Ring Toss by Carly & Art
Ever since seeing the Edward Burtynsky exhibit and attending Saturday’s lecture by Dr. William Rees at the Corcoran, I can’t stop thinking about Man vs Nature. As Dr. Rees explained (in a very eloquent and scientific manner), there are fundamental differences between our behaviors that make it virtually impossible for man to coexist with nature in a closed system. At our current rate of population growth and resource consumption, the planet simply cannot sustain us forever. To summarize his speech, unless drastic policy changes are put into place by our governments and we start to think globally instead of selfishly, well, we’re doomed.
This week’s featured photo is a demonstration of nature’s struggle against man. Or is it? Despite having several rings of concrete around its base, the tree is growing and doing everything it should be doing. The concrete, as far as the tree is concerned, is only a slight annoyance. I tend to agree with George Carlin’s philosophy about the state of the planet which is, “The planet is fine.”
“Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. 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?”
So while we may be doomed, the planet is not. When we’ve done ourselves in, the planet will let out a deep sigh, shake its head in disgust, and slowly put itself back together again. While its nice to have optimism, to recycle, to buy hybrids and to use CFL light bulbs, our existence is a mere blip on the radar that may be discovered by a future species one day when they find a petrified Coke can buried deep in the ground.
I would like to introduce Mr. Malthus to Mr. Borlaug.