That is a great point and one people often forget, the Earth has experienced mass extinction before and life has survived. And life will survive in one form or other no matter what we do, but that fact remains that we will not. It is common to say that the environmental movement is about “saving the Earth” but really we are saving ourselves. Why is global warming a concern? Because our cities will be under water. Why is biodiversity important? Because we need sustainable ecosystems to clean our air and water, to nourish the soil for our crops, and provide the basic ingredients for the medicines that extend our lives. We get bent out of shape because it is our children that will suffer the effects of what we do, not some abstract personification of the planet on which we live. So what inheritance do you want to leave?
People may be upset because they are personally moved by the diversity and beauty of the Earth, and seeing the horrific results of deforestation or oil-drilling can be emotionally devastating. Disrupting groups of people, plants, and animals for the greed and well being of other particular groups of people is unfair. To people who can live sustainably and peacefully with their environment, treasuring the nature and resources around them to them while enjoying the gift of life, it is unjust to have a logging company enter and completely destroy their lifestyle. People may be bent out of shape or have all sorts of feelings about human treatment of Earth because that’s a part of human life: questioning the meaning of life, forming opinions, and developing our mental capacities and knowledge to the fullest abilities. Eradicating particular environments and the accompanying species and wisdoms cuts off a part of the history of the universe and life. Preserving ideas, traditions, and homes is a natural aspect of human identity. This type of question can lead to a heated debate about what exactly the meaning of life is and why does anything even matter.
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