A Different View of Pollution

Air-PollutionWhen humans talk about pollution in the world it is always with a God complex. We are destroying the world and we will soon make it uninhabitable for us. There is a key point people don’t talk about when it comes to pollution and that is with almost all types of pollution the sacrifice of one life form can lead to the great benefit of another. The concept of pollution is a human creation regarding things we do that harms ourselves directly, but pollution as a concept to nature does not exist.

In 2010 NASA-supported researchers discovered a microorganism on earth able to thrive and reproduce using the toxic chemical arsenic. This discovery forced the scientists to change how they view life. Pollution to one life form can be the requirement of another. Take oxygen for example, plants do not utilize oxygen instead it is simply a by product of consuming C02. In much the same way human fecal matter is our by product. Humans live off the excrement of plants.

So the question becomes what is pollution and what is natural? Everything humans do is natural because after all we are derived from nature. Nothing we do can ever possibly defy nature. However, we are perfectly capable of destabilizing our own ecosystem and killing ourselves. The reason we need to reduce pollution is not to save nature but to save ourselves. This is an important distinction because we should not be afraid of replacing nature with our own technology if it means it can better support our survival.

As we move forward as a race we may figure out superior ways through technology to support human life that out perform our current ecosystem. We should not fear improving on nature for ourselves if it means the human race can survive and thrive.

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One thought on “A Different View of Pollution

  1. Allallt

    Our understanding of nature, the environment and how to manage it is entirely anthropocentric. The definition of pollution (and “problem” in general) is implicitly defined as things that hinder human progress.
    You might want to look into Deep Ecology. It shares a tone with your writing here. It’s best to look at what Arne Naess wrote about Deep Ecology first, as a lot of other stuff becomes immediately esoteric difficult to penetrate, without some basis in what Naess is saying first. (Naess, more or less, came up with and defined Deep Ecology.)

    Reply

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