Anthropocentrism and the Murder of Earth
Our philosophy, morality, law and justice, and our technology, are anthropocentric.
Anthropocentrism is killing our beautiful planet.
And, if you want to be anthropocentric about it, it's killing us, too.
All who profit from anthropocentrism—which is all of us—naturally resist this realization, and those who profit most most so.
But at the very least, what can we make of our attitude and practice against those just of the other animals who show awareness and emotion, and who even dream, which is all of the mammals, the birds, and, of the reptiles, tortoises at least?
And does the rest of Nature have no right to existence, because it is less sentient, or we are more so? Or if only because we can profit by destroying it, or scanting with contempt its simple claims to existence, a place to live, places and something to eat?
Is our human first achieving on our beautiful planet, though no effort of our own, moral freedom and a capacity for logic, only to be used to make us the most vicious of predators, predators by choice?
Predators so vicious that in the end we take our beautiful planet and ourselves down in our viciousness?
Let us see where anthropocentism in our philosophy, morality, law and justice, and in our technology, the "tunnel vision" of all of which becomes ever more patent, has led and is leading us to.
We breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide or we die, and carbon dioxide is removed from the air, its carbon trapped in reservoirage of plant and animal, and its oxygen re-released into the atmosphere, by the phytoplankton of our oceans and by our forests, yet over the last century over half of all phytoplankton has been lost, and at least as much forest, to our activities.
We indeed see now global business attacking the great rain-forests of the world, upon which carbon dioxide removal and carbon reservoirages we depend, with ever-more-aggressive technologies, forests once protected by their forbiddingess to human settlement and "development" (our concept of an "undeveloped forest" befits us), and even the small human populations eking out ancient existences in those are being pushed out or exterminated by such commerce.
The centers of our oceans are becoming swirling sewers of human wastes, notably nonbiodegradable plastics.
And our oceans are being heated by greenhouse warming from fossil-fuel carbon-dioxide injection into the atmosphere, resulting in the loss of over half of our global phytoplankton over the last century, forty percent of the North Atlantic's in the last half-century:
We are raising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere at a rate unprecedented on our planet, largely due to our extraction of fossil fuels from the Earth's crust and burning them to inject ever-greater amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, while destroying our beautiful planet's ability to remove that carrbon dioxide by our murders of our oceans and forests, which last not only throws away our forests' abilities to remove carbon dioxide but converts the carbon reservoirs which those forests represented to additional carbon dioxide, the result of all of which is an unprecedented greenhouse warming, die-off of phytoplankton, and further destruction of our beautiful planet.
And our recent and present exterminations of species has accelerated to the point where it is now commonly compared to the great extinctions of Earth's past. Even the attempts by some less narrow are limited to an appalling degree: The "Endangered Species Act" of the United States, under constant attack by the anthropocentric since its adoption (and it would never be adopted today), only protects species that are reluctantly deemed endangered, and removes that protection once they returned to a population-level deemed (by dubious metrics) no longer needful thereof, when they can once again be preyed upon and their habitats destroyed, in practice setting "endangered" status as a minimum wildlife population. Indeed, the more noticeable and attractive species reluctantly dubbed endangered around the world seem only to become thereby targets of more aggressive predation and commerce due to the "scarcity value" of the products of their deaths, with no real international criminalization or punishment of such commerce.
Finally, we now tinker freely and happily with genetics, apparently knowing all there is to know about genetics, including genetic transfer and its dynamics, and the collective global genome and its dynamics.
All of these arise from our use of old technologies, and introductions of new, without consideration other than the anthropocentric.
And all of these might have been tolerated by our beautiful planet, were not our numbers now so great.
Our refusal to admit in our philosophy, morality, law and justice, and in our technology, that our beautiful planet is limited and cannot tolerate infinite numbers of us, is by any standard an irresponsibility to the highest degree of criminality, were we to be judged by anyone other than ourselves, and under any real morality, law and justice, other than the anthropocentric:
There should be not only population law but population-density law as well; where do you see any sign of such, in our anthropocenric paradise we are building for ouselves and those trapped with us on our beautiful planet?
Two paradigms of anthropocentric "tunnel vision" and its results are the settlement of already dry environments like Southern California and Southern Australia bringing on drought, fire and destruction by deforestation leading to the lack of ground-level cooling through shade and water-release and by simple heat of population, and the very common sight of commerce seeking to profit from the beauty of spots around the world by building hotels over them, in the case of oceanside resorts pouring their sewage and dumping their garbage into the ocean.
Algae, encountering a concentration of nutrient, often nowadays due to our contemptuous pollution of waters with agricultural fertilizers, will grow and reproduce as rapidly as possible, until it exhausts not only the nutrients involved, but even the oxygen supply in the water, after which it all dies (killing other oxygen-dependent species in the water as well), in "bloom and bust":
Are we as a species no more intelligent or moral than algae?
Which is to say, can we rise morally as a species above anthropocentrism, in our philosophy, morality, law and justice, and in our technology, to become a blessing rather than a curse to our beautiful planet?
[See also "The Savage Principle", "The Overpopulation Equation", "Population Law: The 1% Approximation", "Walls", "Idle Pastoralism", "Geocide", "Toward the Nano Carta", "Jewel" and "Photonomics: The Photosynthetic Economy", and The Uncivil War.]