Maybe we are just Gaia’s ploy to put carbon back into the atmosphere…
The big stain on evolution is not us but trees. Earth evolved trees before they could be digested again. There were no insects that could break them apart. Cellulose is so robust that you cannot get all of it with micro organisms. So many of these trees fell into swamps. All this carbon became inert and could no longer be recycled into organisms. And we are the species that is destined to take care of that.
We embrace the complexity that comes from working in areas where the stakes are often very high and the choices may be imperfect.
The more fundamental issue is where authority to resolve such questions — to decide how technology may be used and by whom — should reside.
Our society has effectively outsourced the building of software that makes our world possible to a small group of engineers in an isolated corner of the country. The question is whether we also want to outsource the adjudication of some of the most consequential moral and philosophical questions of our time.
The engineering elite of Silicon Valley may know more than most about building software. But they do not know more about how society should be organized or what justice requires.