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Friday, January 11, 2019

Man Vs. The Environment

Man Vs. The Environment

A cranky opinion for


The following it the opinion of a cranky old man with absolutely no expertise on the topic opined.  I offer no solutions, only some clap trap from a befuddled mind which may or may not provoke some useful discussion.

It is common in these days of extensive boat and plane travel and man trying to experiment with species new to their native home, for plants or creatures to be destructive to local environs.

Australia seems to be famous for this with introductions of cane toads and rabbits that run a muck and compete with “native” species, often changing the environment.  I put native in quotes, because what is really native?  All creatures and plants are native to earth, if they get moved or introduced to other areas of the planet by man or by seeds floating in the sea or wind, are they invasive, or natural?

Large python snakes in Florida are changing the Everglades.  Asian carp are choking life out of some American waterways.  Man is choking the air with gasses from combusting fuel.

Are these creatures; are we, destroying the environment? 

We are changing the environment, that is for sure.  In the great scheme of things is changing the environment destroying it?  Sure, we may not like it, but other or new species adapt and thrive in any new environment.  Is that bad?  Well it is to us, because for the most point we don’t like change in our environment.

Point is, man is not destroying the environment, we are changing our environment.  Man is not upsetting the ecology, we are part of the ecology.  Where man is special is we can try to control our environment while other creatures cannot.

We can create heat when it is cold, we can cool our environment when it is hot.   In controlling our environment, we may be also changing the environment. 

Does this make man an invasive species, or does it just make us want to thrive as best we can? 

Many of what we call invasive species change the environment.  They also can cause their own demise.  If the change so upsets the environment, eventually the invasive creature destroys the resources that allowed it to thrive.  New species take over, species that do not deplete resources that they rely on.  It may take eons, but the environment is not destroyed, it just changes.

Man has the unique ability to recognize that if we drastically change our environment, eventually we may not be able to adapt.  That is why we replant crops and put quotas on taking wildlife for food or sport.

Man is not destroying the ecology, we are part of the ecology.  If we want to survive, we have to be better than a snake which takes over an island and eventually leaves a desert without birds or rodents to feed on.  The snakes give way to another species that is better adapted to the change the snakes bring about.

Are we changing our environment?  Is man an invasive species? Yes, and yes.  If we want to continue to thrive, we must either stop the “progress” which is changing the environment, or find ways to continue our way of life without changing our environment.

Some experts call for man to stop waste, to control our carbon footprint and in effect go back to a subsistence life style similar to when the country was 90 % farm land. 

There is as much chance of maintaining the environment by going back to a subsistence life style as there is of the pythons in Florida deciding to control their reproduction to levels that can sustain the Everglades current wildlife population.

It is not going to happen!

I am not against cleaner air, water, and stable temperatures, I just believe we need to develop technologies that use the environments resources in ways that will not drastically change it.  

Belt tightening and strict rationing of resources will not work. It just will not; we are not any better in that regard than the snakes.

Incentives to simply preserve our resources through austerity will inevitably fail. 

Long term we need to develop new technologies to maintain and improve our life style while not changing the resources in our environment.

Can man do this? 

If given the right incentives and support, of course we can, we are man.

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man that upon rereading may just be drivel.  I never know if I am profound or just stupid, I do know that opinions expressed in this blog are not necessarily those of management…Mrs. Cranky.


  1. "Can Man do this?" Yes, of course, but can he do it in time? Can he even get started without incessant nagging by woman?
    We'll have to wait and see. in the meantime, let there be no running amok.

  2. Some good points in this article. Yes man does change the environment in many ways, as you describe; and yes, man can control the environment to maintain a balanced healthy outcome for all. The problem is that man (nations) cannot agree on anything. What one country proposes will inevitably be opposed by another.

    God bless.

  3. Yes, we can and should work out ways to take better care of this beautiful planet. It’s not a matter of if we can, it’s a matter of can we develop the collective will to do it and get it done.

  4. If we can't, I am curious what will replace us as we become extinct.

  5. Nicely done Mr. Cranky. Opened my eyes to a whole new level of thought. Thanks for that.

  6. Have you noticed that the folks who complain the most are the same ones who take lots of trips to far flung places?

  7. Very well done. It seems that one solution creates another problem. Carbon footprint of the wealthy allows them to pay someone else to claim that footprint? Private jets creating additional pollution? Should our own populations be reduced to a manageable number. (Dan Brown: Inferno with Tom Hanks)

    We can do as much as we (ourselves) are able to do. But we are not a huge number.

    I appreciated your voice.

  8. Well, if our cows have to stop farting so much, then other countries' cows have to stop farting so much, too. Fair is fair.

  9. I was reading a short novel by Larry McMurtry this afternoon in which a character says he doesn't kill rattlesnakes unless necessary because if all the snakes disappeared the prairie dogs would take over the land. My take? It's always something.

  10. I'm not for going back to when 90% of all land was farmland, but I think we could nicely adapt to living with less plastic. Like we did just a short 30 or 40 years ago.


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