well yeah, that’s part of the point. Our species has a very diverse mix of methods of interacting with the landscape. At least in the US i find people mostly judge ‘humans’ based on our current global society and thus judge us as some kind of cancer or disease on the planet, but one way or another, despite is dominance in many ways now, it will not last very long. Other methods, while surely without problems, have persisted for thousands of years or more. And yet other methods have quickly died out due to ecosystem collapse, climate change, cultural or economic issues, etc, with others intentionally targeted for genocide because they were not convenient to someone else’s worldview. Either we will burn ourselves out, fix things, or a mix of both. Probably a mix of both. We won’t keep doing what we do now for much longer on an ecology-level much less geologic. But the good news is with tens of thousands of years of history and knowledge we’ve accumulated about ecosystems and the planet, we see there are tons of options and also lots of alternative paths. Unfortunately there’s been a concerted effort to stamp out that knowledge, which is where this topic gets even harder and possibly perilous to discuss online.
In terms of ‘impact’ we all impact and affect everything, everything affects everything, however, we in this current society that predominates on internet message boards and such, view the impact of our species as always negative, whereas in reality, it’s open ended, ‘negative’ is to some extent subjective (though it’s pretty clearly so in the current state of affairs), and we individually have at least some agency to choose what our ‘impact’ is. Amidst my impact of consuming resources and emitting some fossil fuels, i will have the ‘impact’ of my work on wetland conservation, my work to steward, restore, and heal an acre of land, my impact on other humans, my impact of gathering 40K and counting biodiversity data points for future generations to use to heal things. Is it a net positive or negative? Who knows, it depends on how we define that anyhow. But to me it seems the best route for me to take.
In terms of looking at other past and present human practices, the point here isn’t to idealize any of them, as we are all humans and all have our issues and problems and struggles, rather it’s to point out that our current way of doing things, while pervasive and quite damaging, just grew out of one way of producing food and society in one corner of the world, spread virally across the planet, and will burn itself out one way or another. The more we can learn and adapt using the vast diversity of human knowledge and culture, along with all other forms of diversity, the better we will do I think.
Translating that all into actionable items… I’m still working on that.