Humans need to think like a life-giving planet

Published on August 16th, 2013

The world has set in motion environmental trends that are threatening civilization itself. We are crossing environmental thresholds and violating deadlines set by nature. Nature is the timekeeper, but we cannot see the clock.

–   Lester Brown, author of Plan B 4.0 Saving Civilization

We human beings prove to be the most atypical species ever evolved on planet Earth. Within 100 years, we transformed this green, ecologically balanced and thriving globe into an environmental nightmare. We created the “Sixth Extinction Session” whereby an estimated 100 species suffer extinction every single day of the year. We pump our fossil fuel carbon exhaust into the biosphere at such a rate of speed that our pollution acidifies the soils and oceans of the world.

Our poisoning of the biosphere’s air creates acid rain that falls upon forests, lakes and streams – wiping out their PH balance that subsequently kills other creatures, both plant and animal, indiscriminately. Our deadly injection of 80,000 human-made chemicals into the air, land and water 24/7 unwinds the very foundation of life-based DNA on this planet. Our Genetically Modified Organisms create an insurmountable and growing nightmare for Mother Nature.

As clever as we prove ourselves, we cannot imagine the catastrophic trends we set in motion by tinkering with Nature’s systems. To think that our actions will not be met with responses proves the height of arrogance for our species.

Already, massive die-off in our oceans as to sharks, whales, reefs and other marine life threatens the delicate balance of life on Earth. Our carbon footprint, now over 400 parts per million (www.350.org), usurps our weather patterns to create “Katabatic” hurricanes like Katrina and Sandy.

Also in Plan B 4.0 Saving Civilization, Brown said, “The thinking that got us into this mess is not likely to get us out. We need a new mindset.”

Having scuba dived all over the planet in the past 50 years, I can attest that the oceans enjoyed pristine beauty up until 1960, before plastics. But today, our oceans roll in junk, plastic, metal cans, glass and trash from countless military, luxury cruise ships and pleasure crafts tossing their trash without end. Countries around the world use the oceans for a final toilet of chemicals. Mustard gas, radioactive wastes and the 80,000 chemicals we have created flow for a final resting place into our oceans.

And yet, with that knowledge, India grows by 11 million people (net gain) annually. Even China with one-child-per-woman mandates continues to add 8 million people annually via “population momentum.” The USA, the third fastest growing country in the world, is suffering water, energy and resource exhaustion. Yet it too continues to grow. Via mass immigration, we’re adding 3.1 million people annually here.

Few seem either to want or to care to understand our predicament. The science stares directly into our faces. The evidence crushes us with 18 million humans already dying off annually. The extinction rates of other creatures intensify.

But we continue our prolific fecundity without reason, without comprehension, without thought. We grow beyond carrying capacity, beyond water supplies and beyond food supplies.

To humans that care about the future, we need to start thinking like a planet. We can stop plastic debris by creating 25-cent, deposit-return international laws on all plastic leaving commercial stores. We can stop injecting 80,000 chemicals 24/7 by mandating laws to stop producing them. We can stabilize overpopulation by educating for birth control. We can form international conferences to address human population overload and how to stop it. We can change course by using our brains, ideas and actions.

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