Civilization's relationship spectrum with nature

A spectrum of human civilization's relationship with the nature world ecosystem might be described as: predatory on (hunter-gatherer) - ignoring passerby - observing & describing - custodial husbandry of - nurturing rejuvenation of.

All these aspects seem to go on at various times and places. Sometimes the predatory aspect is rampant, where mankind just ravages the ecosystem locally to grab food and materials for survival, then of accumulation of wealth and power far beyond that of need for survival. This is ongoing without limit until bumping up against other people also claiming territory of predator-ship on nature, or limits from resource exhaustion.

At such times mankind's intelligence seems to switch from a cunning rip-off mode, to act more responsibly toward that which has become essential to existence. Individuals and small groups do these things somewhat unintelligently to the unified larger whole of the world ecosystem. The world of nature is as a passive participant in the relationship, whereas the world of humans is mostly as an aggressor in it. In the past, nature was not always so; Leopards were predator on humans for eons, as well as microbe parasites internally, as they still do at times. Wind and water still rage against mankind's structures at times, as done long ago, but wide rivers are now crossed by longer bridges, and oceans are crossed far overhead by passengers in aircraft.

As relationships can be also considered processes, life's processes include both inputs and outputs, not inputs alone. Byproducts and worn out discards do happen. In the past, the world of nature included humans, whose outputs were much like those of other animals, thus absorbed and used by other kinds of living creatures of the overall ecosystem, a total recycling process. Cities eventually created sewage collection and treatment systems needed to prevent excessive corruption of the local and distant ecosystem. Industrial processes, so very necessary to modern civilization's existence and processes, often produce byproducts that the rest of the world of nature cannot recycle in time frames of immediate interest; for examples, common glass bottles take 250,000 years to devitrify by the action of water on it; various radioactive byproducts take days to millennia to eons to drop to half quantity; and some toxic byproducts spread even at the bottom of the vast oceans to be eaten and passed up the food chain even reaching the top predators of the Arctic Polar Bears, who are now headed for extinction due to this inadvertent poisoning by mankind's industrial fouling of the world nest. The sudden ongoing warming of the planet is destroying the ice world the Polar Bears are part of, so their very underfoot support is crumbling from under them.

Mankind is also a top predator, and would do well to intelligently lean hard into the supportive direction of civilization and nurture the world of nature, lest become mere another top predator extinct, the supportive ecosystem no longer nurturing adequately having become toxic due to the wastes laced into it unconverted, as is happening to the Polar Bears.

How does a loose band of top predators unite to become efficient custodial supportive nurturers of the larger world of nature? Polar Bears were not smart enough to do it; are people?

Perhaps a way to deal with this problem is to bring in the world ecosystem into the mental frame of mind pervading the present thrust of business politics, by assigning "value" and "ownership" identities to the various aspects of the world ecosystem and its complex factors. Thus a healthier ecosystem would have a higher value than would a sick ecosystem in which resources falter and people die due to lack of provisions from an ecosystem that no longer can provide. And "ownership" of the world ecosystem being assigned to all members of that ecosystem, including individual people and corporate entities. Nations would "own" their territory and be responsible for its overall health long term.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home