On Environmentalism

April 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today is Earth Day.  A question that has been on my mind
today is: why don’t we all just say ‘fuck it’?  Enough of us do already.  Why don’t we just say fuck it and dig up all the oil and cut down all the trees and just fucking party for the next couple centuries, just balls to the wall, live fast and die young.

Because here’s the thing that ‘s always lurking: the undeniable futility of trying to save the planet.  Whether you believe in the Judeo-Christian apocalypse or you believe that in some billions of years the sun will explode and that will be it for Earth and all of her history, you can’t escape the fact that one day, sooner or later, this is all going to end and none of it will matter.  If we don’t destroy the Earth in the next couple hundred years, the normal course of the universe will do the job for us in five or so billion.  So what’s the point then?  To make it last as long as possible in as nice a condition as possible?  Ok, but why?

I’m as big of an environmentalist as they come, but I often find myself coming back to this question.  It’s the same impulse that often makes me want to just blow a couple grand flying to Paris and drinking fine wine and doing coke with some high-class hookers instead of leaving the money in the savings account.  At the end of the day, which is really worth more?  The memories of a good time, or some extra money just sitting in the bank, waiting for…something.  And how do we know that this isn’t exactly what our great-great grandchildren will do?  Do we really want to work so hard to keep the planet nice for them just so they, like a third generation heir, can blow the whole thing on a really good time?  Do we really want them to have that privilege?  Why not seize it now for ourselves?

Think about it: we could just pillage the earth in one big fuck all century or so long party.  Get all that coke from the rainforest.  Let’s feast on bear cub and exotic fish.  Let’s burn all the oil and keep the lights on all night for a few decades while we do all that coke.  I mean, as long as we’re destroying the Earth we might as well have a good time doing it, no?  Time is illusory.  We give it a prima facie value.  Why?  Is the goal of life really to simply live as long as one can?  Why should it be different for our species as a whole?  We could spend the next 5 billion years trying to save the Earth, only to watch it all go up in flames, or we could all get down right now.

I don’t know how serious I am about this, though I do know I’m not completely un-serious.

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