Fine for a painting, but not for a planet?

There is a principle in art conservation. “Don’t do anything that can’t be undone.”

Seems like an idea that could usefully be applied to planet earth. Specifically in three ways.

1) Don’t drive species to extinction

2) Don’t destroy a habitat that species rely on.

3) Don’t change the climate in ways that will result in the above.

Yes species occasionally go extinct all on their own. And occasionally are swept away in huge mass extinction. This is not one of those times unless we make it one. Species are not replaced in a time frame that has any meaning to human history. We have the power to impoverish ourselves irreversibly or take care of what we have. The argument on the other side would be what, exactly?

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.

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