[For anyone reading that twice, sorry, testing new blog software in my mobile…]
So it would seem that overexploitation is the very sin of humanity, that seed of evil residing deep in our souls, ultimately pitching us against nature and thus, terribly but irresistibly, dooming us to death if we do not repent.
Then again, maybe this picture is incomplete. Maybe over-exploitation is not a form of destroying nature, but just one strategy inside the overall ecology — and thus very much a part of nature itself.
The idea is that overexploitation can be seen as an adaptive trait of the human species. Overexploitation may be one strategy to increase our fitness, and not really a lemming-like straight road to extinction.
The mechanism would be something like the following. Exert pressure over your current ecological niche, until the niche becomes seriously compromised. While it recovers, exploit other niches, presumably with the same technique. Return whenever the niche reconstitutes itself, but now free of competition, expecting any other animal that is dependent upon (and thus competing for) the same resources as you to be gone.
Of course, this works only if you are better at changing niches than other animals. As fossil evidence seems to imply, this is very much the case and has been so for quite some time.
For sure, this is a treacherous strategy, but we have all the reason to believe ecological competition to be treacherous.
And lastly, it is good to point that this strategy would probably work best as a cautionary measure — that is, not something to be attempted upon the arrival of competition, but just done periodically anyway, because if there is actual competition that is more fit it might block your attempt at unbalancing the environment once the resources become too low: you are forced to run before your competition are forced to starve.
Do i mean that “going green” is a bad idea? I do not really have any interest into this question, actually. I just want to show that everything is much more complex than it might seem on first look.