Peter Kareiva, the chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy is well worth listening to. He recently gave a seminar at the Long Now Foundation. Stewart Brand, who hosts the Seminars About Long-term Thinking, noted this from Kareiva’s talk:
In Green rhetoric, everything in nature is described as “fragile!”—rivers, forests, the whole planet. It’s manifestly untrue. America’s eastern forest lost two of its most dominant species—the american chestnut and the passenger pigeon—and never faltered. Bikini Atoll was vaporized in an H-bomb test that boiled the ocean. When National Geographic sent a research team there recently, they found 25% more coral than was ever there before. The Deepwater Horizon oil disaster last year caused dramatically less harm to salt marshes and fisheries than expected, apparently because ocean bacteria ate most of the 5 million barrels of oil.