Environmentalists often say that activities of humans are destroying the environment. This is a misuse of the english language. Activities of humans often change the environment. But it is very rare for activities of humans to destroy the environment.
For example, suppose humans discharge sewage into a river. The sewage contains much nitrates and phosphates. The nitrates and phosphates promote the growth of algae and other plants. The water becomes less oxygenated. Many fish die from lack of oxygen. The environmentalists say the river ecosystem is destroyed and is now dead. But the river is full of healthy algae. The river probably contains more biomass than before. An ecosystem with more biomass usually contains more species. However, when an ecosystem changes quickly, the old species probably die quickly, while new species will colonize the ecosystem slowly. So the number of species in the river will probably decrease at first, then slowly increase. Eventually the number of species in the river will probably be larger than before. The river is certainly changed. But the river is not destroyed. The river is not dead.
The next time you hear some environmentalist complaining that activities of humans are destroying the environment, ask him when was the last time he destroyed his underwear.
Why do environmentalists say destroy when they should say change? Are environmentalists too stupid to understand the difference between change and destruction? Are environmentalists exaggerating to scare people?
Perhaps the real reason is that environmentalists do not want to admit that environmentalists are judging that one environment is better than another environment. But why is it better? Perhaps there are some people who think the other environment is better. Perhaps there should be a debate about which environment is better. And who should decide which environment is better?
If the environmentalists admitted that the environmentalists are judging that one environment is better than another environment, then more people would want to know why one environment is better, more people would want a debate about which environment is better, and more people would want to participate in the decision about which environment is better.
Environmentalists want the power to decide what the environment should be. In other words, environmentalists want to control nature. Environmentalists oppose any change to the environment by anyone other than environmentalists because if other people were allowed to change the environment, then environmentalists would have less control of nature.
Some environmentalists do not care about the environment, but do want to control other people, and environmentalism is a convenient excuse for controlling other people.
In other words, when environmentalists oppose pollution by other people, the environmentalists are not opposed to the pollution. The environmentalists are opposed to the other people.