Re: Ch. 2 - The Bottleneck
Humanity did not descend as angelic beings into this world. Nor are we aliens who colonized Earth. We evolved here, one among many species, across millions of years, and exist as one organic miracle linked to others. The natural environment we treat with such unnecessary ignorance and recklessness was our cradle and nursery, our school, and remains our one and only home. To its special conditions we are intimately adapted in every one of the bodily fibers and biochemical transactions that gives us life.
That is the essence of environmentalism. It is the guiding principle of those devoted to the health of the planet. But it is not yet a general worldview, evidently not yet compelling enough to distract many people away from the primal diversions of sport, politics, religion, and private wealth. Pg. 40
Here is Wilson providing a succinct description of the 'essence of environmentalism': a brilliantly informed portrait of who we are, where we come from, and what we are to do. The "what we are to do" component involves the universal environmental ethic
he is attempting to produce with this book.
And, it is an issue of devotion and healing, of interconnectedness and individual sacrifice, of humility and reverence for the fragile yet superabundant bioshpere that miraculously continues to foster life.
Wilson argues that we have stumbled into this bottleneck of too many mouths and too little nutrients by way of our evolutionary processes:
The reason is simple: it is a hardwired part of our Paleolithic heritage. For hundreds of millennia, those who worked for short-term gain within a small circle of relatives and friends lived longer and left more offspring