Nature’s not our enemy

Maryann Kopp

Man versus nature. Considering that it is the year 2007, you would think that we would have resolved this pseudo-conflict by now, but we haven’t.
Recently there was some commotion over cutting down the water supply to different agricultural businesses here in Kern County to help save a species of fish in the Kern River.
I am sure that many people think its ridiculous to interfere with “business as usual” for the sake of some little fish, but I disagree.
In this case, I am going to have to take the less popular route and side with the fish.
Before you all start throwing Styrofoam and aerosol cans at me, I would like for everyone to consider three simple questions:
1.) Do you enjoy breathing?
2.) Do you enjoy eating?
3.) Do you enjoy drinking?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, and I know I did, then you might want to take a moment to strip away all of that so-called logic you’ve accumulated over the years about how mankind is the greatest thing ever. Try to remember that, simply put, we need nature in order to survive.
Yes, hold on to your hats. We actually need oxygen. Plus, we need places to grow food. Clean water is also a plus, if there is such a thing anymore.
So what does that have to do with those little fish? I think it has a lot to do with those little fish.
I think that it’s exemplary of what probably should happen more often, and that is to take into consideration how what we do may affect our surroundings.
And not just for the present moment, as we can be terribly short sighted, but the future as well.
I can hear the yawns from here. We’ve heard it before. It’s all a bunch of tree-hugging, hippie madness, anyhow.
But think about it: Do you really think we’ll turn into some desolate, starved society by cutting off some water to save a species of fish?
What, suddenly we’re all going to be raiding stores and homes for what little bit of food is left in the entire world because of this? Is the economy going to collapse and will buildings burn?
Can we manage to put our self importance on hold for a second and realize that by doing seemingly silly things like saving fish will not lead to some catastrophic upheaval in our everyday lives?
This also goes for putting a halt on building more Wal-Marts in certain areas to protect kit foxes, which was an issue in Kern County not very long ago.
I had a discussion about it with someone, who was just outraged that we were depriving so many people of fabulous Wal-Mart jobs in order to protect an endangered species.
Can anyone spot the oxymoron in that last sentence? I can: fabulous Wal-Mart jobs.
Seriously, how many Wal-Marts does one town need? How will fewer Wal-Marts in Kern hurt hoards of people?
I understand that it’s not easy to get a decent job in this town, trust me.
But if you’re looking toward Wal-Mart to save you, then I all have to say is that you might have more to worry about than not having a job.
Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn’t mean we deserve to conquer the universe.”
I know this can mean a number of things to different people, but it seems to fit the bill in this case.
We need to get over this whole “us versus them” train of thought when it comes to preserving the world that supports our very lives.
Doing otherwise is getting us nowhere fast.