(The following post is dedicated to the Gray Wolves of the western United States, who lost protection today under the Endangered Species Act, thanks to a few assholes in Congress, and their peers who felt they had no choice but to pass the spending bill that the wolf rider was attached to.)
It is quite simple: If you truly understand what was there before human interference, then you understand how tragic our population growth has been. It would be one thing if our intelligence, maturity, and wisdom kept pace with our growth and expansion, but that has not happened.
There is no better example of this than the on-going conflicts between European-descended humans and wolves throughout history. The perceived threat the wolf was to the march of civilization lead to their extinction in vast stretches of their original territory. Steeped in utter ignorance, people feared and disliked wolves, and still do to a lesser extent today. Despite the wolves’ absolute right to existence, the species is an invaluable component to a healthy ecosystem. Reality is that, despite our documented threat to the survival of the wolf, wolves are incapable of destroying the human race or stopping the march of civilization, so the whole premise behind eradication is faulty to begin with. Humans are basically impatient bullies. If there is an obstacle, even if it can be navigated around or learned to live with, it will eventually be forced down. This kind of foolish drive into the future has become a part of who we are, and is our Achilles’ heel.
Anyone who sees, understands, and accepts what we have done to this planet in the name of human progress and our so-called pursuit of happiness cannot in good conscience and sound mind accept what we have become and what we have done. Yet people do. Why is that? Because too many of us are insulated day after day in fake environments removed from nature. You can be brainwashed and hide or run away from the truth, but in the long run you and your offspring will be subject to the laws of nature and will be held accountable. It’s not necessary to march ourselves towards a future of widespread suffering, yet we do.
I feel sorry for people who have young children, because no matter your good intentions, you will not change the world in time and your children will suffer more than you did in a world that you helped create. Populations and technology have been growing faster than our level of maturity for a long time. At some point the whole system begins to crack and collapse. It has already begun. There is no stopping it. We either collectively decide to change the faulty system or we let it crush us as it crashes down upon us.
Sure, everything that exists on Earth is going to be gone eventually anyway, and the post-glacial Earth is warming regardless of humanity’s help, but why make things worse, sooner? Wouldn’t it be better to allow nature to adjust naturally to environmental changes than force it down a path that makes widespread destruction and extinction inevitable? In short, we interfere with evolution itself.
Some aspects of the human influence on the environmental equation are ignored or over-looked in the general public, traditional media, and among many of our elected officials. Too many people are ignorant of the power of our negative impact on the Earth. For supposedly being intellectually advanced and mature, humans are notoriously self-centered and not aware of the real, natural forces at work around them that sustain our very existence and even allow us to create abominations of nature for our own short-term comforts. Because of this ignorance we routinely do things that create negative consequences in the environment that can build up over time and eventually have the capability of poisoning the air and water, depleting essential resources, destroying habitat, and driving species to extinction. It turns out that we do not have a God-given right to dominate the Earth, and its vast expanses of everlasting resources is a myth. If we were mature enough to maintain a reasonable, static level of population, that might have been closer to reality, but we continue to procreate like the basest of animals, with no mental control of our sex drives or the responsibility to prevent pregnancy. Our destructive practices combined with our population growth creates an apocalyptic recipe, unleashing an unstoppable, deathly sequence of events that the best among us cannot change or control.
Opinions are worthless when history has established the facts. So much of this equation is not a debatable matter. People like me should not have to teach others about reality. When you play the game like our species does it is inexcusable to not know history, both cultural and natural, inside and out. It is all about actions and consequences, and ultimately a greater understanding about existence.
Once again it is easy to use the wolf as a reference. If you ignore the fact that politicians are making decisions about the fate of the wolf (and the environment, for that matter) instead of the scientists who have the intellectual right to do so, the goal of the Endangered Species Act is to bring a threatened species back to a thriving level of population, right? But let’s cut the bullshit. In our “enlightened” society what that really means is to get the threatened species recovered enough so they can be hunted and shot again. Never mind that we don’t put any limits on our population no matter how damaging our influence on the environment gets, for every other species it is open season above a certain number. Wouldn’t it be inevitable that our population growth would eventually demand the decrease of other species (as it has for generations), to make more room for us and our need of resources? When does it end? We have even done it to our own species, as we continued to break our promises to the Native Americans, steal and shrink their lands, and oppress their way of life. If some of us cannot live with a somewhat recovered population of wolves in some of our most scantly populated states since the re-introduction of wolves ONLY sixteen years ago, how will this controversy ever have a chance for a happy resolution without a serious change in humanity’s collective perspective?
Until we can eradicate the de-evolving factions of our own species, we will continue to be the destroyers without a future. We may outlast every other species, but our doom will be sealed and our offspring will suffer the most in the end. Despite my love for some of us out there, if I had to pick between humanity and the wolves, I’d pick the wolves. If you cannot understand why and that makes me your enemy, then I have a bullet in my .45 revolver with your name on it. The salvation of humanity begins with abandoning the thinking of our dimwitted ancestors. You are a part of nature, not above it. Respect the life that shares the planet with you. Nourish and honor the land that gives you life. Live by its rules and you will find peace. Do not and you will only have death.
The wolf is the ultimate symbol of wilderness. As the wolf goes, nature follows. After a very brief recovery, our species has made it clear that we are STILL willing to sacrifice nature and the environment for money and our short-sighted gratifications. The sad truth is that in the United States wolves have become little more than pets of the National Park Service, and like a stray dog, when they leave those boundaries they are subject to “euthanasia.” If you aren’t human, you die.
Shame on you, humanity. You never cease to disappoint.