Imagine Armenians living in an area with no kebab joints, no fresh greens, and let’s face it—no architecturally rehashed but still beautiful churches. It just wouldn’t be natural. We’d either have to create those surroundings or move someplace where they exist.
Of course, we’re human and have these two options. Unfortunately plants, immobile as they are, and non-human animals, devoid of our terra-forming capacity as they are, don’t have the ability to create the habitat they require. They’re stuck with what they’ve got. And, they’ve got less and less.
Over a decade ago, I read that we, humans, have become the force that changes the face of our planet to a greater degree than any other. More than hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, tsunamis, etc. That’s a huge wallop. Necessarily, we must act with the burden of responsibility such awesome power carries with it.
Whether it’s tearing up vast new stretches of untrammeled land to build new homes, grow more food, or extract resources we need— wood, oil, minerals, etc. – we’re not considering the impact on other life on this ever “shrinking” planet. Now, with the global climate disruption we’ve initiated, our growing population, and static food production, we’re facing new hurdles.
We must act wisely and cautiously. Destroying and disrupting habitats through changing the surface of the planet and trapping too much energy in the atmosphere and oceans is going to came back and bite us.
The flagrantly wasteful (often euphemistically referred to as “convenient”) lifestyle we’ve come to consider normal is not. We’ve got to do some belt tightening, both literally (eating less of the foods that are produced in environmentally destructive ways) and figuratively (using public transit instead of driving and building denser housing). We just can’t go one consuming at the reckless pace we are now.
Not doing so will continue to disrupt habitats for plants and animals. You might think “who cares”, but if they don’t make it, we won’t either. We’re all in this together, part of the same web of life. The easiest example is the destruction of forests. When those go, billions upon billions of dollars worth of water treatment disappears. How long can you last without fresh, potable water? And those forests are integrated with all the life in them.
Having seen and lived through Genocide, we of all people should be keenly aware of what the destruction of life and the infrastructure that supports it can lead to. All it takes is some small changes. Make them. If you don’t know what to do, look around, there’re all kinds of help and advice available now— from environmental organizations to your local water and/or power utility to the guy who keeps hassling you about not recycling…