As Landscape Architects and Architects we have a concern, and rightfully so, for the environment. It has proven quite beneficial and it proves to be an endless source of inspiration for our creative minds. Therefore, it should be protected! Humanity is the one and only species capable of destroying its own environment, consequently, making it the only species that can knowingly protect its own environment.
“For most of its existence, mankind’s well-being was dictated by disease, the elements and other natural factors, and the occasional conflict” (Goklany, 1). What a world that must have been! One’s daily proceedings dictated by nature. In general, people say they love nature and mankind could do with being more connected to it. I beg to differ. The “nature” these folks insist on protecting is not the “nature” mankind once encountered in, say, 100 A.D. To live past into the fruitful years of one’s forties was an exemption due to disease, food shortages, infant mortality, and everything else we take for granted not having to deal with on a daily basis.
Nature’s uncertainty was soon abolished by technologies that displaced these life or death dilemmas (Goklany, 1). Not only were people able to eat increasingly more regularly, they were able to have time in order to think of other things like form, space, and would you believe it Nature! Resulting in unparalleled understanding and general thinking of the universe, the globe, physics, and all other subjects that are fascinating.
The Industrial Revolution broke down knowledge and time barriers drastically accelerating the exponential growth of understanding in fields like medicine and agriculture. Again, resulting in unforeseen benefits for mankind.
Is this “bad?” “Nothing can be made, transported, or used without energy, and fossil fuels provide 80 percent of mankind’s energy and 60 percent of its food and clothing. Thus, absent fossil fuels, global cropland would have to increase 150 percent to meet current food demand, but conversion of habitat of cropland is already the greatest threat to biodiversity” (Goklany, 1).
If protecting global biodiversity is what so-called “environmentalists” strive to achieve then they should be lobbying for increased oil-production. It is truly unfortunate that wind and solar technologies have not been able to catch up with the energy demands of the current world. But I have complete confidence they will given human ingenuity’s infinite capabilities to respond to crisis.
In the meantime, I propose we celebrate fossil fuel’s accomplishments and leverage it even more to provide as strong a future we possibly can for future generations. Not-to-mention, increased supplies of fossil fuels will mitigate the loss of biodiversity while we seek the “golden mean” of energy production.
FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CHECK OUT: http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/humanity-unbound-how-fossil-fuels-saved-humanity-nature-nature-humanity
READ THE WHOLE STUDY @: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa715.pdf