Posts tagged loss of diversity
Some parts of this are stunningly beautiful and others will stop your heart in painful grief.
This is a non-commercial attempt from http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/ to highlight the fact that world leaders, irresponsible corporates and mindless ‘consumers’ are combining to destroy life on earth. It is dedicated to all who died fighting for the planet and those whose lives are on the line today. The cut was put together by Vivek Chauhan, a young film maker, together with naturalists working with the Sanctuary Asia network (http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/).
“For millions of years the earth has drifted thought space. Through that time she has taken many forms. Many different forms of life evolved and some still exist and more than could be counted are no more. The time of the human race is but a mere tick in the time of the earth. If by our actions we destroy the fragile conditions needed for our survival. The earth is not the one that will be no more.”
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.”
- Cree Indian Prophecy –
Cree are one of the largest group of indigenous peoples of North America, located mainly across Canada, and historically in the United States from Minnesota westward but are found today in Montana.
“More than just a symbol for the
Galapagos, Lonesome George was a symbol of our global never-ending struggle to
preserve the richness and diversity and beauty of the planet we inherited,” an open letter published by the
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says.
BBC News 28 June, 2012 Matt Bardo, Reporter
We did most certainly NOT inherit the Earth. It is this anthropocentric belief, handed
down and bolstered by the Christian Church among others that has become the
root rot which has blinded us to our true nature: one among many, the outer
ring of sensors born out of our higher selves – Gaia, the living, loving Earth.
Romney Energy Plan Includes Drilling ‘Virtually Every Part’ of U.S., No Protections for National Parks
By Jessica Goad
Nation of Change
This has been my fear all along and much more than really sad. Our National, State, County and city parks are the heart and soul of our country. They stand in testimony of what we respect and hold dear, hold as our treasure. They are that part of ourselves that we admire and hold dear. They must be protected. That’s why they are “public” lands.
“This morning’s Washington Post sheds more light on Romney’s energy plan, including the fact that he would open up “virtually every part ofU.S.lands and waters” to drilling regardless of whether they are national parks, national monuments, or protected in some other way. As the Post reports:
Asked whether any place would be off limits for oil drilling, campaign spokesman Andrea Saul said, “Governor Romney will permit drilling wherever it can be done safely, taking into account local concerns.”
Current law sets some public lands and waters off limits to drilling, including national parks, national monuments, and wilderness areas. These places are protected for other uses like hunting, fishing, sightseeing, and recreation.”
“Saul’s caveat that Romney would promote drilling if it could be done safely makes little sense considering that safe drilling has thus far eluded oil and gas companies. Most oil drilling involves the use of “drilling muds” that can include toxic chemicals. Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas involves pumping thousands of gallons of chemicals underground to stimulate wells. And all drilling produces contaminated water as a byproduct that must be disposed of. Additionally, oil spill are not uncommon—for example, a report from USA Today found an average of 22 large spills offshore every year between 2005 and 2009.”
Drought fears for Midlands and south-west England
“Farmers in East Anglia are unlikely to be allowed to draw water from the ground or rivers to irrigate crops. Some are reporting crop reductions of between 20-50%, in vegetables like onions and carrots.
Extra capacity is being found in other areas of the country.
Environment Agency water resources head Trevor Bishop told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme the situation was becoming more serious.
‘If we see a continuation of dry weather, which is now very likely, these conditions will probably extend further westward over the next couple of months.’”
I suggest we reconsider taking on the responsibility of “feeding the world.” I repeat, we do not have the problem of lack of food or lack of growing areas where food is needed. The problem is largely twofold.  Too many people live where they have “eaten out their environment”  Exploitation by the wealthy who own large tracts of land and grow food for export to enable the well to do to gobble out of season fruit and vegetables. Surely if we plough up marginal land here to feed them there, then they will continue to make more and more children until we all be in the same boat.
A few questions. Where will the water come to increase global food? Where will the water come from to water the millions of trees needed to reduce CO2 to stabilize the climate so droughts can be reduced? Now that food has become a global commodity in a global market, can we expect the food sector to favour reducing demand by backing efforts to restrain population growth? Of course not. Except for China, when have you read about a government encouraging the limitation of population growth? I suggest that most governments are now driven by the business attitudes that favour more people. They would wouldn’t they?
Regulators are interesting devices. Voltage regulators, for instance keep a constant voltage level to a voltage output. Regulators are vital to the function of a diesel engine driving a generator because when the regulation fails, the engine “runs away” and explodes.
Perhaps a corporate structure lacks a “regulator.” Is there a corporate concept of “enough profit?” Do corporate executives ever make “enough”?
Can you imagine this statement being made by a corporate executive to the board? “Well, we need to decrease our output and consider that we have made enough profit this year. Our procurement policy is overdriving supply to the detriment of both the organisations and dependent environment.” Sound familiar? Of course not.
I’m just rereading a letter sent to the government of Slovenia from James Hansen, one of my heroes. Read it here if you will.
“The most basic matter is not one of economics, however. It is a matter of morality – a matter of intergenerational justice. As with the earlier great moral issue of slavery, an injustice done by one race of humans to another, so the injustice of one generation to all those to come must stir the public’s conscience to the point of action.”
Intergenerational justice. I often consider starting my memoirs so that my grandchildren might know who I was and what I thought. Why? Well, I know very little about my Grandfather McCain and I often wonder now what he thought about things. Who was he really?
