Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I Am Out Of Step

Perhaps I have outlived my time. Or maybe it's because I never was normal. But I don't see things the way other people see them. Or at least, I don't seem to see things the way that it has become fashionable for public conversation to advocate.

For instance, the environmental movement. My desire to preserve the stability and health of the ecosystem is based on enlightened self-interest. We need to keep things stable for fresh air, clean water, and plentiful food. But I see nothing wrong with using the world around us for our benefit as humans.

That includes the animals around us. Maybe it's my farming background that makes me hard-hearted to the plight of poor Bambi and Wilbur. The way I see it, none of the other life forms on the planet would care a whit if every human in the world disappeared overnight. (OK, maybe our dogs would miss us. But they would get over it. Dogs go feral very quickly when they are out on their own.) So I don't feel any pangs of conscience at eating meat, or wearing leather, or using any other animal product that doesn't threaten the stability of the ecosystem by coming from something endangered.

I have been flabbergasted recently (I love the word for some reason. Flabbergasted.) by reading people who are all upset at the thought of mean old humans contaminating the pristine universe with our space exploration. Or worse yet, "despoiling" space with our rapacious ways. I had to sit and re-read that one a few times, and go get a new cup of coffee.

In the first place, we have no evidence that there is any other life anywhere. We certainly have no evidence of intelligent life anywhere. Given that fact, who does space belong to, if not to humanity? It's our universe, so what's wrong with us using it? Nobody else is going to get any benefit from it, and we can certainly use the room. Not to speak of the free solar energy. And the essentially infinite supply of raw material.

I even saw some people concerned with us littering space. Littering? Um. Space. Is. Infinite. We could use the sun, or Jupiter, or Saturn, or Neptune, Or Uranus, or Venus for that matter as a garbage dump for the next million years and it would harm no one. No one. Grasp the concept. There is no one else here. It's our universe, it's our property, and it's our stuff. We have every right in the world to use it to make our lives, and the lives of our children, and our children's children, better and richer and safer and healthier.

Some people would benefit immensely if they had to spend a year doing field work on a farm, and chop their own wood to heat their own water to wash their own dishes by hand. Instead, they take an elevator down to drive their car to an air conditioned office where they sit in a padded chair all day. Then drive home, turn on the microwave for dinner, pop their dish into the dishwasher, and sit down to vent about how evil humanity is for wasting energy and resources.

Bah. I am just too old and grumpy. Time for my medication.
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