Sunday, December 2, 2007

The World Belongs to Everything that exists in It

There is a backlash from many political circles that consider themselves to be conservatives against what they consider putting the environment ahead of mankind unnecessarily. These conservatives believe that everything should be used to benefit all mankind and that not needed by mankind can be left to be extinct, it has no use.

To be a man it is true is to realize the superiority of mankind of other beasts and plants over the earth, a man knows that he has the ability to destroy everything he does not need, however we must think about what is then the purpose of all the other plants and fauna. Earth, or to be more accurate, nature has a wonderful way of balancing everything, there are those that are eaten and those that run. However when those that run are wiped out, the hunters will have nothing to eat. When the hunters are wiped out there will be overpopulation of those that are hunted.

Man it seems has the ability and due to his superiority the right and duty to manage all the other lower life forms, lower in terms of what they can and can not do. Given such a right for the survival of other life forms and mankind, it seems the right thing is to ensure the survival of all species on earth. The 18 – 19th century philosophy must be thrown out that resources go to those who can use them. This same philosophy once applied to human beings, the destruction of native peoples was justified by the philosophy that native peoples have no use for the land, or the use of the land would be put to better use by those who had access to superior technology hence around the world this was a justified and people suffered.

This time around the same strand of philosophy is being used to justify the wide scale destruction of nature for the benefit of ‘mankind’. One can understand such reasoning in the 18 – 19th century, but in the 21st century such reasoning is that of some sort of barbarian. A person who has failed to see reason. We now have the knowledge and capacity to exist with other life forms. Polar bears do not have to be destroyed for us to get oil from the Arctic regions. The process might be a little more expensive but the bio-diversity of the planet can be maintained we do not have to destroy the habitat of other species.

It is sad recently I was watching a documentary about Tigers in India as they lose their habitat to mankind for new farm land. This is a failure on the part of the Indian government to respect knowledge. It is still using farming techniques of the pre modern era and hence the continuous need for new farming land Yet we see in Europe and North America intensive use of farmland to save every little space. Countries like India and Africa do not need to make the mistakes of the West when it comes to environment because those mistakes are well documented and they just have to copy the intensive farming methods and save land.

One of the largest eagles, the Philippine eagle is losing habitat for the same reasons that the tiger is losing habitat, but we have the knowledge and know how to use 21st century farming techniques. Why would the Philippines continue to use outdated and less efficient farming methods, a clear disrespect for knowledge.

Knowledge is not merely about knowing, knowledge is of no use if it is not used, we do not have to abandon our resource hunt, for example with our know how, oil can be extracted from the Arctic in less intrusive manners because of the technology that we have. Those societies against Arctic oil search are as bad in their disrespect for nature as those that say everything else be damned as long as mankind alone benefits.

Even in Antarctica we can search for resources without destroying the habitats of the penguins, seals and whales. We have the ability to search for resources less intrusively, the ban on searching for resources in the Antarctica should be lifted, we are not the same people that existed in the 19th century. If we respect knowledge we have the ability to exploit the world for resources and at the same time not destroy the habitats of other species. We need as humanity to make tight laws that defend other life forms whilst we as mankind benefit.

We have the ability to fix the environmental problem without robbing mankind of the living standards we enjoy, we are merely protecting rich industrial interests. Strange those that advocate benefit for mankind themselves refuse to stay near polluted areas. All in all however, even the Antarctic can be safely exploited.

Bhekuzulu Khumalo

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Bhekuzulu Khumalo

I write about knowledge economics, information, liberty, and freedom