gmalivuk wrote:The reason Uplift aliens are environmentalists, iirc, is because they place the highest value on sapience, and destroying an ecosystem amounts to destroying any potential presapient life forms in the process.
Sure, it's by no means meant to prove that galactic civilization *must* be strongly environmentalist, but it does give a pretty reasonable explanation as to why it *might* be.
Also, in the Uplift universe, responsible ecology management is seen as a kind of litmus test for true sapience. Advancing your own species without regards to the long-term ecological consequences of your actions is considered animalistic.
Of course, real aliens are not obliged to be like the ones depicted in the Uplift stories. OTOH, I think Brin does have some reasonably valid points. As I said in my earlier post, a species that trashes its homeworld may not be particularly welcome in a Galactic Federation, especially if planets capable of supporting life are comparatively rare. After all, you wouldn't want them roaming across the galaxy leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
Izawwlgood wrote:I haven't read the series, and that's certainly a sound logic to stand by, but surely there's a statute of limitations on that shit? I mean, am I monster for forgetting to water the plant in my office, because a million years from now that species of ivy may start experimenting with tool use and math...?
If you enjoy science fiction you ought to read at least some of the Uplift books. Brin's a good storyteller, and the Uplift universe is pretty-well thought out, although there are bound to be bits that make you wince. Wikipedia has a good page on the Uplift universe although you probably shouldn't read that page if you do want to read the novels, since it does, by necessity, contain quite a few spoilers.
Funny you should mention ivy - the possibility of sentient plant life is investigated in one of the books.