Humans: Never Satisfied

Quoting John A. Livingston from his book, The Fallacy of Wildlife Conservation, in a chapter called “The Arguments: 243

“Before we go further, it will be useful to sum up those arguments for conservation that are based in individual and collective human self-interest, as put forward here. The most fundamental message is: if we can’t be good, at least we can be prudent. The message has been delivered historically and is delivered today in a number of ways: the ‘wise use’ arguments involve husbandry, stewardship, harvest, future resources…

“The guts of the self-interest family of arguments is that they are entirely and exclusively man-orientated, anthropocentric. Whether it is directed to individual, group, nation, or species, the appeal is to the human being and the human interest.

“Throughout we assume nature as ‘resource,’ whether for physical use or as a source of aesthetic enjoyment. In this sense, living sensate wildlife beings are no different from water, soils, and land forms, all of which were set in place by a beneficent nature expressly for human purposes. Whether man is good steward or renegade, whether answerable to God or to the bio-system or to the future human generations or not, there is no question about the locus of vested power and authority on Earth. This is illustrated best, I think, in the monumentally dull-witted arrogance of the concept of ‘harvest’ as applied to wildlife species.

“I no longer believe that there is, in practice, such a thing as a ‘renewable’ resource. Once a thing is perceived as having some utility–any utility–and is thus perceived as a ‘resource,’ its depletion is only a matter of time. I know of no wildlife that is being ‘renewed’ anywhere–not yellow birch or hemlock or anchovies or marlins or leopards or salmon or bowhead whales or anything else. ‘Renewable resource’ is self-contradictory in coherence, at least as applied to wildlife.

“If ‘resource’ continues to mean something that is put to human use, then no resource is renewable. Our demands have quite outstripped the capacity of those resources to satisfy them, and much less to satisfy them on a ‘sustainable’ basis. And we are, of course, never satisfied.”

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7 thoughts on “Humans: Never Satisfied

  1. When you think about it, wouldn’t any creature holding power think everything would be theirs and that by how wonderful they are, it belongs to them? It’s not an impressive argument and there’s no proof of it, except the old adage ‘might makes right’. Humans have enslaved other humans this way for millennia, so it’s no surprise, but still dismaying, it’s done to animals, who also cannot speak or fight back. That we would take advantage of those who cannot speak or fight back, and not take the high road. Blech.

  2. Republicans are generally anti-environment and anti-wilderness and anti-wildlife. They are generally anti-science, anti-logic, arti-fact, alternative universe party, make believe what -they-want party. They are the the party of climate change denial, the only free world major party this obtuse and paranoid (believing climate change a leftist conspiracy). The GOP has voted against the environment 90% o the time in the past 15 years. Examples: MT Senator Steve Daines ® has voted against the environment 99% of the time, Congressman Ryan Zynke ® of MT 97%of the time. GOP capitalistic, self-centered greed is no doubt a major factor. But many on the GOP far right believe in creationism. It is basically a party that is anti-logic, anti-science, anti-facts when it conflicts with capitalistic short-term, self-centered greed (no concern for the environment, let’s make a buck now). Their thinking may have a genetic basis. It is somewhat of a worldwide manifestation of conservative thinking. They staunchly resist change and progress. They stubbornly stand by failed economic-political theories (trickle down economics, unfettered/unregulated capitalism, states’ rights over federal general public rights, neoconservative militaristic meddlesomeness). They are the party of “No”. They repeatedly, annually, try to sneak through their anti-environment, anti-wilderness agendas on riders to must pass bills, like the defense bill. They are the Grand Obstructionist & Paranoid Party.

    References:
    https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/never-satisfied/

    http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/who-will-follow-trump-off-the-cliff/article

    http://sacb.ee/6jz0 Who are the good peoplehttp://missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/republicans-can-t-be-concerned-about-environment/article

    https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/the-fires-of-climate-change-are-burning-the-himalayas

    http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/brain-difference-democrats-republicans

