As humans we often see ourselves as the top dogs, the apex predator of Earth. But how can we say that we are the apex of Earth when the Earth holds all the power over our lives? By separating ourselves from the natural world and using man-made technology to attempt to suppress the power of nature, we are denying the fact that we are not in control.
Humans are incredibly bad at admitting that we are not in control of our surroundings and this has been true since the dawn of humans. Throughout the history of man, we have grown to distance ourselves from the natural world. If we look back into our past, into ancient history, we can see how everything we did was a slow buildup to us being apart from nature. For instance, if we look at where and how we lived thousands of years ago, we can see how we are pushing nature away. Thousands of years ago people lived in small shelters made of natural materials that gave them clear access to nature. They truly lived off the natural world, with hunting and gathering and wearing completely natural materials. Slowly through time, people became more concerned with their homes being a barrier between them and nature and what was on the outside.
While our housing has had a huge impact on how we live in the world, what helped us to be able to “protect” ourselves from nature is the massive and irreversible progress of technology. Technology has progressed to the point where we are able to predetermine what the forces of nature are about to do. Many of these technologies have developed to the point where we can save ourselves from oncoming natural disasters. These technologies are not something to be feared. They have saved countless numbers of lives and we cannot argue that we appreciate these technologies. We come to an issue when we begin to attempt to change the patterns of nature with technology we have created.
As humans we are used to seeing ourselves as the single powerhouse of Earth. We give ourselves a false sense of security by claiming that we are in control of what happens on Earth. As humans, we love to claim that we are always in control. While often we are in control, we are also lying to ourselves when it comes to the natural world. For example, there is a volcano in Hawaii that is currently erupting and causing all sorts of chaos for the residents who live near it. For the past week or so, lava has been flowing unimpeded through farm land and residential areas, covering nearly four-square miles of area. There is truly nothing we can do to help the people whose cars, homes, and lives have been engulfed in countless tons of molten lava.
Looking back on the history of humans, we can see how we have always made excuses for being in control of nature. We have used religion as a deterrence of the power of nature for thousands of years. I am not sure if we will ever get to the point where we accept that we are truly at the mercy of nature and the elements of the Earth, but we are at a pivotal in our existence. Earth is changing at a drastic rate and for as much as we can predict what will happen in the next 50 years, we truly will not know until we experience what is to come.