A Righteous Application of Misanthropy?
Have you seen any of the popular listicles enumerating the Top 5 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet? The Top 3?
If not, can you guess the Number One Thing You Can Do to Save the Planet?
Hint: It’s not “switch to LED bulbs.”
Going full vegan is almost the strongest move. So is eschewing house-pets. But they’re not quite the #1 Thing.
According to scientists and academic analysts, The Number One Thing You Can Do to Save the Planet is to forgo having children. In other words, if you’re concerned with the survival of Mother Earth, the most effective way to protect Her is not to breed more of your kind.
That’s a bitter pill. It’s like telling a brand manager that the best strategy for his product is to discontinue making it.
More human beings = more environmental destruction. Contained within this fact is an inescapable logical inference: We are the cause, the root cause, of atmospheric degradation, global warming, climate change. To deny this conclusion is to question the veracity of all our Top Ten Lists, not to mention science.
To accept it is tacit acknowledgment that homo sapiens is a net positive for homo sapiens and a net negative for everything else. Setting aside discussions of “wickedness” and “original sin,” is it possible that a species can be too smart for its own good? Surely not. Humanity’s collective intelligence is now our only chance to figure out The Number One Thing We Can Do to Save Ourselves.
Until then, as evolution creeps well behind the pace of technological innovations, we must come to terms with the paradox of loving misanthropy. We must accept that fewer versions of humans will yield a better version of Planet Earth.