GRE Issue Essay 193
“At various times in the geological past, many species have become extinct as a result of natural, rather than human, processes. Thus, there is no justification for society to make extraordinary efforts, especially at a great cost in money and jobs, to save endangered species.”
It is the responsibility of humans to maintain the ecological balance of our planet by virtue of their being the most intelligent creatures on earth. Moreover, Man has the necessary power to save endangered species to ensure that the ecological balance of the Earth is not disturbed. However, there is no apparent reason for society to save endangered species at costs of money and jobs that are very high. Therefore, it is essential that society makes all possible efforts to save endangered species, but if the costs involved are sky high, then the society can choose not to save the species and save the human costs instead.
We no longer see Dinosaurs on the planet whereas they freely roamed on Earth eons ago. Has their non-existence made any difference to life on Earth? It can be accepted that their disappearance would have made some difference to the food chain as they were one of the most prominent predators. However, in today’s context their absence has no effect on the food chain existing on the planet. Similarly, it is highly probable that the extinction of a particular species of animals may be of no consequence in the future. Therefore, it would not be justified to spend an enormous amount of money in trying to save the species. On the other hand, if the species can be saved without much investment, then society should do its bit to preserve the environment and the animals that live therein.
The same line of reasoning may not hold true for certain types of plants and animals. This is because apart from providing nutrition, certain species of plants and animals have been known to have therapeutic advantages including herbal remedies. For instance, cod-liver oil is well known for its content of Omega 3 fatty acids that help you fight against heart disease, cancer, depression, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, ulcers, diabetes and a host of other diseases. Plants containing Aloe Vera have now been found to have extremely useful healing properties and all the species containing Aloe Vera are now in high demand. Therefore, society may have to make an attempt to save any of these species if they are endangered, but technology has now developed so much that one can look for other alternatives if the cost of saving these species goes beyond what society can easily afford.
There are certain natural events that are beyond the control of society. Recurring floods, storms, forest fires, climatic changes etc. may be playing havoc with the existence of certain types of rare species. There is little that society can do to contain such events in such a way that the species are preserved. There will be the requirement of pulling in maximum resources for making efforts to save every endangered species. Society will need to go to extreme extents in case of attempting to save endangered species that exist at high altitudes or at ocean floors. Therefore, in a majority of cases, society should avoid making an attempt to save endangered species that would require colossal efforts.
The fact remains that in the face of catastrophic chain effects as a result of the extinction of a particular plant or animal, it might become necessary for society to save the species. Other than this reason, there is no evident reason for which society should invest huge amounts of money and other human costs to save each and every species of plants and animals.