I don’t know if like me you see the urgent need for all of us to recognize our role in the world and the enormity of humanity’s responsibility we all have as stewards of the Earth.
Given humanity’s enormous alteration of the Earth we need our Governments/ Leaders and world organisations to change the way they view the world that we all live in.
What they now call economic “growth” amounts too often to a Great Recession for the web of life we all depend on.
The need to build a culture that grows with Earth’s biological wealth instead of depleting it is more urgent than ever.
We have as a species a duty to protect it and manage it with love and intelligence. It is beautiful still, and can be even more beautiful, if we work together and care for it rather than what we have today a nightmare facing us all
It’s no longer us against ‘Nature.’ It’s we who decide what nature is what it will be.
I am tired of the well worn rhetorical trick for stirring the fears of people unperturbed by current, relatively modest changes that we are all can see are for the sake of the Financial world.
Imagine our descendants in the year 2200 or 2500. They might liken us to aliens who have treated the Earth as if it were a mere stopover for refueling, or even worse, characterize us as barbarians who would ransack their own home.
The Earth’s history shows that the planet can indeed tip from one state to another.
To underestimate the sheer scale of what is going on (caused by us) is a joke in the extreme.
A long-held religious and philosophical idea — humans as the masters of planet Earth — has turned into a stark reality.
Dam by dam, mine by mine, farm by farm and city by city is remaking the Earth before your eyes.
What are we doing about it? Let me remind you.
To date while driving uncountable numbers of species to extinction, we create new life forms through gene technology, and, soon, through synthetic biology.
We have acidified the oceans and changed global climate with our use of fossil fuels.
We have bent more than 75 percent of the ice-free land on Earth to our will.
We have built so many dams that half of the world’s river flow is regulated, stored or impeded by human-made structures.
We have transported plants and animals hither and yon as crops and livestock and as accidental stowaway.
We have cut down rain forests, moving mountains to access coal deposits and acidifying coral reefs,
We have fundamentally change the biology and the geology of the planet.
We have infuse huge quantities of synthetic chemicals and persistent waste into Earth’s metabolism. Where wilderness remains, it’s often only because exploitation is still unprofitable.
We have through industry disrupted the key biochemical cycles. For good or ill, it will do yet more.
What we do now already affects the planet of the year 3000 or even 50,000 and I can hear you saying that Humans have been changing ecosystems for millenniums. Ecosystems are not — and have never been — static entities.
However if your definition demands that nature be completely untouched by humans, there is indeed no nature left.
We need to learn to grow in different ways than with our current hyper-consumption.
We need bio-adaptive technologies to render “waste” a thing of the past, among them compostable cars and gadgets.
We need innovations tailored to the needs of the poorest, for example new plant varieties that can withstand climate change and robust iPads packed with practical agricultural advice and market information for small-scale farmers.
Global agriculture must become high-tech and organic at the same time, allowing farms to benefit from the health of natural habitats.
We need to develop technologies to recycle substances like phosphorus, a key element for fertilizers and therefore for food security.
We need to move towards “negative CO2 emissions,” e.g. by using plant residues in power plants with carbon capture and storage technology. In addition to cutting industrial CO2 emissions and protecting forests, large investments will be needed to maintain the huge carbon stocks in fertile soils, currently depleted by exploitative agricultural practices.
After years of stalemate and the infamous Copenhagen collapse, there is now at least a glimmer of hope that humanity can act together.
In Cancún, countries agreed that Earth must not warm more than 2 degrees Celsius above the average temperature level before industrialization. This level is already very risky — it implies higher temperature increases in polar regions and therefore greater chance of thawing in permafrost regions, which could release huge amounts of CO2 and methane.
The problem will not be solved soon enough to avert significant climate change unless the Earth system is a lot less prone to climate change than most scientists think. But that does not mean it will not be solved at all.
(For biodiversity, green remnants in a sea of destruction will not be enough.)
We need to build a “green infrastructure,” where organisms and genes can flow freely over vast areas and maintain biological functions.
We also need to develop geoengineering capabilities in order to be prepared for worst-case scenarios.
We need to stop Conservation management turns wild animals into a new form of pets for TV Documentaries. The impression that nowhere on earth is natural and because the concept of pervasive human-caused change may cultivate hopelessness in those dedicated to conservation and may even be an impetus for accelerated changes in land use motivated by profit. But that does not mean we inhabit an ecological hell.
We need to do far more than just hold back the tide of change and build higher and stronger fences around the Arctic, the Himalayas and the other relatively intact ecosystems.
We need to consider actively moving species at risk of extinction from climate change. We can design ecosystems to maintain wildlife, filter water and sequester carbon.
We need countries worldwide to stop striving to attain the “American Way of Life,” citizens of the West should redefine it.
We need Honesty in politics not the Hippocrates we see to-day.
We need to abolish modern-day slavery, stamp out corruption and poverty by ensuring all round equality.
We need to fight sprawl and mindless development even as we cherish the exuberant nature that can increasingly be found in our own cities, from native gardens to green roofs.
We need to pioneer a modest, renewable, mindful, and less material lifestyles.
We need to cut the consumption of industrially produced meat and changing from private vehicles to public transport.
We need to replace the wasteful fossil-fueled infrastructure of today with a system fueled by solar energy in its many forms, from artificial photosynthesis to fusion energy. Our troubles will deepen exponentially if we fail.
We need to build a world culture that grows with Earth’s biological wealth instead of depleting it. Remember, in this new era, nature is us.
We need to far surpass our current investments in science and technology.
We need to cap Greed by introducing a world aid commission of 0.05% on all High frequency trading, Sovereign wealth funds and foreign exchange transactions over $20.000$. ( See previous posts)
Finally, we need to adapt our culture to sustaining what can be called the “world organism.”
Human population will approach ten billion within the century. Between now and 2020, however, the commitments on paper must be turned into real action.
To prevent conflicts over resources and to progress towards a durable “bio-economy” will require a collaborative mission that dwarfs the Apollo program. We must invest at least as much in understanding, managing, and restoring our “green security system” — the intricate network of climate, soil, and biodiversity.
Global military expenditure reached 1,531 billion U.S. dollars in 2009, an increase of 49 percent compared to 2000.
The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed. Gandhi pointed out that To accommodate the Western lifestyle for 9 billion people, we’d need several other planets.
On a planetary scale, intelligence is something genuinely new and powerful from which the planet, and its people, cannot simply revert to the status quo. Our management and care of natural places and the millions of other species with which we share the planet could and should be improved.
We humans are becoming the dominant force for change on Earth. — This phrase was not coined by an esoteric Gaia guru, but by eminent German scientist Alexander von Humboldt some 200 years ago. Humboldt wanted us to see how deeply interlinked our lives are with the richness of nature, hoping that we would grow our capacities as a part of this world organism, not at its cost.
His message suggests we should shift our mission from crusade to management, so we can steer nature’s course symbiotically instead of enslaving the formerly natural world.
So the Question is can man create Institutions to save him from the dark forces of his own nature and from the overwhelming consequences of high technological successes.
In this disturbed world, there is nothing left that has not being touched by man who still does not have a clue how to manage the planet.
There you have it. What do you think? Don’t be shy lets have your comments, or contributions.
You must be logged in to post a comment.