    George Will, Republican pundit, is worried that the GOP.will follow Trump over the cliff. They will, pand were defunct anyway, full of only a few failed theories they keep reiterating, their siren songs of trickle down economics, unfettered captalism, and neoconservative militaristic meddlesome interventions.The GOP.will follow Trump over the cliff. Or, perhaps like the Neanderthals, their gene pool will be swamped by homosapiens sapiens of color and this obstructionist part will cease to exist. Republicans are generally anti-environment and anti-wilderness and anti-wildlife. They are generally anti-science, anti-logic, artifacts, alternative universe party, make believe what -they-want party. They are the the party of climate change denial, the only free world major party this obtuse and paranoid (believing climate change a leftist conspiracy). The GOP has voted against the environment 90% of the time in the past 15 years. Examples: MT Senator Steve Daines ® has voted against the environment 99% of the time, Congressman Ryan Zynke ® of MT 97%of the time. GOP capitalistic, self-centered greed is no doubt a major factor. But many on the GOP far right believe in creationism. It is basically a party that is anti-logic, anti-science, anti-facts when it conflicts with capitalistic short-term, self-centered greed (no concern for the environment, let’s make a buck now). Their thinking may have a genetic basis. It is somewhat of a worldwide manifestation of conservative thinking. They staunchly resist change and progress. They stubbornly stand by failed economic-political theories (trickle down economics, unfettered/unregulated capitalism, states’ rights over federal general public rights, neoconservative militaristic meddlesomeness). They are the party of “No”. They repeatedly, annually, try to sneak through their anti-environment, anti-wilderness agendas on riders to must pass bills, like the defense bill. They , perhaps like the Neanderthals, their gene pool will be swamped by homosapiens sapiens of color and this obstructionist party will cease to exist. Or, maybe they will take us all over the cliff. Republicans are generally anti-environment and anti-wilderness and anti-wildlife. They are generally anti-science, anti-logic, artifacts, alternative universe party, make believe what -they-want party. They are the the party of climate change denial, the only free world major party this obtuse and paranoid (believing climate change a leftist conspiracy). The GOP has voted against the environment 90% of the time in the past 15 years. Examples: MT Senator Steve Daines ® has voted against the environment 99% of the time, Congressman Ryan Zynke ® of MT 97%of the time. GOP capitalistic, self-centered greed is no doubt a major factor. But many on the GOP far right believe in creationism. It is basically a party that is anti-logic, anti-science, anti-facts when it conflicts with capitalistic short-term, self-centered greed (no concern for the environment, let’s make a buck now). Their thinking may have a genetic basis. It is somewhat of a worldwide manifestation of conservative thinking. They staunchly resist change and progress. They stubbornly stand by failed economic-political theories (trickle down economics, unfettered/unregulated capitalism, states’ rights over federal general public rights, neoconservative militaristic meddlesomeness). They are the party of “No”. They repeatedly, annually, try to sneak through their anti-environment, anti-wilderness agendas on riders to must pass bills, like the defense bill. They are the Grand Old (paranoid-obstructionist) Party.

    • Absolutely. The GOP is so invested in its fossilized ideology that is cannot seem to grasp the need for change. But change in ideas and values, as well as acceptance of scientific evidence, demands changes in lifestyle that would be unacceptable, unthinkable. What would happen to the plans for a 30,000 square-foot house and the string of SUVs and the yacht and the private plane? As for altering religious beliefs and values, that prospect seems to threaten the very psychological equilibrium of the truly indoctrinated, and thus they cling to them (as they do to their guns). Concerning the rest of creation, they don’t count. Only members of Homo sapiens have souls, so many of them believe. The rest are merely resources, instruments of pleasure and profit in their view.

  3. It seems modern fish and game department managers are sycophants in the service of ranchers, hunters and loggers. They are killing some wildlife, such as wolves, cougars, and bears, in order to make the woods safe for multitudes of hikers and to maintain enough deer and elk for hunters. In the meantime, the killing includes not only the major target animals but all the “collateral damage” of others who are poisoned and killed in traps and snares, many of whom are considered “trash” or “nuisance” animals anyway by local ranchers.

    The same kind of “managers” look at the forests and estimate how many board feet of lumber another cutting would yield for more housing and shopping malls for the growing human population, now approaching 8 billion.

    We need another kind of values determining our wilderness and our wildlife, the values demonstrated by David Henry Thoreau and John Muir. Thoreau once declared that “in Wildness is the preservation of the world.” In his journals he describes the felling of a huge pine tree with the respect the end of such a venerable life deserves. He notes the “silvery sheen” of the sunlight on its needles, the wind “soughing” through its branches, the safe nest it provides for a squirrel. He refers to the “manikins” attempting to bring it down. When it falls, “it folds its green mantle about it like a warrior.” He notes the hawk who will miss is safety when she returns. Thoreau stares at the empty space where it stood and wonders why no bell tolls.

    John Muir shows a similar respect for wildlife. In “My First Summer in the Sierra,” he describes the grasshopper who he says sang and danced and leaped for him, and Muir is obviously delighted with the antics of the exuberant little fellow. Muir finishes with the following: . . . when at length his sun sets, I fancy he will cuddle down in the forest floor and die like the leaves and the flowers . . . .”

    In A Thousand-Mild Walk to the Gulf, Muir reveals it is not only the humble grasshopper who deserves our consideration for his life and well-being: “Many good people believe that alligators were created by the Devil, thus accounting for their all-consuming appetite and ugliness. But doubtless these creatures are happy and fill the place to them by the great Creator of us all. Fierce and cruel they appear to us, but beautiful in the eyes of God. . . . Honorable representatives of the great saurians of an older creation, may you long enjoy your lilies and rushes, and be blessed now and then with a mouthful of terror-stricken man by way of dainty!”

    Rhetorical question—who would we rather see as guardians of our wilderness, Thoreau and Muir followers or the soulless bureaucrats who now contribute to its destruction?

    NOTE: In that last sentence by Muir it looks as if he thinks “Man” the hunter and killer needs a taste of his own medicine as the alligator gets a taste of him.

  4. Livingston should have been required reading, decades ago, in all educational programs. Alas, most people know nothing of Livingston or other of his kind, who were trying to wake up our species. In fact, Livingston was often ostracized by his contemporaries, and the groups he attempted to work with.
    The problems Earth is facing now, is the worst of Humanism, which permeates every facet of human thought, institutions, & actions. Game Management is certainly one of the most egregious.
    Some of us who realize how profoundly destructive our species is & try to counter this, usually get blank stares or negative responses from those whom we would think would know better.
    This is why our species should just disappear from this planet. Perhaps there would be some chance for the non-humans.

    http://www.foranimals.org

  5. Pingback: Betula alleghaniensis | Find Me A Cure

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