The article Saving Nature, But Only For Man by Charles Krauthammer

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Summary

The article Saving Nature, But Only For Man by Charles Krauthammer discusses the controversial issue of environmental sensitivity and the best approach to adopt in saving the Earth. Krauthammer proposes a distinction between luxuries and necessities in the environmental conservation campaign. According to him, sane environmentalism entails investing in ecological change that has a direct impact on the health and welfare of the people. A pertinent example he gave was preserving the atmosphere that influenced the reduction of other diseases such as cataracts and cancer and reduction in vegetation cover. Another pertinent example offered in the article is the reality of the greenhouse effect. These two adverse climatic effects are considered urgent since they directly affect man. At this point, Krauthammer introduces the phenomenon of sane environmentalism in which nature is assumed to serve the needs of man but on the grounds of self-preservation. It is difficult to inspire human beings to sacrifice for the earth. The author introduces the perspective of the earth as a living organism. Krauthammer added that the Gaia Theory was largely sentimental and he dismissed it by quoting the damaging effects of hurricane in Bengal. The author presented another school of thought by Protagoras that claimed, “man is the measure of all things”. The author used the example of conserving the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge at the expense of reaching into massive oil fields. His argument was that while preserving natural habitats and mating grounds for animals was important, ensuring the acquisition of new oil reserves that would save many lives was the highest priority. Krauthammer’s argument was that when it came to choosing one over the other, he would automatically choose the survival of man. In his conclusion, the author added that man had every right to be served by nature. This order could only be changed in the event that his future and that of nature clashed.

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