Letter to the Editors: Dec. 20, 2019

Dear Prowler staff,

In the November 8 issue, the Panther Prowler published an opinion article titled “Humans are parasites” in which author Rahul D’Souza advocates giving up on fighting climate change. The article drastically misunderstands the impacts of the climate crisis and dangerously suggests that it is not a problem we should be concerned about.

D’Souza claims that climate change is simply a mechanism to wipe out humans, an ill-adapted “parasitic” species that the world would be better off without, and we should let it happen. I understand the thought process behind D’Souza’s argument; in moments of deep climate despair, I’ve even felt it myself. But this stance comes form a place of privilege that is able to ignore human impacts under the guise of some higher perspective. 

D’Souza states, “All we’re doing is making the Earth eventually uninhabitable for humans.” He is able to disregard the impacts of climate change because he views them as “eventual.” But many people have already seen their homes become uninhabitable. While he tells people to stop fighting and give in, other people, disproportionately people of color from low income communities and developing countries, are being displaced by sea level rise, dying in fires, losing their homes to hurricanes, and suffering from famines and droughts. D’Souza’s decision to give up is a decision that he will not have to bear the consequences of, but others will.

Secondly, D’Souza claims that “humans have had no positive impact on the environment, contributing nothing to the ecosystem.” This is blatantly false. Populations of people around the world have expertly managed ecosystems for thousands of years in order to live harmoniously with them. D’Souza also ignores the fact that not all humans are causing this problem, but rather a select population.

Lastly, he states “If Earth loses a couple icebergs along the way, it’s a small price to pay.” This is a misleading understatement that seriously ignores the extent of damage climate change will cause. We’ve lost significant portions of sea ice and glaciers already, which can shape the physical landscape of earth. Already, thousands of species have gone extinct from drastic human-caused global change. If we allow climate change to continue, hundreds of thousands more species will be its victims. If you think losing the human species is best for the earth, you have to be willing to lose thousands of others in the process.

This just scratches the surface of my issues with the article, but all in all, being a climate defeatist is no better than being a climate denialist. I agree, humans have caused incredible harm to the environment, but that does not mean you can give up. It also does not necessarily mean the world would be better off without us; in fact, this is an incredibly complex idea that was never explained or justified in the article. Climate change does not have to lead to our extinction because we know how to fix this problem. Nobody should advocate to “just let the climate change,” and we must consider how this global problem affects people today.

All the best,

Lindsay Filgas

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