Don’t we need to give up our adulation of Earth and now take the side of biodiversity?
Dear Bill Ripple,
I’ve read the paper entitled “World Scientists Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice”. I agree with its scientific analysis. Biodiversity is extinguishing. However, I strongly disagree with its moral prescription when it asks us to “recognise, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home”. This prescription does not sensitize the public but desensitizes it, making it passive, the opposite of what we need now. My feeling is that signatories of this paper, if they wish to change people's mind for biodiversity, will necessary have to, first, change their minds too.
The paper, being signed by more than 20 000 scientists, I, a layman, may inevitably be incorrect but I won’t mind if you prove me wrong.
My concern is that when this paper’s analysis makes us understand biodiversity crash is true, its request makes us act as if it is not. The reason is that everybody on Earth, in his day-to-day life, already follows its request. Everybody recognises Earth as home in his day-to-day life! There is no point asking us such a truism. This leaves us clueless, keeping us away from any possible change. This is again, just one more counterproductive cry wolf. Our brain gets that the wolf is here but our eyes don’t see it. False alarm. It is exactly like asking us to think like a mountain when, we all know, a mountain doesn’t think. The solution is somewhere else.
Reverse job : a gardener pushing life away!
Not understanding that Earth is a dangerous planet makes a layman destroy life without a second thought.
However, this paper may have a positive side. Its lame request shows that the problematic immobilism to the ecological crisis may not come from the layman, but from the meta-narrative of ecological science. One can see this paper as a proposition for a new type of geocentrism. It incites us to see planet Earth as our home when this model proved to be inefficient a long time ago. Why force us to intellectually go backwards when we have to understand Earth is no different from space : an inhospitable and dangerous place? A better model would now be to see that it is life which makes Earth suitable for life. The home for humanity is life, diverse in quality and generous in quantity, and not Earth.
My guess is that, in order to provoke an intellectual surge in the public, we need to break its illusion of Earth being its home and, once again, prove this ancient meta-narrative wrong. Hence, my question to you is : Don’t we need to give up our adulation of Earth and now take a side, the side of biodiversity?
I really wish you could prove me wrong… or right. Over to you!