“Nature is perfect at the plate, and she owns the stadium” is a great analogy for the kind of fight we’re facing right now with the ecological crisis, but it also holds a defeatist sentiment that is somewhat difficult to reconcile; are we just supposed to give up? The short answer is: no. The two groups discussed in Thiele’s piece “Geoengineering and sustainability” at least agree that humans shouldn’t give up on trying to save our planet, but the Gaians and the Prometheans come to different conclusions on how exactly we should go about it; either through traditional means that preserve the natural features of the planet or through geoengineering, a newer field of technology that involves large scale operations to diminish some of the effects of the climate crisis.. As one can probably tell from the names, the Gaians, at the most basic level, care about preserving Earth’s natural features, while Prometheans believe that through the technological advancement of geoengineering we can help ourselves to survive, much like the mythical Greek figures of the same names. Thiele also went about accentuating the main points of both parties to make the common ground found between the two more apparent, so not all Gaians are as defeatist as the opening quote, and not all Prometheans are as calloused to disregard the spiritual value that the Earth holds for so many. The common ground found between the two is current sustainability. Sustainability is not large-scale changes like geoengineering, but it is still a way to combat climate change, which satisfies the Gaians, but also the technological advancement that is valued by the Prometheans is satisfied by how much research is going into our efforts.
Thiele’s piece is a very important and prevalent piece for today, as there are plenty of avenues that we can pursue to solve aspects of the ecological crisis, but because of the amount of disagreement, moving forward is difficult. His efforts towards bringing the two sides together are really what we need; even if Mother Nature bats perfect and owns the stadium, if we play as a team we can hold her to only a few runs instead of her 10-running us in the first inning.
Leslie Paul Thiele (2019) Geoengineering and sustainability, Environmental Politics, 28:3, 460-479, DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2018.1449602