However, will my grandchildren ask, “Was our welfare important enough to you that you cared enough to speak out during your life against the wanton destruction of our way of life?
You could see clearly what was happening and how things would turn out when we were too young to either realise it or speak out. Did you lift a finger on our behalf?”
I’m reading a fascinating book by Dennis Noble called “The Music of Life.” I’ve learned that the popular view named genetic determination is not all it is cracked up to be. It is one of the many paths followed by those who operate in the reductionist paradigm. Reductionists sometimes remind me of a – paint by the numbers set – where you complete it and viola! you have become a painter. All right, a lot has been discovered and can be learned via the methodology but unfortunately, the method is too often used in a situation that calls for more than reductionism can supply. Reductionism is then overextended and supplies incorrect or at least limited viewpoints. Dennis is taking me through some carefully thought out arguments pointing out deficiencies of genetic determinism. Along the way, I’m able to sometimes review and often discover lots of information about genes and how our human organism works. I can’t wait to get back to the book.
Genes are tied closely with diversity. As organisms we are diverse. No two people look exactly the same. There are thousands, maybe millions of smaller organisms and single cell beings thriving [there are always some dying and some being born] within us. Diversity allows us to adapt to changes in our external [I mean conditions outside our skin] environment.
Thinking about this led me to thoughts of how would I look at diversity if I could think and see like a planet. Or, what does diversity mean to Gaia?
Let me suggest some possibilities. Maybe we and other life-forms act somewhat like planetary genes. We use a word – biodiversity, to mean the variability among living organisms on the earth. Our genetic diversity obviously assists us in adapting to a changing environment. I, and I expect you also, have probably agreed in a past discussion that some life-form will probably survive a nuclear holocaust. I suspect it will be difficult to snuff out roaches. So, surely it is not outrageous to suspect that biodiversity will assist Gaia in the same way.
We expect our genes and proteins to continue to develop antibodies to rid our organs of infection. Unfortunately, in many cases we have not learned to cope very well with cancer, a process wherein a normal cell goes somehow out of control and refuses to just do its function but just multiplies and multiplies and often breaks off and travels to other organs where it does the same thing until we die. The trouble is we don’t seem to be able to develop an antibody because evidently our higher functions just don’t seem to recognize that there is a problem.
At this point, there appears to me to be an analogy, a correspondence or partial similarity, to the relationship of millions of homo sapiens sapiens to its next higher order of organisation, Earth. One, we have been steadily wiping out other species for years and don’t seem to care. So what, like what are they doing here anyway? They are just lower life-forms that did not make it to where we are – the very pinnacle of evolutionary success. This seems to be the prevailing attitude. Our genes and DNA are vital to our future and so is biodiversity to Gaia. Two, cancer cells multiply out of control and so do we. If you don’t think so, please let me in on the evidence of a slowing down. The latest official current world population estimate, for mid-year 2010, is estimated at 6,852,472,823. 6.8 billion. And, the best estimate I’ve found is that 9.4 billion people who will call Earth home in 2050. So, that’s a 38% increase in population in next 40 years.
All other Earthen species that multiply that fast eat out their environment and simply die until a balance of beings and food is achieved. Obviously no other Earthen species has ever before learned to colonize other species to the extent that we have. We deplete seafood and then turn to fish farms. [We can even eat organic fish from farms] A few thousand years ago we decided that it was moral for us to breed farm animals for no other reason than to feed us.
We have and still do chop forests, even huge rainforests ,which are the lungs of the world, to grow food for humans, [or to feed cows for food for humans] kill thousands of buffalo and then plough the prairies for food. We pump up scarce water to nourish food for humans grown in semi-deserts. We even grow stuff hanging from strings into a chemical solution to eat. Soon some of us will be eating meat from large Petri dishes. We could never have come to this without the wanton destruction of diversity in almost all bio-systems.
One last thought. Perhaps Gaia will summon enough of its genetic structure to rid itself of the present danger by in some mysterious way bringing forth either a paradigm change of human behaviour or another species that will study Gaia’s way of being life and work alongside rather than against Nature, or whatever these beings call their Mother.
By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
Tuesday 21 June, 2011
“The world’s oceans are faced with an unprecedented loss of species comparable to the great mass extinctions of prehistory, a major report suggests today. The seas are degenerating far faster than anyone has predicted, the report says, because of the cumulative impact of a number of severe individual stresses, ranging from climate warming and sea-water acidification, to widespread chemical pollution and gross overfishing.”
I’ve been watching, pondering waiting for inspiration: waiting for something positive to say. However, I have given up. I don’t even have anything useful to say let alone do. Yes, I know, despair is NOT the answer. But the array of forces steadily wounding Gaia is so well entrenched. Multinational business control so much. Where would we start with resisting? I suppose I need help, retraining. Maybe I need to be recruited. It seems as a species we have a challenge never before presented to us – the need to cooperate instead of competing. But we have not learned how to be peaceful. We still spend billions on weapons, millions on aircraft and automobiles and award our multinational business executives obscene salaries and benefits as an award for desecrating the very ground of our being. AHH, yes we know where the problem lies, but will we come together, cooperate to resist effectively? Not so far.
What about you? How do you cope with the knowledge that day after day the death knell rings louder for the greater part of you, the part from which your life sprang into focus, the part that nourishes, sustains and brings you the joy of just being?