A fundamental question. My answer is: no.
The belief that we can mother the evolution of planet earth is remarkably solipsistic and deeply rooted in human history. The universe and planet earth were not “designed” with humanity in mind, nor does planet earth require human intervention to evolve for another 3.5 billion years, dare I say, way beyond human extinction.
Humanity first believed the sun revolves around our planet, taking quite some time to discover the opposite is true. Underdeveloped and afraid to die, humanity fabricated over one-hundred gods, each personified as a sexist man with omnipotent powers promising an eternal after-life to the hopeless.
All before we discovered we actually live on an insignificant pale blue dot in a galaxy amongst 400 billion others, each containing 100 billion stars like our sun, each in-turn surrounded by planets like planet earth of unique compositions no papyrus scripture could foretell.
To further understand the gravitas of human ignorance and irrelevance, let’s shift our focus to micro. Microorganisms, not humans, are actually at the top of the food pyramid. A pyramid apparently too real to convey to our children.
The human body is a mere vessel for microorganisms outnumbering human cells ten to one. Microorganisms that have been around for over 4 billion years before we evolved (from fish) on our planet. Ninety percent of the biomass on earth, fundamentally affecting the evolution of our planet, is non-human, with plants, bacteria, viruses, and fungi we know very little about taking the crown.
Do we really think we can save the earth by comprehending so little about the microorganisms that eat us alive and dominate our planet?
We Are Irrelevant
Our self-indulgence has a hard time swallowing its pride. Planet Earth does not need humanity, humanity needs earth’s resources to survive.
Planet earth will recover in one thousand years after we have gone extinct, an insignificant bump in its evolution, with nothing left to signal we were ever there. Plastics will have been absorbed by nature, buildings overtaken by trees and plants as in Chernobyl, a resurgence of undisturbed wildlife, climate change reset to its natural entropic downslope.
We can and must soil earth less, if only for humanitarian downside protection. But we cannot fundamentally improve our planet’s upside. For nature’s entropy dictates available energy is always declining, the real cause of the finite lifespan of everything—a process evolving around a gradual and steady cascade of life, death, and rebirth until extinction.
Abide By Nature
More accurately, because of the incompatibility with nature’s principles, sustainability is truly a manmade sham. No presumption of infinite absolutism can map nature’s finite relativity appropriately. With its cheap and misplaced karma sold to innocent greater-fools, sustainability fundamentally violates nature’s principles that dictate the evolution of the investible assets.
Sustainability is an evolutionary oxymoron, a false positive constructed by pseudo-science doing more harm than good, expanding the fractal of human ingenuity in different ways than nature’s principles dictate it should expand. Just wait for the other evolutionary shoe to drop.
Since we have not embedded a human theory into a system, enforced by paradoxical rules compatible with nature’s principles, nothing we have done so far will systemically improve our positive contribution to nature.
Cause Conquers Consequence
We do not need to care equally about the earth and humanity, for the evolution of earth and humanity is determined by nature, with humanity’s mothering of earth today in violation of nature’s principles and damaging not helping the earth.
Nature’s law is the cause of everything. Humanity’s evolution, along with the evolution of everything else on earth, is a mere consequence of nature’s laws. In scientific terms, causation referring to the ordered state turning by the asymmetry of entropy into an unordered state as a consequence, in that direction only.
Since we cannot adjust nature’s cause or revert its impact, we can only improve our compliance with nature’s laws. So, when we deploy a human theory to comply with nature’s principles, the earth and humanity will instantly be better off.
We, humans, are the cause of our incompatibility with and our lack of adaptability to nature’s entropy in need of serious help. Meaning, a few crucial changes applied to humanity will lead to many fundamental adaptations to nature’s entropy on planet earth as a consequence. Humanity, first and foremost, not our planet requires fixing.