The world might survive if mankind can turn "I'm
right and you have to do what I say!" into "Let's figure
out what works best and do it!"- Rick
Man and the Environment.
are two basic arguments concerning mans relationship to the
environment. Both are correct and both are incomplete. Both share
the same primary assumption, which is itself arguable.
main premise is that mankind has manageable control over his environment.
A more accurate statement would be that mankind has a measurable effect
on his environment. Whether he has control over it or not is still
being argued in both circles, and will be for quite a while.
argument says that man has a responsibility to maintain and care for
his environment. The other says that the environment is for man to
use as he wants. Both arguments can cite religious and scientific
sources to justify themselves. Both have become banners for different
power bases, making the arguments themselves almost irrelevant.
has the capabilities to tailor his actions in ways beneficial to both
himself and the environment. Circumstances will eventually force these
capabilities into action through resource limitations and health threats,
but the transition will be easier if people start sooner rather than
later. Indeed, the transition has already started through recycling
programs and other environmentally related legislation. These are
good things, but other voluntary and well thought out actions are
necessary to save us through both physical action and the contagion
idea of working with environmental circumstance rather than trying
to control our surroundings must be the motivating idea behind any
changes in our relationship with the earth. This change in environmental
thinking is much more drastic than it looks on paper. Western environmental
history is based on an adversarial relationship.
development is based on the idea that man can control isolated parts
of nature and use them as defenses against environmental change. These
changes can range from weather changes and natural disasters to the
natural development of the human race itself. For example, one of
the most common motivating factors behind prolific technological development
is the environmental factor of isolated expanding human populations
which is, of course, war.
motivation is so ingrained in western thought that it is almost instinct.
This instinct is what must be changed in order to save our world.
This instinct is a fear that must be faced and overcome. Some would
say that this fear is our survival instinct, which is a false statement.
Our survival instinct is what will help us overcome this fear. Our
survival depends on the survival of our environment.
human race was produced in and supported by the environment. Both
the Bible and the theory of evolution concur with this fact. The Bible
says that God created the earth FIRST and gave Adam the responsibility
of CARETAKER. The theory of evolution says that man appeared because
he occupied a niche in the environmental scheme of things.
Bible and the theory of evolution agree on another thing. They both
suggest that cooperation with the environment is the basis of survival.
The Bible contains instructions for environmental cooperation such
as crop rotation. Evolution shows, through history, that the people
who learned how to facilitate the environment through farming, ranching
etc. were the first ones to exhibit civilized behavior.
original cooperation between man and environment was so successful
that mankind has been coasting on it ever since. This success released
so much leisure time that man was free to define many leisure activities
as necessities. Money and technology are games developed by a bored
life form which this extraordinary creature has decided to take much
political aspect of these games is taken so seriously that they interfere
with mans ability to set priorities. Money and technology have
taken over even food production as the priority of the dominant cultures
of mankind. People have become so addicted to money and technology
that less than ten percent of the worlds population produces
the food for the other ninety percent, who take this food production
people who produce these gargantuan amounts of food are dependent
on money and technology to maintain their high rate of production.
They use manufactured fertilizers that deplete the natural nutrients
of the soil to grow their crops and necessitate the continued dependence
on these soil drugs. They use manufactured foods to feed their livestock.
These food and drugs have been known to saturate and poison the meat.
They use massive machinery to harvest this produce. They must take
huge loans each year to pay for these processes.
adoption of amusements as necessities and the arrogant assumption
that man knows better than the life processes designed by God is self
destructive. There is proof everywhere around us. Look at the pollution
and poverty of the major cities. Look at the depletion of the worlds
forests. Look at the condition of the ozone layer. Look at the famines
and the accompanying economic depressions of the early twentieth century,
the most prosperous century in the history of mankind. Mans
arrogant financial and technological solutions to his problems are
the equivalent of putting band aids on a cancer.
and technology are not the problems, they are not evil or destructive
in or of themselves. They can be very useful and beneficial. It is
mans obsession with them that is evil and self destructive.
We must decide to use them in cooperation with the earths original
processes and basic principles rather than as a tether, because the
earth will always break that tether, to the detriment of whoever tries
to tie it.
Bible instructs us that those that break principles, wether they understand
them or not, will suffer consequences. Evolution and human history
show us that life forms that oversaturate or overinfluence their environment
eventually deplete and destroy their support system. We must open
our eyes to the results of our actions.
must heed the instruction of the Bible and the lessons of evolution.
We must become caretakers of the earth rather than pursuing its submission.
We must fulfill our niches rather than our ambitions. The Bible tells
us that God made us to LIVE in the garden. Evolution tells us that
we would not survive without having a place in the scheme of the environment.
are slowly waking up from the blindness of our arrogance. We must
stop stretching and yawning from this awakening or we will have nothing
to wake up to. It may be too late already and we must act as if it
From Thoughts and Speculations by R.M.R.
Reprinted with permission of copyright holder.