As an ecologist, I suffer under a certain bi-polarity. On then one hand, I’m in love with the beauty and fragility and diversity and stunning intricacy of the biosphere. It pains me to watch as we dismantle its delicate machinery. On the other hand, I realize the earth itself is oblivious. She is merely an observer, a tolerant and indifferent host who doesn’t try to control her guests. She sits in the kitchen playing solitaire while we trash her house: wreck the furniture, tear out the plumbing, empty the closets and destroy her clothes. Because in the end, she knows time is on her side. When we are satiated, she’ll simply open the doors sweep us out into the ether…then prepare her next party.
The earth has seen it all before. She’d built and lost environments and civilizations many times before we came along, all in supreme indifference. Our fear and alarm (where it exists) over destruction of the biosphere is about ourselves, not about the earth. It’s about our hubris in thinking that we are somehow special, the pinnacle of evolution’s achievement (or God’s, per your point of view). I suppose Tyrannosaurs thought they were special, too. But all it took to bring them down was a meteor and a few thousand years of nuclear winter.