As part of the Perspectives series, BBC Religion and Ethics asked two contributors to BBC One's religious debate programme The Big Questions to develop some of the issues.
Richard D North is a writer, broadcaster and commentator. He is a fellow of the Social Affairs Unit and media fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs, a free market think tank. In the late '80s he was the Independent's (and then the Sunday Times') environment and developing world columnist.
Richard: I do think man has been good for his planet. I don't really think it is our planet, nor that God - whoever or whatever that is - gave us dominion over it. But we are the most powerful, or anyway dominating, species on Earth and I don't at all mind that.
We have added a quite fresh kind of consciousness to the biosphere, and I think its cathedrals, cities, gardens, orchards and farms, as well as the web of trade and airline routes and ideas and stories are an adornment.
We have done damage, for sure. But much of it is reparable, given time and energy, and these will probably be forthcoming. In the cases of climate change and disease, we may have already or may soon unleash what we cannot survive or repair. If this turns out to be the case, which I doubt, the planet will spin on very well without us.
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