The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future
We keep hearing the cries every day to save the planet! Environmentalists campaign everyday to save life on this planet!! Recently I witnessed a campaign in which some celebrities wanted to save planet Earth!
Celebrities whose lifestyle consume n times more natural resources than the common man – appear in ads appealing to the common man not to waste(?) natural resources!!! Trees are cut down to create movie sets, chemicals used in action scenes for explosions pollute the air more than the smoke from a two wheeler, consumption of natural resources by most celebrities is n times more than that of a common man and yet some of their speeches sound as if it is the common man who is destroying the nature and they are the ones who are trying to rescue it!! It has become a fashion to organize runs, led by some celebrity, for the sake of “Saving the Planet”. The anchors in the “Save Mother Earth” programs keep reminding the viewers about the planet being under threat!!!
Isn’t it the biggest joke of all times? How on earth can earth be under threat?
It is not the planet Earth that is under threat. It is the human race that is under threat. Not just planet earth, but even life on earth will not just survive but even thrive even if the human civilization comes to an end due to a global nuclear war.
If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed thousands of years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.
Planet Earth is too big a thing for humans to be able to threaten it. The tsunamis, earth quakes, floods, hot summers, volcano eruptions all clearly show who is under threat, planet earth or human race :)
The only difference between birds and humans is that birds have this superior ability to build their beautiful well structured homes and yet leave the landscape as it was before.
The ability of planet earth lies in the fact that it can wipe out the trace of all this pollution caused by humans in a single super volcano, which also would wipe out all humans, and then start life afresh and within next few thousand years the green life and great forests would be back on earth – minus humans.
Even if there is a global nuclear war, there are millions of species on this planet who can survive the aftermath of that. Only humans will be wiped out partly by the war, and remaining due to post war effects. Life on earth will be back to its pre human-intelligence era within a few centuries and the aliens who land here after that will not even have any clue about the intelligent life having once lived here.
There were no environmentalists when the poor bird Dodo was wiped out of the face of this planet! Why? Because extincion of the poor Dodo did not threaten the human race. But the growing world pollution today is definitely a threat to the human race, and hence all this awareness campaigns.
Religion and Nature:
A living planet is a much more complex metaphor for deity than just a bigger father with a bigger fist. -David Brin.
One of the major reasons for plundering of natural resources by humans is the absence of duty towards nature in our conscience which is then clouded by greed .
The moment I believe someone who says that God created earth and other resources for human beings to consume, it implies that nature be treated as a commodity, and be plundered endlessly without any guilt.
The ancient vedic texts make nature an integral part of extended divinity and ask humans to treat it as a community in which they live in, not as a commodity. The vedic texts by saying, “Taru Devo Bhava” preach that a tree is the same as God.
Well, if nature was a commodity for human consumption, then why did God create humans billions of years after life on earth was born, billions and billions of years after universe itself was created? Why were dinosaurs created millions of years before humans? If the history of life on earth was written as a 1000 page book, humans will appear only in the last line of the last page of that book!
Doesnt it then look like that humans were created by God to show it to Earth and other species here the disastrous life a greedy intelligent species like humans can live? :)
“Christianity, with its roots in Judaism, was a major factor in the development of the Western worldview…. A basic Christian belief was that God gave humans dominion over creation, with the freedom to use the environment as they saw fit. Another important Judeo-Christian belief predicted that God would bring a cataclysmic end to the Earth sometime in the future. One interpretation of this belief is that the Earth is only a temporary way station on the soul’s journey to the afterlife. Because these beliefs tended to devalue the natural world, they fostered attitudes and behaviors that had a negative effect on the environment.”
– Donald G. Kaufman and Cecilia M. Franz, Biosphere 2000: Protecting Our Global Environment, 1996
The early morning prayer of the hindus saluting mother earth ends with “Paadasparsham Kshamasvame” means “Oh Mother Earth, please forgive me for I will be touching you with my feet for the rest of the day” !
Hindu women worshipping the Banyan tree
Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/between-ellipsis/2588887629/
Peepal tree at a Hindu temple.
Image Source: http://nitawriter.wordpress.com
Tree grown on a temple.
Image Source: www.sacredsites.com
Hindu women worshipping a peepal tree.
Image Source: www.parobs.org
The ancient vedic texts bring about natural consciousness in humans by assigning divine status to all life forms including trees and animals, which also extends to all other forms of nature from stars to sun to mountains and rivers.
“I realized that Eastern thought had somewhat more compassion for all living things. Man was a form of life that in another reincarnation might possibly be a horsefly or a bird of paradise or a deer. So a man of such a faith, looking at animals, might be looking at old friends or ancestors. In the East the wilderness has no evil connotation; it is thought of as an expression of the unity and harmony of the universe” – William O. Douglas, Go East, Young Man, 1974
As Mahatma Gandhi once rightly said, “Nature provides enough for our need, but not for our greed.”
And Gandhi also said this: “God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the west… keeping the world in chains. If [our nation] took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts.”
Planet Earth is NOT in danger, why? Because humans are no match to its self healing capacity. Human race IS DEFINITELY IN DANGER because they cannot play by the rules of nature. So please stop labelling the enviromentalism campaign as if it is a charity being done by intelligent humans to save and protect planet earth. Let us be straightforward and accept that, environmentalism is the last ditch attempt to save human race from extinction on this beautiful living planet, which will continue to live and thrive irrespective of human existence here.
I am I plus my surroundings and if I do not preserve the latter, I do not preserve myself. – Gasset, Jose Ortega Y