A short semi-entertaining video about CO₂ levels and what it means now that we’ve passed the ‘acceptable limits’. We are already over 385 ppm and rising.
Some of you might be interested in reading The State of the Nation’s Ecosystems 2008. I’ve perused the links and essays found there, so here is what I want to say about “all of that”.
It’s dead evident that humans still believe that they can “manage the environment” for their own good and benefit. The emphasis here is almost exclusively human, while lip-service is (still) being paid to the non-human beings on this planet.
The premises behind this remains the same however, we’re in charge, we can “fix this” and we’ll figure this out (in time) and we can of course, make it better then it presently is. Many of us are even (stupidly) optimistic that we can create a “Green Earth” of bountiful abundance by simply planning our way “back” with a few techo-fix gizmo gadgetry solutions tossed in to “make it happen”.
Every single one of these assessments by these other humans is DEAD WRONG. Humans simply do not the knowledge, capacity, capability or technology to “manage” the Earth as they propose (on almost any level, the Biodome experiments proved this soundly). They are very good at taking from the Earth what they want however. And they can mitigate their effects if they so choose (on a limited scale), but only if there is a limited population that goes along with it.
Missing from these premises is the basic understanding that we are simply guests on this planet, we are NOT in charge and never will be. Ecosystems are vastly complex organisms that do not “respond” to our simplest demands in ways we think. Guests that trash their rooms and the go forth and trash the entire hotel and parking lot, beach front and city streets are simply unwelcome, and always will be.
For every solution humans offer, a dozen or a thousand problems are created by our so-called solutions. We may not witness them right away (or because we’re not looking or are willing to accept a compromise, again for “our” benefit), but they’re most certainly there. Civilization is a perfect example of this “solution” / “problem creating” situation.
We are not needed here and will not last much longer if we do not heed the meaning of this fact. Here is a quote from James Lovelock that is applicable here:
These worried-but-understated scientists seem positively optimistic compared to James Lovelock, who sent a video message that basically told us, “It’s too late.” Gaia’s going to heat up in order to shed us like a bad case of the fleas. He advises us to start planning for the salvaging of civilization in a world gone mad — mad in the sense of very, very angry. Letter from TÃ¤llberg: We Are Running Out of Time
The missing ethic is that we must live again in dependent cooperation with the planetary environment, instead of a “managed planet”. This simple concept is key for any future human survival. Also key is some common sense:
“I was talking to the elders in my village about climate change,” one of them recounted, “and they said, what, this is news? We have known about this for twenty years.” They knew because of changes in water availability, rain, and more. The African villagers find it almost funny that people have to fly to a meeting in Sweden because some people are only understanding this now.
It is unbelievable that we’re “still discussing climate change” by jet-setting about the world so we can look each other in the eye and say, “yep, it’s happening”. Good grief. Twenty plus years ago would have been nearly too late, now it’s just plain stupid on our part to even debate the issue. This is why I recently stated that anyone that tells you that we can “fix this” is simply deceiving (lying) to you (and themselves). We don’t even have the capacity to reach a general consensus!
Studying human behavior and the often-overlooked premises behind our modern existence is both fascinating and deeply disturbing, but only if you also study the possible future of the human race. Fleas are parasites, sucking the life-blood out of their hosts. Humans are only tiny little fleas, but even fleas can kill the host.
Lovelock’s comparison is quite correct of this present age of humans. We’ve lost the critical awareness once held by ancient humans, we’re not in charge and never will be. Therefore, we should have treated the Earth and its inhabitants with respect and molded our lifestyle and demands in accordance with this ethic. We need them if we are going to survive.
None of these points are justifiably debatable anymore. No need to fly off to Sweden, New York, Seattle or San Francisco. But how much do you want to bet we still will?