We humans often focus on the wrong things. Many of us are getting more and more concerned about the future of the world that we’re leaving to our children and grand-children. We can see things happening that are making the situation worse and worse, and we’re told things that need to be done and give us some hope, but these things miss the big picture. The real problem that explains why abundance of life on this planet is literally down for the count right now is quite obvious. Humans have to give Nature some room to live and prosper. We have to respect Nature. Without everything else, humans can’t live either. Let’s see what has been going on.
In human history, for whatever reason, we’ve developed the culture that humans are superior to all other life forms and that these other life forms only exist for the service of humankind. Somehow, we’ve forgotten that our human form is the result of evolution from the enormous diversity of life that this planet has supported. We are part of that diversity and can’t live without it. Also, let’s not forget that the human form is still evolving. We’re not a finished article, just one of the later versions.
This misconception that humans are the superior beings on this planet and can rule over it and do with it as we like, is the foundation of why the whole life system on this planet (including ourselves) is currently down for the count.
We often don’t want to hear about human population explosion being a problem. The graph below shows how the population of humans has literally exploded in the past few hundred years. We often say that there’s still plenty of space for more humans, but do with think at all about the rest of life on the planet? Every time humans increase in population, a number of bad things happen, like;
- taking up more of the natural space for humans to live
- clearing natural space for human agriculture (both plant based and livestock)
- over-fishing and over-consumption of wildlife
- increased emissions of pollutants that make land and waters unliveable and increase the temperature of the air
Basically, as humans expand we don’t leave space for the rest of the natural world to continue to live and prosper. Somehow, we think this is fine (because we’re the rulers and everything else is just there for us to plunder?!) but we don’t see that the destruction of the natural world is a certain death sentence for humankind as well. It’s not just the natural world that’s down for the count, it’s us too!
CO2 emissions get a lot of headlines (and they certainly should!) but it’s just one of the very serious problems we’ve created. Solving the CO2 pollution issue on its own will not save the world, we must do this along with other things. From the graph below, you can see that the meteoric increase in CO2 emissions pretty much mirrors the “rise” in humanity on this planet (although the graph below covers less than 300 years!).
Some of the other serious things that have the natural world now “down for the count” are;
- endless deforestation and destruction of native grasslands for farming
- endless conversion of natural habitats for human purposes (dwellings, farming, entertainment, etc.)
- endless pollution of natural environments (toxic chemicals, farming waste, plastics, etc.)
Probably the best way to see the effects humankind is having on the world is through the loss of biodiversity (a fancy way to say that humans are killing off species). We are constantly expanding, taking land for ourselves, eating everything, polluting and paying no regard for anything else, and the result is that other species are becoming extinct more and more rapidly. The following graphs show this clearly. Humans are wiping out other species at an exponential rate, which can’t end well. I really don’t have to say it again, but Nature (including humans) is down for the count.
Finding a way for the natural world to recover
Now for the best bit of this article. What can we do right now to give the world a chance? Here are my suggestions.
- The most important first step is for us to collectively acknowledge that we are not the rulers of the planet and cannot ride over all of the natural world as we see fit
- we are part of the natural world and we only survive if it all survives
- Give the rest of the natural world room to live and prosper
- when we take some natural land for our purposes, make sure we balance this by leaving plenty of habitat areas for other species
- every human controlled area should be a balance of human space and natural habitats
- Stop increasing our farmlands
- if we keep doing this, the only possible outcome is extinction of everything. Let’s learn to live with what we have and even less (see use10percentless.com).
- Stop pollution in all it’s forms – it’s damaging to the habitats of the other species we need in order to survive
Simple steps you can take right now.
- eat less meat
- allow a corner of your garden to go wild
- avoid takeaways and food deliveries
- eat simpler, plant-based foods grown near where you live
- avoid some travel
- avoid pesticides and synthetic fertilisers in your garden
- let your grass grow longer before cutting it, and maybe don’t cut it all
These are all really simple steps we can all take today. And, they’ll almost certainly save you some money. It doesn’t cost anything to do this.
How do we help all the life on this planet that is currently down for the count? Acknowledge that we’re part of the natural world and we only survive if it all survives. Give it a break. Give it some room to prosper. Take some simple (free!) steps as above. Let’s start the change today.
Related Links – Life, down for the count
- Extinction of convenience – from use10percentless.com
- Lockdown and Private Jets – from peterwhiting.net