Energy, Media, Politics

Screw the planet, save yourself

08.21.07 | 6 Comments

Screen capture of planetsave.com portal

OK, so the title is pejorative – it was intended to be. The screen capture of the PlanetSave portal is representative of what I want to talk about, there’s nothing specific about it (or the legions of other web destinations) I want to single out other than the core message of “save the planet.” If you read this blog often, you know I’m pretty concerned with renewable energy and conservation activities, but this one message: “save the planet” has got to go.

Why you ask? Because the planet can take care of itself. Mother Earth will outlive every single homo sapien. And, unless we find a way to pulverize the planet, Earth will recover from the human infestation within a couple of hundred thousand years after our demise. Ask the dinosaurs about how the planet needs saving…it doesn’t.

What we need to do is save the humans from ourselves. That’s a different message, it’s more personal and it’s more accurate. I now believe that it’s not even about saving your grandchildren or your children, it’s about saving yourself. Why would I say that? Having watched different sorts of systems degrade over my lifetime, the degradation can be loosely bucketed into what I’d like to call decline curve and sudden descent. There is a common root between the two as they both start out as decline curve (if one can detect the decline) and then some trigger is reached when sudden descent occurs.

The “save the planet” message leaves people with the notion that we’re in a decline curve (I agree) but there is little sense of urgency because the impacts will be felt long after the current people crop is gone. That may not be the case, it may be that we’re trundling along the decline curve and the triggering event for sudden descent has happened or will happen shortly and the impact will affect you, in your lifetime.

So, while I applaud the work that PlanetSave and others are doing, I just think we need to adjust the message and make it personal. Unless something impacts us directly, it’s often too abstract to catalyze action.