Sculpting the Planet

I recently read an article that was for the most part about the debate of whether or not we humans are animals. I feel this is a mute point, of course we are animals. The only thing that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom is our abnormally large brain. I do not think there is any argument here that can convince me that we are not animals, end of story. Moving one…

The article went on to discuss a few other things, one thing that struck me was the point about our ability to change the landscape as we see fit, which puts us at the top of the animal kingdom among other things. Many people think that because we humans have the ability to change the landscape and manipulate the earth that we have a social responsibility to keep the planet in good working order. While I do not disagree with this line of thinking, there is another side of it that often gets overlooked.

We are not the only creatures on this planet that can shape the landscape to our liking. Here are a few examples: Beavers can dam up areas creating wet lands in certain places while leaving other landscapes drier. In fact in some areas of the country beavers are considered a nuisance and are killed on site because of their constant damming and disrupting the local ecosystem. This example is mostly localize and would be hard pressed to impact the global ecosystem. But the point is that beavers can change the landscape to their liking, with little or no regard for anything or anyone else.

Millions of years ago single celled bacteria ruled the earth, and through a new process called photosynthesis these bacteria thrived. They turned the sunlight into energy and as a byproduct began filling the air with toxic oxygen. While this may seem like it was no big deal, this simple process began to change the chemical makeup of the atmosphere on Earth and paved the way for creature like ourselves to inhabit the planet down the road. So here are two examples of how other organisms have shaped the planet.

With all that being said I do not think beavers or primitive bacteria were conscious of what they were doing and the effects their actions would eventually have. So maybe because we are conscious beings we do have some sort of responsibility to help protect the planet. For some reason I feel it is a race of technology vs the destruction of the planet. Will technology be able to make enough advancements to help keep our planet alive, or will we run out of time and the planet slowly begin to die and take us with it? Like it or not things are not likely to change anytime soon.

Just something to think about…

Manik

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