One of the problems with most environmental news and documentaries is that they present all of the negative aspects of our lives. They show us how we have destroyed the earth and tell us all is lost. Some may present methods for us to clean up our act but most don’t even worry about that. Many documentaries and authors tend to focus on the past and the present, not the future. They show us how in the past the people were one with the land and then somehow in the present we have lost that and have begun to destroy the land for our own needs.
Many of these documentaries tend to present the past as being the ideal. A time when humans and the earth lived in harmony, well that is a lie. Humans have always changed their environment to better suit themselves. From the construction of shelters to the creation of fires, humans have always left an impact on the Earth. We evolved our hands and feet and bipedalism so that we could better grasp tools, to better manipulate our environments. Even nomadic people impact their environment, albeit less than their capitalist neighbors, but they still create shelters, and hunt and gather. The past is not full of answers, it is full of questions. History and archaeology are fields of study that attempt to interpret the past but they cannot predict the future.
We should look at the past, not for answers, but for examples of what has been done. We can find new ways, we will adapt. Humans have always been good at adapting to our environments. If we do cause the ice caps to melt then we will adapt to that new climate and will be able to survive. All of the gloom and doom environmentalists are just scared that they will not be able to think up a new way to save us, and therefore have decided that it would be better to lay down and acknowledge how bad the world is. In one film, The End of Suburbia, all of the experts that were interviewed were white, middle aged, men. This does not represent the present, let alone the future. There are new thinkers and therefore new ideas being developed. If the world was over and there was no way to fix it, don’t you think we would have realized it by now?
– Ben Rogers