is made over the fate of the planet. Global warming, habitat destruction,
and species extinction are consistently in the news these days.
The doomsayers, and naysayers, all get to speak their piece to
support their point of view.
see the rapid decline of the planet's resources, wildlife, and
environment as good reason to sound the alarm bells. They proclaim
loudly that water is becoming scarce, that the air is becoming
un-breathable and that the atmosphere is eroding. A massive extinction
is in progress and if we don't move now, everything will be lost.
It's happening and we must do everything we can to prevent it.
side does not agree. Economic progress is the ultimate standard
that measures success. Economic progress is good for everyone
and should be as widespread as possible. The North American Free
Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Multilateral Agreement on Investment
(MAI), and various other "globalization" initiatives help spread
the gospel and share the wealth. The big question () is ignored.
think that the battle is hopeless. The corporate giants will likely
steamroller any opposition to their push for global markets, aided
by the governments that want a cut of the take. You can't blame
an environmentalist for feeling a little down. It always seems
to be one step forward, two steps back.
I once felt
that way. While I'm not a card-carrying activist, I try to minimize
the impact I have on the earth. I take public transit. I own the
most fuel-efficient car on the market. I have an electric bicycle
for errands around town. I occasionally write about environmental
problems. I understand the feeling of hopelessness that environmentalists
feel when, for example, something like the Lincoln Navigator is
changed, though. I am now certain that environmentalists will
prevail. It's pretty clear that they just can't lose.
it this way. Resources on this planet are finite. No matter how
you look at it, there is a limited amount of land, trees, oil,
water, atmosphere and air. There are also a limited number of
plants, mammals, fish, amphibians and birds. At the rate we're
going, there is no doubt in my mind that we will completely exhaust
some of these resources eventually. Even if we lose just one,
it's likely that the entire system will collapse.
will that leave the human race? Dead most likely. Or, at the very
least, severely depleted. And after that event? Well, things will
just build back up again, without us.
of the gray matter between our ears--that we've managed to upset
the natural balance. Unfortunately (for us), the balance will
eventually right itself, whether we help it along or not. Of course,
we should try to do as much as we can to prevent an environmental
calamity from happening but we should also take comfort in the
fact that we just can't lose.
rejoice! The battle will be won! The losses may be huge but things
will get back on track.
© Stephen Van Esch 2000 All Rights Reserved
Van Esch is a writer and instructional designer living near Toronto,
Canada. He is the owner and CEO of the Text Pound.
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