying his better known wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to serve as point man in AASS’s war on reality and scientific consensus.
It’s been 500 years since the inquisition placed Galileo Galilei under house arrest for the rest of his life for the ‘heresy’ of publishing his accurate scientific observations. Galileo, honored today as the “Father” of modern observational astronomy, physics and modern science, observed, among other things, that the Earth moved around the Sun and could not be the center of the universe. This reality was in conflict with “the” church’s dogma that the sun moved around the Earth which was the center of the universe. Galileo’s observations also threatened the anthropocentric delusions about mankind’s place in that universe on which “the” church thrived. The good news in the obtuse, cruel violence of the inquisition is that Galileo got off easy, relatively speaking. The bad news is that anthropocentric craziness is alive and well in the modern world.
500 years later AASS has replaced the inquisition with something more sophisticated and amorphous but just as brutal, stupid, parasitic and destructive to the best potential of mankind and the ecological health of the Earth.
Anthropocentrism is the fallacious idea that human beings are the center of the universe and the most significant creature on Earth. E.O. Wilson puts that self-absorbed idea in perspective.