Stone: Save the planet? I think not
Over the past week or so we have seen hail in Santa Monica, sleet in Venice Beach, a blizzard warning in Los Angeles — and a high of 80 degrees in Washington, D.C.
This bizarre concatenation of weather will undoubtedly elicit cries of “Save the planet!” from all the usual suspects.
But they make those cries in error.
Wait! Hear me out!
Global climate change is undeniably an existential problem for the human race. (And by “existential” I refer to “a threat to our existence,” not some fancy French philosophy understood only by Jean-Paul Sartre. At most.)
We humans have finally debunked Mark Twains’ famous statement, “Everybody complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” We, by golly, have done something about the weather: We have ruined it.
No, my problem is with the call to “Save the planet!”
This planet — this 4.5 billion-year-old chunk of rock — is in no need of “saving.” It will continue to cheerfully circle the sun for many more billions of years. No matter what we do. It will be fine. With us or without us. It has been burned and frozen, flooded and dinosaured. It doesn’t care.
What is in danger of being destroyed is not the planet. It is the fragile Eden of an environment that allows us to survive on this vast chunk of rock.
What needs saving is us — the so-called human race.
Am I arguing a pointless distinction here? I think not.
Calls to “Save the planet!” have fallen on too many deaf ears.
But a call to “Save your life!” just might get through.
The “humanity” of the human race is a chancy thing. But pure unenlightened self-interest … that’s a better bet.
So, screw the planet. The planet will take care of its own damn self.
Save your own sweet ass!
Now there’s a battle cry.