A Critique of "The Future of Life" a Book by Edward O. Wilson

In Edward O. Wilson's book, The Future of Life, he satirically portrays both sides of the environmental discussion--environmentalists and people-first critics-- and exposes the unproductive nature of their logic by emphasizing their stubborn attitudes toward the other and by mocking their childish nature. 

Wilson focuses on each side's adamant stance and refusal to accept their flaws by drawing ironic parallels between their perspectives. Their mindsets create an aura of futile discussion because both sides are blind to compromise. The critics and environmentalists jump to unwarranted conclusions and display their fault finding personalities. Critics are just lousy “hypocrites” and “corporate heads” who believe that “economic growth is always the ultimate,” the environmentalists carp out. Whereas the environmentalists are full of "hidden agendas” to which all lead to one final end-all-be-all: power. These rash generalizations reveals their hubris mindset as one of human nature's fatal flaw. As each political party declares their manifesto, their excessive pride drives them to a narrow mindness where their answer is the only solution. Pride in their solution and in their own self-righteousness hinders them from self-reflecting and realizing they are mimicking the very things they are afraid of. Environmentalists, who insinuate corruption between the court and corporate society, are striving for more power and political influence in the same society. Inflexibility of their mindsets causes a rigid discussion that can develop no further than the childlike arguments it already provides.

The humor lies in the mindset of both parties; the immaturity of the underdeveloped arguments are prevalent and serve as a bold statement that their allegations are as juvenile as they are. When children can no longer create a valid reason for their cause, they commonly resort to ad hominem: attacking another's character instead of their arguments. In the same way both assemblies, with the original intent to discuss the sustainment of the earth, focus on calling each other derogatory names; which even “differ depending on how angry we[the people-first critics] are.” Wilson plays with the common demeaning terms and even sarcastically refers to the slurs as accurate descriptions, while knowing that these terms are extremely subjective. This subjectivity appears in their rhetorics. Convinced that their own arguments are flawless, they place the blame solely on the other party and take no responsibility for their own actions; resembling the acts of two children fighting over a brand new red toy truck. In the midst of their quarrelling the parent removes the truck from both possessions. Nothing was accomplished. No discussion was made, elevated, or otherwise intellectual in any extraordinary way. No progress was made by these two children. Completely enveloped in tearing down the credibility of the other, the focus on the topic of environmentalism is lost as both parties are distracted.

No matter how noble the cause or mentality is, when two far sides absorbed in their own methods and thinking come to deliberate on topics politically, it results in empty arguments and reduces humans--even of the highest degree and status-- to squabbling children.