Human beings have lived in harmony with the planet for millions of years. Only in the past few centuries have we become ecocidal. So, how does a sustainable species turn into a cancer? Here are 13 easy steps to take if you want to create an ecocidal species:
1. Create societies that live under the illusion that they can ‘conquer’ nature. In this process, also create nations which believe that they are entitled to take whatever they want from nature and other countries and communities, as well.
2. We should then make sure that we invent weapons and machines that can destroy large portions of the planet in a second. We should also keep using fossil fuels to power our cars to work and run factories that can create more chemicals. Guns, tanks and many other weapons should be invented and manufactured en masse. We also need to keep waging wars so that these weapons are used. Some of these weapon companies may even grow in size and wield enormous political influence.
3. Furthermore, when a war ends and the weapon companies run out of work and profits, let them start manufacturing chemicals and products using minerals, machines and fossil fuels, again.
4. To all this, add an economic system that pushes for unending growth – a system that promotes inventions, technology and supports only the growth of manufacturers. We’ll all be fine as long we don’t worry about the effects of what we produce. Produce more, buy more, sell more, waste more, trash more…
5. Use the ‘boob tube’ (television) and other social media to advertise all kinds of things to sell. And then, ‘manufacture needs’! Build a culture where the dominant aspirations of people are only to earn more and buy more to live a ‘good life’.
6. We ‘can’ afford to waste! After all, who has the time to re-use, reduce and recycle? All the chemicals and wastes can be dumped anywhere with nary a worry. What are landfills, if not the ‘mountains of our wisdom’ ?
7. Don’t forget plastics! Use plastics for packaging everything – plastics in toys, bottles, boxes, gizmos, and even for fruit and vegetables. Plastics are great when you want to pollute the space around you for generations!
8. ‘Tune out’ of nature and believe in chemical agriculture! Fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and weedicides – chemicals of all kinds – are very useful to produce fertile land. At the same time, you can also have fresh food degraded, clean water polluted and spread illnesses.
More importantly, let the human population grow unfettered, so that more can join in the fun of polluting!
9. Now, select a globalised economic system, so that there are more businesses and industries that release chemicals and pollutants into air, water and land. More businesses and industries would also require more mining, more factories, more means of transportation, and ultimately, more pollution.
10. Deforestation helps too! It will be needed for the meat, furniture, paper and for wrapping food items. Climate change, humans getting sick, species going extinct, water scarcity with rivers and wells drying up – these will be the expected outcomes!
11. Have the education system brainwash children and adults into thinking that the modern way of living is the best one! Also make them realise that pollution is only a small price to pay for enjoying life to the fullest.
12. Don’t forget to encourage rampant urbanisation! This will increase economic growth – and pollution in its wake. Likewise, a worldview where we don’t appreciate the complexity of nature will gradually be established on this foundation.
13. Finally, let’s blindly hero worship those with the maximum material wealth and resources – cars, buildings, everything! Let us not consider the environmental effects of their wealth and possessions while worshipping them!
At the very end, let the planet have a makeover like this (from the right to the left, that is):
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