I think it's fair to say that mankind took a while to get going, a bit like the slow kid in the class who took a bit longer to tie his shoelaces, but boy is he convinced of his own supremacy in the field of shoelace tying now he's mastered it.
But don’t for a moment imagine that the bicycle-riding, organic-hedgerow-grazing, self-denying, 40-watt miserablists are in fact selfless crusaders for the common good. Never underestimate the sustaining pleasure in a hair shirt. Just look at George Monbiot, and witness a man who couldn’t be happier about the imminent demise of life as we know it. It’s given him purpose, prestige and celebrity: without global warming he’d be a geography teacher.
Once upon a time there was nothing, or should I say nothing that we understand; no time, no energy, no matter and all (or nothing if you prefer) was peaceful. Until about 14000000000 years ago or so; when an inconsistency, an irritation perhaps, formed in this equilibrium resulting in chaos: Nothing expanded into everything, matter and energy, particles and waves, strings began rushing, chasing, creating existence as they filled nothing with everything. That is the "everything" that we humans understand, and all that we do not - the physical world.
After expanding for a while, 10000000000 years or so, in a corner of one of hundreds of billions of galaxies, a galaxy is a sort of matter club, a loosely aligned ball of gas and debris started to coagulate, was pounded by it's neighbours and began to bury away it's heavy elements, carbon, volatiles and stabilise. And for whatever grand design theory you wish to choose, or attribute to chaos as I like to, some chemicals took their first ATCG tango and up popped "Version 1.0, life on earth" some 200000000 years later.
For 3800000000 years since life has waxed and waned on Earth; through mass extinctions, mass blossoming and cycles of warming and cooling.
So tell me, really, who the hell are we to credit ourselves with the capability of destroying this planet and ending all life? We who have been tenants of this planet for perhaps 150000 years. We are undoubtedly capable of causing our own extinction and that of some evolutionary dead ends, the panda being a good example of an animal that can't take the heat of competition. But don't kid yourself, previous dominant species were guilty of the same.
Stop making me feel guilty with your pseudo religious environmentalism, and accept that:
a. Nothing will go on for ever
b. Only through investment in technology, science and engineering will we prolong our fragile and temporary tenure, on this planet or elsewhere.
c. You always wanted to be Geography teacher, or was it RE? But you were never very good at maths (commas left from the big numbers especially for you!).