We must act decisively to save our world

| 28/10/2010

(CNN): This week, I have had the opportunity to meet with ministers and country delegates from around the world who have gathered in Nagoya, Japan, to set a global conservation action plan for the next ten years. This is a critical moment in time for environmental ministers gathered here to work together to set bold, ambitious targets to protect nature and the services it provides.

Decisions made here will not only impact our planet’s environmental health, but every person, family, and nation that depend on nature to survive and thrive.

Biodiversity is the foundation of all life on Earth. Human societies cannot provide for themselves the essential services provided by nature and healthy ecosystems. Among them: A stable climate, clean air, fresh water, insect populations that pollinate our food crops, healthy soils, and sources of pharmaceuticals for human health.

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Actor and environmentalist Harrison Ford is also the Vice Chairman of Conservation International, an organization that seeks to protect and conserve the Earth’s natural resources. He’s at the Convention on Biodiversity conference in Nagoya, Japan where delegates are working to agree new targets for biodiversity over the next 10 years.

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  1. Just Laughin' says:

    I read the original article and could not more strongly agree with a delightfully forthright statement there" Nature does need people, people need Nature!"

    What disgusts me greatly about the attitude put forth by far too many  environmentalists is this "Save the Planet" tripe! It is such a pathetically arrogant concept. Truly pitiful and we somehow think that humans are in charge of nature rather than simply being a small part of the grand scheme of things. That was a major failing of God’s charge in Genesis, to put man in charge. Big mistake! He should have made it clear that from an environmental standpoint, man was merely a cog in the wheel and if man did not properly care for the wheel humankind would cease to be. But the wheel would go on just fine without him.

    The ultimate goal of all this "Green" hype has nothing to do with saving the planet and everything to do with us humans saving our own sorry, greedy, exploitative, careless baxides.  If humans could currently map out a future without the Earth we would continue to rape and pillage and plunder her without a care in the world.

    But now it is finally sinking in that we need her. If only we could be honest and refer to it as "Let’s Save Humanity" or something. That may convey more honesty and urgency than let’s "Save the Planet"! To me "Save the Planet" is a joke. The irony is that if we do not act responsively, we may go on the fossil record as being the only species that was directly responsible for its own extinction. Kinda funny actually. It is a even funnier idea if you believe in evolution: Imagine that! The pinnacle of evolution was a species that wiped itself out! I am sure alligators and roaches will get a chuckle out of that one, huh?

    One of the more rational views of this environmental stuff was held by a wonderful, brilliant, comedian, the late George Carlin. Here are some excerpts, quoted from one of his most more memorable monologues:


    "We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these (expletive deleted) people kidding me? Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another, we’re gonna save the (expletive deleted) planet?

    I’m getting tired of that (expletive deleted) I’m tired of (expletive deleted) Earth Day, I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world save for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a (expletive deleted) about the planet. They don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.

    Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are (expletive deleted). Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We’ve been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we’re a threat? That somehow we’re gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun?

    The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles…hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages…And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet…the planet…the planet isn’t going anywhere. WE ARE!

    We’re going away. Pack your (expletive deleted), folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe a little styrofoam. The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.

    You wanna know how the planet’s doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, how the planet’s doing. You wanna know if the planet’s all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilauea, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava in the living room.

    The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed, and if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?” Plastic…(expletive deleted) .

    So, the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now. And I think that’s begun. Don’t you think that’s already started? I think, to be fair, the planet sees us as a mild threat. Something to be dealt with. And the planet can defend itself in an organized, collective way, the way a beehive or an ant colony can. A collective defense mechanism. The planet will think of something. What would you do if you were the planet? How would you defend yourself against this troublesome, pesky species? Let’s see… Viruses. Viruses might be good. They seem vulnerable to viruses. And, uh…viruses are tricky, always mutating and forming new strains whenever a vaccine is developed. Perhaps, this first virus could be one that compromises the immune system of these creatures. Perhaps a human immunodeficiency virus, making them vulnerable to all sorts of other diseases and infections that might come along. And maybe it could be spread sexually, making them a little reluctant to engage in the act of reproduction.

    Well, that’s a poetic note. And it’s a start. And I can dream, can’t I? See I don’t worry about the little things: bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we’re part of a greater wisdom than we will ever understand. A higher order. Call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron. The Big Electron…whoooa. Whoooa. Whoooa. It doesn’t punish, it doesn’t reward, it doesn’t judge at all. It just is. And so are we….

    …for a little while."

    George kinda gives us all something to think about, eh?


  2. han solo says:

    i’ve got a bad feeling about this….

  3. Anonymous says:

    Give me a break!