Messy house guests

We’ve all had them. The House Guest who takes advantage. The person who comes to stay and lets themselves be waited on, doesn’t offer to help, in fact offers to borrow your bed, your car, your TV and your iPod. They leave you with an empty fridge, empty fuel tank and filthy house. They take and take and give very little back – God bless ’em.

So, what is the difference I ask, between the ignorant and unwelcome messy house guest and human occupation of planet earth?

Now, now, I know I might sound a bit harsh, and I probably dumped the rub in too quickly there, but bear with me and I will explain.

There is no other species on earth capable of our technical abilities – due mostly to our largish brains and opposable thumbs. It’s there in the buildings, bridges, transport, communications, medical interventions, explorations not to mention thinking and philosophy, we have achieved in successive civilisations.

By the same token, there is no other species on earth (that I am aware of) that so ignorantly and deliberately destroys the very environment that sustains it. Or, to put it more bluntly, we are the only animal on earth that I know of that deliberately shits in its own nest.

Planet Earth ain’t that big. There is only a certain amount of water, minerals, arable land and clean air. If we use all that good stuff up, with our soaring populations and desire for material things, we can’t make more of it. Natural resources is one thing we CAN’T make with our technical know how.

We can clean up dirty resources for reuse, but people are a bit averse to that idea when you apply it to things like water. And sometimes, when the pollution has gone too far, the damage is irreversible. WE, as clever as we are, can’t clean up our own mess within our own lifetimes.

There is a lot of fantastic environmental work being done by human beings every day. We invent amazing ways to clean up devastating oil spills, find viable solutions to climate change, save the orang utangs etc etc etc – but think about it.

Aren’t most of these efforts just undoing the damage we have already done?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Colleen
    May 13, 2010 @ 02:19:50

    totally agree Kate xx

    Reply

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