"Curing a body of cancer requires radical and invasive therapy, and therefore, curing the biosphere of the human virus will also require a radical and invasive approachWhat does Mr. Watson think should be done?
It won’t be easy but then it’s better than the alternative."
There is only one cure, only one way of stopping this rising epidemic of extinctions. The solution requires an extraordinarily immense effort by all of human society but it is achievable.Wow. Pretty inspiring future, eh? There is much more in Mr. Watson's commentary. You may want to read the rest of it, just so you might understand why he sees us as a virus.
We need to re-wild the planet. We need to “get ourselves back to the garden” as Joni Mitchell once so poetically framed it.
This is a process that will require a complete overhaul of all of humanities economic, cultural, and life style systems. Within the context of our present anthropocentric mind-set the solution is impossible. It will require a complete transformation of all human realities.
But the alternative is unimaginable. Unless we address the problem, we will be faced with the complete transformation of the planet from one of diversity to ecosystems shattered, weakened, and destroyed by mass extinction and the collapse of bio-diversity.
One hundred and fifty years ago, Henry David Thoreau wrote that “in wildness is the preservation of the world.”
We should not be living in human communities that enclose tiny preserved ecosystems within them. Human communities should be maintained in small population enclaves within linked wilderness ecosystems. No human community should be larger than 20,000 people and separated from other communities by wilderness areas. Communication systems can link the communities.
In other words, people should be placed in parks within ecosystems instead of parks placed in human communities. We need vast areas of the planet where humans do not live at all and where other species are free to evolve without human interference.
We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion. We need to eliminate nationalism and tribalism and become Earthlings. And as Earthlings, we need to recognize that all the other species that live on this planet are also fellow citizens and also Earthlings. This is a planet of incredible diversity of life-forms; it is not a planet of one species as many of us believe.
We need to stop burning fossil fuels and utilize only wind, water, and solar power with all generation of power coming from individual or small community units like windmills, waterwheels, and solar panels.
Sea transportation should be by sail. The big clippers were the finest ships ever built and sufficient to our needs. Air transportation should be by solar powered blimps when air transportation is necessary.
All consumption should be local. No food products need to be transported over hundreds of miles to market. All commercial fishing should be abolished. If local communities need to fish the fish should be caught individually by hand.
Preferably vegan and vegetarian diets can be adopted. We need to eliminate herds of ungulates like cows and sheep and replace them with wild ungulates like bison and caribou and allow those species to fulfill the proper roles in nature. We need to restore the prey predator relationship and bring back the wolf and the bear. We need the large predators and ungulates, not as food, but as custodians of the land that absorbs the carbon dioxide and produces the oxygen. We need to live with them in mutual respect.
We need to remove and destroy all fences and barriers that bar wildlife from moving freely across the land. We need to lower populations of domestic housecats and dogs. Already the world’s housecats consume more fish than all the world’s seals and we have made the cow into the largest aquatic predator on the planet because more than one half of all fish taken from the sea is converted into meal for animal feed.
We need to stop flying, stop driving cars, and jetting around on marine recreational vehicles. The Mennonites survive without cars and so can the rest of us.
We can retain technology but within the context of Henry David Thoreau’s simple message to “simplify, simplify, simplify.”
We need an economic system that provides all people with educational, medical, security, and support systems without mass production and vast utilization of resources. This will only work within the context of a much smaller global population.
Who should have children? Those who are responsible and completely dedicated to the responsibility which is actually a very small percentage of humans. Being a parent should be a career. Whereas some people are engineers, musicians, or lawyers, others with the desire and the skills can be fathers and mothers. Schools can be eliminated if the professional parent is also the educator of the child.
This approach to parenting is radical but it is preferable to a system where everyone is expected to have children in order to keep the population of consumers up to keep the wheels of production moving. An economic and political system dependent on continuous growth cannot survive the ecological law of finite resources.
There is, of course, a complexity of problems in adjusting to a new design that will simply allow us to survive the consequences of our past ecological folly.
I wonder how many people who are environmental activists agree with Mr. Watson?
I wonder what Mr. Watson thinks of liberty?
[via Instapundit and Dan Gainor]