In so much as they help concentrate the global mind on the pressing existential issues of the planet it is good to have World This Day and World That Day. Today happens to be World Environment Day which is odd because everyday is environment for the planet.
Environment is what is and not a day-long phenomenon. It began with the inception of the planet and will end with its end. Earth is environment which for a long time was hostile to any life other than single-celled organisms. Modern humans have been around for a mere 200,000 years out of the total age of Earth at 4.5 billion or 4500000000. That is about 0.00444 percent of Earth’s age and we have the gumption to think that we can set one day aside for its environment.
The point of that context is to let all those interested know that we need to get over ourselves. Add to that a figure taken from the latest biomass census which says that 80 percent of all biomass on Earth is plants, dominated by land plants. Trees, as it were, rules all taxa. We may be over 7 billion but anatomically modern humans are extremely new to the planet.
I live my life ever conscious that the primary purpose of Earth and its environment is not sustain my or any life. Its raison d'être is not to make everything hospitable for sentient life. It is a piece of giant rock which has over the last four and half billion years perpetually fashioned and refashioned its physical contours and environment to be what it is now and will remain in constant flux until its final moments. A very minor example of the flux that Earth is is currently unfolding in the lava spewing out of Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano for over a month now.
So as we observe World Environment Day we must remember—as is my wont to remind frequently—that Earth could not care less if we or any sentient life inhabit it. The most charitable thing I can say is that Earth is indifferent to our existence.