On our “impact” on this planet…
Reducing our impact down to the binary “bad” or “good” is not representative of our full impact.
In the big (cosmic) picture, our “impact” will mean absolutely nothing. We don’t represent even a pixel of a blip on the cosmic radar. The planet will recover from our little “flea bite,” which isn’t bad, per se. It’s just insignificant.
But we can make things “better” for other animals…
We didn’t make things “better,” for any animal, because the processes that create the “stuff” those animals eat and the environment they live in, are part of a much larger and much more complex system that would have provided for them plenty in the first place.
At least, insofar as their function to spread their genes in the process of evolution.
What some might be calling “better” is a human interpretation based on an extremely microscopic perspective of a limited window of time for those other animals, part of a large window of time from an evolutionary perspective.
And how do we know what “improved” means?
Improved, because we declared it within the space of what we are doing on this planet? Just because an animal population increased or decreased does not mean things are “better.” (Or worse, for that matter).
Maybe their population was not supposed to increase (or decrease) within that ecosystem?
You could be “right,” maybe things are better for those other animals. But how do we know? If we left that area of land alone, that the population conditions wouldn’t have improved (increased or decreased) on their own (by the same definition)?
Don’t we have a right to be here?
“Right to be here”? We are here by a cosmic accident and the evolutionary process that followed it. We had no choice but to “be here” as a species.
But don’t we have as much right as any creature to exist “comfortably”?
Define comfortably. Don’t impose a human, progressed, modernized version of “comfortable” on other creatures who also have a “right to exist comfortably” though.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m as guilty as the majority (almost all) of our species of imposing that human definition of comfort on the planet.
That said, in terms of existence, our genes sure do want to keep spreading, so us, as vessels for those genes … will sure do whatever it takes to do so. “Comfort” as we currently define it, is likely an illusion brought about by marketing and advertising, and industry. Who is to say the Neanderthal wasn’t “comfortable”? Isn’t that relative?
As to our existence, we sure do like to make our presence (our comfort, some of our science, some of our progress) felt, don’t we? 😉 Like I said, guilty because I’m human, you’re human, we’re all human. It’s hard to see the reality of that, good or bad (in binary terms).
But I think, the sooner we’re comfortable with “what is” … good, bad, or indifferent … the sooner we admit we are human (hard to do for most people because of the other baggage that contains).
Then, the sooner we can use our gift of intellect, awareness, and adaptation to make the best of this gift given to each of us, one we call life, the result of an incredible defiance of odds.