One of the greatest movies made in my lifetime was The Big Lebowski. One of my favorite parts of it is when everyone is sitting in the bowling alley lamenting over the threats the main character, The Dude, had been receiving.
The Dude said “They’re going to cut my johnson off!”
To which one of his slightly slow friends, Donnie, replied “What do you need that for?”
Sadly, this is the viewpoint a lot of people take about the environment. Somebody cries out “Hey! We’re fucking up the environment!”
And a bunch of people reply, “What do we need that for?”
Its not because they think the environment is useless. No, its because, much like Donnie, they don’t know what that term refers to.
The biggest problem, I think, is that everyone thinks the object of the environmental movement is to save the world. Well I have news for you all. The world is going to be just fine. It will take whatever global warming or anything else we can throw at it and keep on chugging. It has responses to deal with all of this, and thanks to them will continue to orbit around the sun until the day comes that the sun implodes or explodes or burns out or whatever.
But we are not going to be fine. The world’s responses are pretty nasty, and the more of them the world has to use, the worse its going to get for us. The world will be fine though. The world doesn’t need us to keep on chugging. It has no incentive to keep us around. But we certainly need it.
Now, if The Dude had said “They’re going to cut my penis off!”, Donnie would have been rightly concerned. Penis is a term he knows. So maybe we should be changing our wording as well. How about, “Dude, we’re fucking up our home!”
We need the environment to live in. It’s our home. Last I checked, we’ve got no where else to live. We’ve got nothing else that gives us food and shelter. And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I didn’t bring a child into this world so that I could watch the world stop providing him those things.
Remember, we need the world. The world doesn’t need us. So lets try not to piss it off, okay?