The other day a friend and I were having a discussion about the future of this planet and of humanity. She asserted that since humanity is of Planet Earth just as much as any other lifeform here, all the human-caused disasters that are happening—forest fires, floods, droughts and heat waves, air and water pollution, even extinctions and climate disruption—are “natural.”
Well, on one level that’s hard to deny, unless humans were dropped off here long ago by an alien spaceship (a theory that I don’t find so far-fetched sometimes!) But, nevertheless, I felt myself resisting the idea that the heartbreaking mess we’re in right now, with the biosphere near collapse all around the globe, can be excused as merely natural. If natural means acting according to our true nature, can we really say that humans are “naturally” unconcerned about our impact on the planet; that we’re naturally uncaring and even hateful toward our fellow creatures? [Read more…] about What is Natural?