Yesterday was Earth Day and it got me thinking about this whole save the Earth, Mother Earth thing. I’m pretty pessimistic about “saving” the Earth; this isn’t to say that I eschew environmentalism, but I think that the best that we can hope for at this point is just to slow down the eminent demise of our home planet.
I shouldn’t even say the “demise” of our home planet. Fact of the matter is that good old Earth will be around long after we humans have made her completely uninhabitable. Earth will survive, it will eventually make a comeback, we humans, on the other hand, are a different story. Once we’re gone we’re gone.
By referring to Earth as “her” in the above paragraph I suppose I too am falling into the Mother Earth trap. Hell Earth is no more our mother than my GI tract is mother to a hook worm. We humans are parasites, and we are destroying the ability of our host to withstand our predation at an ever increasing rate.
I think that we need to make some important changes to our environmental lexicon. It isn’t “save the Earth,” it is instead “save the humans.” The Earth is not our mother, what hubris it is to think that we are “children” of the Earth. No we are not children, we are parasites eating away at our host, and the best that we can hope for is to slow our appetite.