UH OH -- SPACESHIP EARTH IS facing yet another crisis of unparalleled proportions! The crisis this time apparently stems from the fact that mankind, which has spread over the earth and subjugated it to our mighty productive will, is using an alarming share of the world's plant resources. According to a team of German and Austrian scientists, this state of affairs means that other species are losing out, and that's bad.
Why exactly this is bad, I'm not exactly sure. After all, it's not like the other species of God's green earth have automobiles, electricity, air conditioning, refrigerators, or Coca-Cola to produce on a daily basis. Hell, they don't even have opposable thumbs. So I'm not exactly sure why we should be all that concerned, given that mankind is only using 24 percent of the Earth's plant resources in our continued efforts to shape nature to our liking. The rest of the world's species will just have to cope. Well, that is, if the soulless beasts had the capacity to cope, instead of relying on their base, animalistic instincts for survival.
Besides, if nature's lower orders were really all that concerned with the fact that mankind was using up all the plants, they'd do one of two things. One, they'd mount some sort of organized counterattack, or two, they'd invent some nifty device to capture the Sun's inexhaustible energy. Last time I checked, they haven't yet managed to do either of these things, although I understand raccoons cause all sorts of trouble in the suburbs.
Perhaps the most blatant idiocy in the news reports about this study came from an Australian agriculturalist. A University of Melbourne professor, with the ridiculous name of Snow Barlow, told the Sydney Morning Herald her view of the study, which was this: "Here we are, just one species on the earth, and we're grabbing a quarter of the renewable resources … we're probably being a bit greedy."
The mind boggles that Dr Barlow has been allowed to teach a class in anything, much less agriculture. But Dr Barlow's comment somewhat misses the point, which is that mankind is the dominant species on earth, and as such might have a perfectly good reason for using that much. Of course, if you ask me, I'm rather annoyed the percentage is that low. After all, three-quarters of the world's plant energy is apparently being wasted and used for no productive purpose, and that can't be good. So I would call upon the world's agriculturalists to figure out a way to boost this measure accordingly. We might just need it for the next crisis facing Spaceship Earth.Posted by Benjamin Kepple at July 3, 2007 09:03 PM | TrackBack