The human footprint on this planet keeps expanding and nature seems to be the loosing side as wilderness areas are disappearing one by one. The dilemma that seems to pop up often is the question of us humans expanding our range should be at the cost of the nature surrounding us. Should our demands for comfort outweigh the pristine of our natural world? What is comfort exactly? Because I think that definition differs all around the globe. There are several more questions that comes to mind when I think about the war between human development and the declining natural world. Is it worth it? Is it worth sacrificing natural resources, resources that entire human settlements could be dependent upon?
Another dilemma is the scenarios regarding outside developers that want to utilize wilderness areas that are important for indigenous people. These developers are usually well-funded resourceful people that can make their voices heard. In most cases, the screams of the indigenous people are silenced. It is the ultimate dilemma, the environmentalist’s paradox, that our search for comfort and development is ruining the natural world. We don’t know what will happen when we run out of natural resources and pristine areas, because at the rate of which this is going there is no more question of if, but when.
So what do we do? We who want to conserve the little precious nature left are called obstacles for progress. People who believe in climate change (Leonardo DiCaprio, ever heard of him?) are constantly told to prove it. Do you know what I say? I say that the people that dismiss climate change should prove that it is not happening. I want the industrial developers to show me that expansions do not affect wilderness areas through habitat deformation and pollution. It is a much larger challenge to defend yourself than it is to attack, is it not?
Critics often believes that technology can substitute for the reduction of natural resources and ecosystem services, but what about moral implications? Many, many people do not only see nature as a tool that is here to benefit us, but as playgrounds, places of worship and sanctuaries. Technology cannot possibly replace places of worship that have been present for thousands of years.
To help make a brighter future there are things the “common people” can do. Things like recycling, using less water and electricity and creating less waste in your households are all basic things that will help tremendously if enough people were willing to do it. Furthermore one could also reconsider buying that 5th pair of jeans from the cheap clothing store down town. Use what you have until you cannot use it anymore, then replace it.
Use less, experience more, waste less, see so much more.