The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week in an effort to destroy the natural habitat of one of the Los Angeles area’s most beautiful, but fragile, species. With no hard scales, thick hide, or camouflage for protection, no menacing fangs, sharp claws, or great strength for defense, and no innate ability to fly, swim or otherwise flee quickly, the animal has only one effective means of survival–which the Center for Biological Diversity is struggling desperately to eradicate. This animal is called a “human,” and his one effective means of survival is the use of his reasoning mind.
The Tucson-based environmental group is asking the federal government to designate parts of Santa Clarita Valley–one of the areas in Los Angeles County where the population of humans has been rapidly growing–a “critical habitat” for the unarmored three spine stickleback: an ugly, inch-long, grayish fish of no particular value to anyone (except perhaps as bait). Such a designation would impede several of the human’s natural survival activities, including the construction of the 22,000-home Newhall Ranch development. Environmentalists at the Center for Biological Diversity do not much seem to care what happens to the humans. Environmentalists never have. Although most environmentalists are emphatic in their professions of how deeply they care about every little earthworm and gnat on the planet, environmentalism is, at its core, the hatred of human life.
To understand why, it is first necessary to step back and examine reality on a “global” level. Here we are on the planet Earth, along with billions of other life forms. Each little life form must struggle violently against nature every day just to survive. Many die of starvation. Many die of disease. Many are eaten by other life forms, also struggling to survive. Nature can be harsh, and surviving in it is no party, but each species has some set of attributes that enable it to survive: claws to kill and defend with, hard scales to survive an assault, etc. But those properties cannot guarantee survival of a species ad infinitum, because nature is not static. Nature is not a pretty photograph of a mountain or a forest; the nature of “nature” is to change. This means, of course, that species are constantly becoming extinct and new species are constantly emerging. No amount of caring can stop this process.
Now consider Man. Man, too, is a life form that evolved here on Earth. Man, too, must struggle for survival against nature. What makes Man unique is his method of survival. Humans are the only species on the planet that cannot survive by pure physical means. Man cannot turn off his brain, run naked into the forest, and survive by instinct. To live, man must use his brain to reason. He is the only species that must “figure out” how to survive. Not only must he learn how to survive physically (i.e. how to build houses, invent vaccines, produce food, etc.), but he must also learn how to nurture his only tool for survival: his mind (i.e. how to compose inspirational fiction, art, music, etc.). Building housing developments, writing plays, and inventing faster computers are not unnatural acts. They are perfectly natural–even required–behaviors of the human species, just like collecting acorns is a perfectly natural and required behavior of squirrels. The use of a reasoning mind to manipulate the environment is the best (and Man’s only) means of survival. It makes life possible.
When environmentalists argue for “protection” of a toad, or a moth, or a virus, it is important to remember that nature does not offer such a guarantee to life. Such “protection” for one species must come at the expense of another. For this, the environmentalists have volunteered the humans (mostly just the Westerners). Consider the view of environmentalists at the Center for Biological Diversity. According to an official statement, they envision a future of “people living in balance with nature.” Is it possible that the Center for Biological Diversity simply forgot that humans are a part of nature and that building housing developments, paper mills, and golf courses is a perfect example of “people living in balance with nature?” What is their attitude towards the human mind? When considering the gills of a little fish on one hand and the will of a reasoning mind on the other, which do they choose to protect? Which is of more value to environmentalists: the slimy scales of an unarmored threespine stickleback, or the calculated intentions of a rational human mind?
Obviously, no humans will die as a direct result of declaring parts of Santa Clarita Valley a “critical habitat” for the stickleback, but the principles are the same. Environmentalists have no qualms about preventing humans from behaving as they would naturally–in a way that maximizes the chances of human survival. Only when the survival of an unarmored threespine stickleback is at stake do the environmentalists get riled. Their priorities are clear: when faced with a choice between the life of a human being and anything else on the planet, the fish wins.