Environmentalists... Now there's a group of people who have it backwards. They have this ideology: Stop people from ruining the world. It's bold, it's noble, it's a cause and to some extent it makes sense. So what do I mean, "Backwards?"
We are the riders on this planet... not the other way around! We are a product of it, and by that token, anything we do is a product of nature itself. To think that we have that much influence over it is absurd. We may destroy ourselves, things we do may cause extinctions, pollution, and all of that stuff, yes, but the planet will adapt and go on, long after we've killed ourselves with our own advances.
It's au natural!
According to Bill Bryson in A Short History of nearly Everything, volcanoes spew out more pollutants in one year than the entire human race has since the Industrial Revolution. In another interesting tidbit, he cites, "99.99% of all species that ever lived are no longer with us." he also says, "For complex organisms, the average lifespan of a species is only about 4 million years-- roughly about where we [the human race] are now."
Where it makes sense
This is not to say we shouldn't be careful or worried about our own actions. As stated above, we're at the end of our run as a species and I'd hate to think that we're going to poison ourseves simply because we are too lazy or greedy to fix it. We have to view it from the correct angle though if we aren't planning on deluding ourselves. The saying, "everything in moderation" applies to the rest of our lives as much as it does eating and drinking.
A case in point
I used to know this guy, Jeff, who was really big on Ethanol. He toured the country with a robot, visiting schools, he had a radio spot locally, and he set up homes on his property the used strictly Ethanol for heat. (It's probably safe to say that anyone who went to seminars about bio-fuels probably heard Jeff speak) I remember him giving me his spiel one day at his house and I remembered thinking, "he's exchanging one pollution for another. That's not really a fix, that's just putting off the inevitable". Then when I had the opportunity, I told him so. He didn't like that. Oh he didn't get angry or anything like that, but he wouldn't see it any other way. now with fuel cell technology whose only exhaust is H2O, I see the same problem. People think, "oh water can't be a pollutant" but try telling that to New Orleans! I foresee a future of massive rainstorms and record humidity levels. I say again, "Everything in moderation."