Now observe that in all the propaganda of the ecologists—amidst all their appeals to nature and pleas for “harmony with nature”— there is no discussion of man’s needs and the requirements of his survival. Man is treated as if he were an unnatural phenomenon. Man cannot survive in the kind of state of nature that the ecologists envision—i.e., on the level of sea urchins or polar bears. In that sense, man is the weakest of animals: he is born naked and unarmed, without fangs, claws, horns or “instinctual” knowledge. Physically, he would fall an easy prey, not only to the higher animals, but also to the lowest bacteria: he is the most complex organism and, in a contest of brute force, extremely fragile and vulnerable. His only weapon—his basic means of survival—is his mind.
In order to survive, man has to discover and produce everything he needs, which means that he has to alter
his background and adapt it to his needs. Nature has not equipped him
for adapting himself to his background in the manner of animals. From
the most primitive cultures to the most advanced civilizations, man has
had to manufacture things; his well-being depends on his
success at production. The lowest human tribe cannot survive without
that alleged source of pollution: fire. It is not merely symbolic that
fire was the property of the gods which Prometheus brought to man. The
ecologists are the new vultures swarming to extinguish that fire.