Human Exceptionalism

Depopulate Berkeley!

A commentary by a woman named Edna Spector published in Berkeley’s Daily Planet urges that the city’s young lead the way to voluntarily making the human race extinct by not having children. Spector writes:

Friends! The hour of judgment is at hand for our planet. Doom is knocking on our door in the form of catastrophic climate change. Global warming not only threatens our so-called way of life, it threatens the very existence of the planet itself! Here in Berkeley, we must do more than our fair share to offset this crisis. Why more than our fair share? Quite simply because other communities cannot be relied on to do even their meager fair share in cutting back on carbon emissions. We must make up for what others fail to do on a global scale through our own heroic self-sacrifice. We cannot afford to wait until 2050 to meet our modest carbon emission reduction goals. Many of us who passed this measure will not even be alive then to implement it. By 2050 it will have been too late for this planet I fear, possibly far too late for all of the extinct species whose blood will be on our hands. This is no time for buying absolution through carbon credits or for half-assed symbolic measures which mostly have a feel good significance.

No, the time for bolder self-sacrifice has arrived. The only real, long term hope for the eco-sphere is a massive human population collapse, hopefully leading to the voluntary extinction of the human race. Already, a new urgency and groundswell of support is building for the idea that humans are a type of super toxin which the planet cannot sustain or support in the longterm. Cogent support for the voluntary extinction of the human race is well-articulated in all its ramifications and implications here : www.vhemt.org.

It is tempting to dismiss this hysterical hyperbole as either burning satire or pure fringe nuttery. Unfortunately, I think that she is serious. Moreover, she is right that her views are not entirely outside the mainstream of the political Left. Indeed, her essay is a prime example of the profound nihilism and misanthropy that seems to be infecting that side of the political road like a virus, to the point I have concluded that humanism is devolving into anti-humanism. (The political Right has problems too, but not anti-humanism.)

And catch this last bit:

Imagine if Berkeley has the honor of becoming the first human ghost town on earth to revert to a primal state of nature! The oaks old and new will flourish along the streams in which trout and salmon teem! Mountain lions will boldly roam the plains and not confine themselves to Wildcat Road in Tilden Park any longer. Perhaps bears from other regions of the state will finally return to what we call “Grizzly Peak Blvd.” The grasslands will return to the slopes of the hills after forest fires clear them off and the air will blow pure and sweet over the bubbling creeks just as it once did when the ancestors of Running Wolf roamed the Bayshore in peace and harmony with all nature.

But what difference would it make if humans weren’t around to appreciate it? Think about it: The dinosaurs lived for hundreds of millions of years and yet their grandeur was never once recognized in all that time. It took the exceptional species–us–to see the wonder. Similarly, if the bubbling creeks bubble and we aren’t there to sigh in contentment, the planet might as well be as lifeless as Venus.

HT: Kathi Hamlon

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