In the end, we’re only hurting ourselves

Global warming is on the rise. Fossil fuels are in high demand and short supply. Plants we don’t even know exist are disappearing in droves.

Recently, headlines such as these have been joined with ones warning of a dangerous superbacteria causing deadly staph infections. These skin infections, resistant to our current antibiotics, can be spread through simple cuts and scrapes.

Before you look to Nostradamus for more signs of impending doom, check out the source of many of the problems our planet faces. Who cut down the rainforest? Who dumped pollutants into the water and soil supplies? Who harvested and used up the oil, the coal, the natural gas?


We’re not a species known for our foresight. Humans have shown, time and time again, that we’re prone to act first and think later. We always reach for the temporary gain without thinking about how it could affect the long run.

We need space for farms? Cut down some trees. Down the road, that leads to increased carbon in the atmosphere and rising temperatures.

Now, our incessant obsession with slaughtering germs has led to these superbacteria. And they aren’t responding to the antibiotics we’re so used to turning to.

No matter how many times history repeats itself, it seems humans continue to make the same mistakes. We rush forward, changing our environment without a second thought. When there’s a problem, such as global warming, we try to backtrack, cutting down on our consumption of fossil fuels and encouraging people to plant more trees.

But if we had been proactive and nurtured the plants that already lived on the earth, the ones that helped keep our planet in a delicate balance between the oxygen consumers and the carbon users, global warming might not be as far advanced as it is.

The most recent scare can be traced, at least in part, to our over-use of antibacterials. Bacteria has always existed on this planet. Some of it co-exists peacefully with humans; without bacteria in our intestines, we couldn’t digest food. On the other hand, some bacteria makes us ill. In our constant quest to rid the world of any pain or discomfort, humans jumped on the anti-bacterial bandwagon.

These products might kill modern bacteria, but the wonder of life is that it adapts. Bacteria are alive, and they will adapt and they have adapted in order to sustain their life. Killing less harmful bacteria only leads the way for the stronger bacteria that do survive.

But humans don’t think of this. Instead of easing off the antibacterial products and ending the rush to treat every ailment with antibiotics, scientists are likely to create stronger products to kill the new strains of bacteria.

It’s an endless cycle.

Humans need to stop trying to control nature; it can’t be done. Nature was here before we were, and it will outlast us. When humans have upset that balance of nature in the past, we’ve seen the chain effect it sets into motion. Sooner or later, that effect circles back to humans.

We need to stop the cycle and end the war we’ve waged on nature. In the end, we’re only hurting ourselves.

The above editorial is the consensus of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.