The question is so important I think the news should make frequent reference to it, perhaps as a mandatory tagline, e.g. “The New York Times – What We Have Done with Stardust.” I mean, doesn’t the fact that we are agents in a process that is unfolding at far greater scales than those encompassed by our own lives suggest or demand some type of greater accountability?
In the context of the environmental crisis, it is easy to find examples where the activities of humans seem to be in opposition to the creative forces of nature. Take catastrophic losses in biodiversity as a result of industrially-driven habitat destruction. As we scramble to respond, choosing groups of organisms that merit protection, and trading others for short-term gains in wealth, it is interesting to note that humans may not currently exhibit the characteristics of species we find worthy of keeping around. We don’t always provide great ecosystem services. When we are removed, ecosystems may diversify (e.g. think holocene extinctions, but in reverse).
Of course, war cries against environmental destruction are easy, and good solutions to major environmental issues are hard. But maybe there’s something else to be done. Maybe our aim should not simply be emerging victorious after a battle for own survival, but rather to grow to recognize our place in a great company of other beings.