They’re tearing down the house across the street that burned down a few months ago. They just started this morning and I think the whole house is pretty much already gone at 2. All that’s left is the foundation and a chimney. It’s kind of weird to see that level of destruction. It’s not something that you normally see so up close, but it’s also kind of awe inspiring how much power we as humans hold over our environment. I think that we as humans have as part of dualistic nature an exceeding confidence in our power and capabilities, but at the same time we don’t fully comprehend the destructive influence we actually have. It’s like the global warming debate or the extinction of species. One the hand we fully believe we have the power to overcome these problems, most people seem to believe in the ability to fix any of the issues that are contributing to global warming, but at the same time it seems as though we can’t fully comprehend how responsible humans are, via our destructive power, for causing the problem in the first place. I believe that our confidence is unearned and our destructive power demands more self-awareness from us, if that wasn’t obvious. It seems clear that we have a lot of power to destroy things, millions of lives have been lost to genocide, ecological destruction is rampant, and species are dying. We’re clearly good a destroying things. Our ability to fix things is also apparent, we clearly can fix small problems; sanitation, medicine, etcetera are all impressive and improvements upon nature for ourselves. I don’t see where humans have been able to ever solve global problems though, we don’t have the ability, so to think that we can solve crises that are truly global shows undue hubris. I suppose my opinion isn’t the most popular and it’s easy to dismiss as simply pessimistic, but I believe humans should follow one simple rule. Our brains have separated us from the rest of nature, it’s fair for us to believe we’re separate. We don’t hunt limited amounts of game anymore, we’ve domesticated cows, pigs, and chickens. We don’t scavenge for nuts and berries anymore, we’ve domesticated wheat, corn, apples, bananas, etcetera. Let’s admit we’ve separated ourselves and leave nature alone. Do our best to not extract resources from it, do our best not to interfere in the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Let nature be. To my mind, the perfect human society is completely separated from nature. We live in domes, or the effective equivalent of the dome, and we let nature be, it’ll fix itself. It’ll be slow and it may not fix itself in the way we’d like, cute animals may suffer extinction, but eventually nature will find a new balance. It’s our job to let that balance be. I realize this idea isn’t particularly popular. People of every side believe humans have the power or the right over nature. Environmentalists believe that can save species and ecosystems, hunters believe they should hunt, etcetera. That’s the primary undue hubris in the Western mind, the second being that we have some right or ability to influence the non-Western world. We call the implementation of the second imperialism. Imperialism isn’t as popular as it once was, but it’s
still essentially floating, influencing our culture and politics. The first, let’s call it anthropocentrism, hasn’t yet faced widespread critique, but I believe that it eventually will be reviled and rejected just as imperialism is today.