5 years ago

Humans Are Animals — Yet Crucially We Are Something More | T.C. Boyle

Big Think
Big Think
If you want to know what separates animals from humans, look no further than this meditation on life from American novelist T.C. Boyle. The author says nature obsesses him and renews him. Boyle's latest book is "The Terranauts: A Novel" (https://goo.gl/kcPQBk).

Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/tc-boyle-on-writing-and-the-human-animal

Follow Big Think here:
YouTube: http://goo.gl/CPTsV5
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BigThinkdotcom
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bigthink

Transcript - There is no hope whatsoever. Our species will be extinguished probably in a couple of generations, maybe even before that depending upon the microbes of the world. And of course the potential for nuclear war, not to mention, as in my short story Chichaloob, when that comment comes back again. So we're all doomed; everything sucks; I have no good news for anybody. Other authors want to make their audience feel good, I want everybody to feel really bad. Just joking. I'm writing about environments. It obsesses me. Our place as a species on this planet we are animals and yet we're something else too. How did those two elements of us intersect and what does it mean for this environment?

People say save the earth. Well, the earth as far as we know will be here for another three and a half billion years until, of course, the sun becomes a yellow giant and burns us to a sender like a charcoal briquette. But really what the environmentalists are saying is let's save the planet under the conditions that allowed our species to arise. Well, of course, we're not doing this. In 2000 I wrote A Friend of the Earth about global warming. Well here we are. I wish I had better news. What sustains me mentally? Although after this interview people may question whether I have been sustained mentally, is nature and my art. When I'm doing my art I am revolving these questions in my mind I don't begin with a political point I just let it flow and see what it is. And secondly, being in nature. I'm in nature a lot. Within a week ago I was in the high Sierras every day by myself sitting by a creek deep in the woods just meditating good on things like the joy of being an animal in nature, of smelling the breeze, of listening to the water, of seeing the various critters that are coming by. There is a lot of wildlife in the Sierra Nevada. I go out every day and I see things like ants and biting flies. Read Full Transcript Here: https://goo.gl/5qT5jG.