A Fatal Opportunity

A thought occurred to me this week during class discussion. The conversation was centering around the what-if scenario of the ability of humans to move to another planet. We were also talking about the way humans treat the earth now as if it is just a bottomless pit of “resources” rather than a planet and an actual home to other creatures. As Dr. McCoy put it, we are strip-mining the planet.

strip mine

Strip mine, Appalachia

The statement prompted me to jot this down in my notes: “If humans had the opportunity to move, would they strip the earth clear?”

This thought disturbed me not because I think the answer is yes, which I do, but because I found myself asking what the motivation would then be to preserve the planet we are on. If we had the ability to pick up and move to another location, as the Oankali have done multiple times, would there be any argument convincing enough to urge people to take care of and preserve the planet?

I’m someone who finds the aesthetic value of nature enough to make me both fearful and angry at what is happening to the earth, but as far as the global population goes I believe that if threat to human survival is not imminent then action to “save the earth” would no longer be a major concern. Pessimistic, I know.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think major efforts to preserve Earth’s resources would cease if we could move to another planet when they’re all gone?

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