Coming Ecological Catastrophe

Sun, 2 Feb 1997 22:31:28 -0500

I have been a lifelong nature lover. At 50, I have seen the expansion
of urban sprawl around the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Places that
were relatively wild and were I hunted 30 years ago are now paved over
and developed. I have also read numerous environmental and ecological
books. Many of these writers have a view of the future in which humans
live in an ever impoverished biosphere and eventually exceed the
carrying capacity of the earth and cause a major ecological catastrophe.
Since I have lurked on this Extropian list during the past six months I
have gained a different perspective of new technologies and eventual
migration of humans or posthumans to outter space. I just wonder if the
dystopian futuristic visions of a sort of Blade Runner type landscape is
what we can realistically expect or will the new technologies change the
present resource consumption patterns that cause forests to be clear cut
and through the extraction of fossil fuels cause Exxon Valdezes ? Will
biotechnology find new ways to feed humans so we don't have to overfish
the seas causing depletion of fish such as I heard has happened at one
of my favorite resorts in Perce on the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec? Will
there be a future in which a wide diversity of flora and fauna exists
and also megafauna such as grizzly bears can make a comeback? Or do
Extropian posthumans value this type of wild nature? I have mentioned
the works of Daniel Quinn such as ISHMAEL. The fictional work ISHMAEL
is about an Socratic experience of a human learning about life and the
world from a gorrila. The gorilla ISHMAEL is symbolic for the
non-human biological community in the metaphor that since homo sapiens
appeared on the scene God does not care anymore about the rest of
creation. How does a posthuman view a grizzly bear? Does the grizzly
bear have a right to exist: large expanses of wild uninhabited land in
which to roam? Cyber Ed