Arduous was requesting some good news to cheer her up, asking for one good story about the environment. Well, my comment was turning into one of a rambly sort, not really addressing her question and I figured I should unleash it here instead.
Aside from suggesting a Crunchy Chicken Cocktail for some good cheer, I didn't have anything immediate to cheer her up. But the comments in her post did make me think of how individual action or even larger improvements in certain species population doesn't really matter all that much on a global scale when looked at separately. They are all just tiny pieces in an enormously infinite pile of puzzle pieces.
Basically, it's difficult for me to look at any individual examples and see them as an arbiter of future health of the Earth. I tend to think in terms of geologic time. In other words, humanity may very well end up being akin to a giant meteor strike on the Earth.
A meteor strike affects the composition of the atmosphere, pollutes the environment, changes global climate and temperature and kills off all sorts of species, sometimes quite drastically. But, in the end, life recovers and retransforms the Earth in a variety of amazing ways. So, sure, near term things look implacable, but it would be just another chink in the geologic chain. Surprisingly, this is what cheers me up.
Humans may not survive their own fate. This would, in many ways, be a huge shame given the fact that we know of no other animal to have achieved the same sentience and intellectual power, however destructive it may turn out to be.
That intelligence just might be our undoing, but be rest assured that the damage we do is no more than what the Earth has seen in the past, nor will in the future. We are just a mere blip here on Earth. Less than a couple hundred thousand years of existence out of 4.5 billion is really not much. It's quite laughable compared to the dinosaurs.
So, why do we bother about all the little things and the individual actions? Because, I'm pretty sure that most of us would like that blip to continue for a lot longer. And, unlike a meteor strike, we do have some modicum of control over the situation. I know some of you don't believe that humans have enough "influence" to affect global climate change, but even if that were the case, why take any chances?
Feeling cheered up yet?