Look at the world we are living in …. or rather, this planet, the Earth. Look at it as a child would – the trees and all the plants; the animals, the insects, right down to the microbes and virus; and of course the human beings too. Is it all just not amazingly beautiful?
Let’s do specifics. Right now my apple tree is blooming. All winter, it has remained dormant, just bare twigs and branches. Then as spring comes along, the buds appear which with a few warm days have blossomed out magnificently. Look a bit below the surface of the soil and there are a myriad of things going on. There are earthworms, bacteria and fungi. The root of the apple tree are interacting with all these organism. The helping fungi are drawing micro-nutrients deep beyond the reach of the roots and feeding them to the tree. In exchange the tree feeds the fungi by grabbing carbon from the air and converting carbon in the soil. Not all is rosy though. There are pathogens down there that can harm the tree too. But the tree friendly organisms and microorganisms are consuming and neutralising these pathogens. This is happening above ground too. Insects like ladybirds and lacewings are eating the aphids that can strip the tree of its leaves. The point is that nature has its way of keeping balance. Later on, the tree’s fruits will feed many other creatures (including me!). So the tree benefits nature and nature works to maintain the tree. This happens “automatically” with all living things on this planet, all interacting in a holistic system.
So what happens if a particular species no longer benefits the whole? Well, as we know several species have died off on this planet naturally (not caused by humans). You know where I’m going, it is now getting ******* scary, isn’t it?. The planet’s natural system is more powerful than any of its inhabitants. Human technology is nothing compared with Earth’s natural mechanisms. Like when Tsunami hits, we have no answer. And we know that virus can mutate fast, so our vaccines can quickly become ineffective. Extinction is a powerful concept. Especially if you are in the line of fire.
What can we do?
I believe nature has the answer if we want to remain a viable species on this planet. Not everything is clear, but lets look at a few things.
Our farming methods are creating deserts on an unprecedented scale. New regenerative farming methods can not only stop this but can reverse it. Bare soil for the planet is analogous to having parts of us that has the skin stripped off.
As the population grow, we need more resources and produce more waste. Do we really have the right to keep procreating? Denser population is also great for the spread of disease as we are closer to each other (very topical now). The habitat for other species are being shrunk too.
We generally look down on “yobs” that just throw empty beer cans on the streets. Yet as a race, that is exactly what we are doing to our planet! Other sea and land creatures a suffering as a result of plastic and other wastes.
Many have the delusion that we need more wealth. We have created a belief that want more of everything material. We feel the right to create more factories producing more goods (eg. look at the number of cars). So in the name of owning more things, we use more of the Earth’s resources and produce more waste and pollute more.
I believe that the planet has a natural mechanism that will remove or drastically reduce an offending species on this planet. This present viral episode is just a start. The planet has wiped off dinosaurs from the world quite easily. If we want to continue as a human species on this planet, we have to look at ourselves as part of the whole natural system. We need to look at how we are becoming a pathogenic species. What we can do to benefit the whole of the planet. Not just us.