People who want to poo-poo the environmental movement are fond of making a particular argument. It goes like this:

You go on and on about how the earth is "in trouble" and "out of balance." But guess what, dude, the earth is billions of years old. Nothing we could do could hurt it.

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Yes. Right. Obviously. Though we may take ourselves out, and a good chunk of the earth’s current biodiversity with us, the planet itself will survive and eventually regenerate new species.

What I don’t get is … so what? Why does this pop up so often? What’s the force of the argument supposed to be? It mystifies me.

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