I like this conservation video .. but they needed a script consultant. If you have not seen it already, you can see the video I discuss at the end of this post. Julia Roberts plays Mother Nature, not a bad choice.
We may think of natural destruction as evolution too. But contrary to the video argument, Nature does not falter, "She" commits no error, makes no mistake. These are human ideas.
And here is the important point: We too are Nature, we create and we destroy.
For millennium we have created new diversity in species. Today we certainly have the technology to create new species. Tomorrow we may yet develop the technology to terraform nearby planets. And we may do unimaginably more of permanent consequence.
But we have not yet become these gods and the Earth is fragile. There is cause for concern.
The potential destruction of all life on our planet must produce the existential crisis in each of us. For then all human endeavor would have been pointless. The child raised well, even your own moments of happiness, that memorable smile, the giggle of our sons and daughters, all acts of intelligence, could carry no meaning, for its consequence, the now that was once so precious, is gone, lost and meaningless.
Contrary to the script of the video, Nature is not "prepared" to evolve. Nature evolves blindly and productively only under the right circumstances. It may not create those circumstances.
A continuing planet Earth unable to sustain human life now seems as likely as one that continues and in which we and our children can thrive. We need to live longer, to become wiser, and we need to leave the planet in order to expand. To bring life to this vast place, the universe.
It is the sustainability of human life upon which this video is intended to cast doubt. Nature is neither good nor bad but we are a part of it. I like to believe that we are a constructive part of nature, able to take life beyond the natural constraints of Darwinian evolution. Nature changes and productive evolution may occur only within that change. We face change now.
As far as we know, Nature has no intent beyond that which life embodies here. We ARE nature's intension. We need to wake up and to see our own potential significance in this regard. Nature needs us to bring intension, and its sibling intelligence, to the larger world, so that intension and intelligence may yet play a role in the universe. Because they play no role that we know of now.
The truth is that Nature was here much longer than "more than 4.5 Billion years." A period mentioned in the video and intended, I assume, to refer only to the lifetime of the planet Earth. Popular science says the number is 13.7 Billion years, but many of us think that Nature is older still, that in fact, "she" is eternal.
But if the end game for our species is death then what is the point of that? All that we have discovered, all of our science, all our culture and art, every conversation, every glance across a room, is for nothing.
We have a responsibility. We must rise to nature's challenge, to grasp the greater goal. Nature needs us as much as we need nature, for we are nature too. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to think bigger. Not just to survive but to do what life does ... grow.
And in this sense, while I understand the motives, I must challenge the Conservation International's anti-human mantra of Nature Doesn't Need People as misguided.
Nature Needs People ... because people are, necessarily, nature's intension.