The World Would Be a Better Place If…

we could all, well, be nicer…

But perhaps we need to step back and take a different view; more Lovelock than Love-in.

The biggest single threat to the sustainable development of the earth’s biosphere is humanity. From a holistic point of view might it not be better if we were reduced or even removed from the equation?

To quote Stephen Jay Gould:

“I would nominate as most worthy of pure awe….the continuity of etz chayim, the tree of earthly life, for at least 3.5 biliion years, without a single microsecond of disruption.” [I Have Landed, 2002]

He goes on to describe the improbability of any complex process running for such a prolonged period without ever failing, not even for a fraction of a hearbeat. To do so would have meant starting again from scratch.

Our current behaviours put this at a little risk, although probably only if we went fully nuclear (and even then…); of course, the real risk is to ourselves. It is likely and even probable that the world would be fine without us.

No Mozart, or Shakespeare, or Wang Wei, of course. That would be regrettable.

Nor am I sure that creatures other than ourselves can admire the sunset or the infinite variety of snowflakes.

How much does that matter? If it matters perhaps we need to agree that it matters; from that the rest will follow.

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