Nature as a life support system

Why care about nature?

Ant and Willow Tree renew air. water and soil that you may live.

Ant and Willow tree renew air, water and soil that you may live.

Suppose you are living in a base on the moon.  You appreciate oxygen, water and food directly relate to your survival on the moon.  If toxic fuel polluted oxygen, water and food you would worry about surviving on the moon, including if any of these resources ran out.

The basic building blocks of life on earth are air, water and soil.  Like my moon example the air, water and soil on earth are the life support systems of human survival, pollute or lose these resources, you die.

Even if you are low IQ by doing without water after a few days, or holding your breath a few minutes, you recognise you need air and water to survive.  How long can you last with no food? Soil is the main foundation of food production.  Soil is like a battery, you know that your torch eventually sucks the energy out of your battery, and soil has a similar finite stored potential energy that needs recharging like any battery. No vitality in the soil means no food, you starve, you die.

Water, air and soil are energy systems. Prosperity, defined as health, happiness and abundance, builds upon the foundation of water, air and soil.  At any moment you can call upon a finite amount of water, air and soil, once this is gone in your location you will suffer sickness then die.  You appreciate that this finite resource of water, air and soil needs replacing, which requires unhindered flow of replacement water as rain, air from winds, and soil from animal waste or plant decomposition.  You also appreciate water, air and soil need renewal: thus water evaporates and precipitates; trees recycle oxygen; earthworms, bacteria and fungi breakdown waste into basic nutrients in the soil for plants to reuse.

Here is a water aquifer, no water, no life.  If you drain all the water from the water aquifer, no water, no life.  If you pollute the water aquifer, sick water, no life.  If you stop the flow of water to the water aquifer, via dam, blocking stream or river, obstruction with concrete, no water, no life.  If you destroy trees, plant concrete that causes massive evaporation, you disrupt renewing rains to the water aquifer, no water, no life.

Stupid humanity, blinded by hubris, ignorance and control, determined to suck dry its water aquifers, pollute its water aquifers, disrupt motion of water to its water aquifers and undermine the renewal process of water aquifers.  No water, no food, can humanity drink or eat oil, arsenic or dust to survive?

The lowly ant and the lonely willow tree appear useless to any onlooker, but the ant and willow tree are part of the renewal process of air, water and soil.  Destroy the ant and willow tree: you thirst, starve and suffocate; they are part of the web of life; they renew water, air and soil.  Why should you care about nature, the ant and willow tree? Because you die if you misuse and abuse anything that contributes to the renewal process of air, water and soil.


21 responses to “Nature as a life support system

  1. I don’t know where I read but it was so true that if humanity were to disappear from the face of earth, all other species would definitely prosper making earth prosper too. Alas, we are stupid Alex, we are! And we remain even more stupid by never really trying to work on it.

    • I despair at the blindness of humanity, Rex.

      • And the worst thing is when we realise that we inextricably are a part of this “system”. The frustration that mounts when we realise that one man is as feeble as one ant and can do nothing about the bigness of the rot, the blindness and darkness that it represents and perpetuates.

      • One little ant contributes to the renewal process, one little action of one individual human can enhance or undermine the action of one little ant.

        I recognise the massive scale of the disaster manifesting for humanity, the horror, and I step back, take a few deep breaths, and I play my small part with nature rather than against nature. My contribution in the long run won’t make a difference in what is going to happen, but I have played my positive part for prosperity, that is all I can do. Too many nations are running out of fresh drinkable water, it is slow and will cover decades, eventually billions of people will thirst and starve, then fight each other for survival.

      • It is sad as you say this! Looks like for those who work for the nature and against it, the win-win situation is just an illusion after all.

      • I wish I could argue against this position, but for humanity, we will go over the edge of the cliff. The unknown question is if humanity can survive, and in what form of survival. Nature will outlast humanity, even if a some bacteria survives it is enough to recreate a living world with new species of plant and animal.

    • There is a nature center in this city that shows, through a gear and lever apparatus, the differing effects of certain living beings inhabiting the earth should they disappear. The only one that demonstrates that the earth would prosper and thrive is the disappearance of humans as they currently live.

  2. We need to emphasize the practical consequences to us of ecological disasters more, and get away from moralizing about mother earth. An assertion about morality can be refuted by a simple counter assertion. Not so easy when the discussion is about reality. Great post!

    • I agree Mikels, which is one of the reasons I make a large number of practical posts using nature as a reference point.

      My previous experience of moral arguments is that morality leads to dead ends, and the time of wasteful argument is long past.

  3. Great post, Alex, and great comments. Wouldn’t mind reposting this on Learning from Dogs one day next week. With your permission, of course.

  4. It seems that we as a species are hell bent on destroying ourselves..makes no sense, but yet….
    Thanks for writing this.

  5. You capture this blind stupidity of current humanity well in this post. Humans have taken the position of late that everything (those very needs for survival) are not only abundant and will last forever, but taken for granted that these very limited resources are infinite.

    Too easily could planet earth become a mars, due to the blissed ignorance of much of the humans inhabiting this planet. This ought to be considered an emergency, a crisis, a (no pun intended) natural disaster, and yet, it is as if no one cares enough. Is not the imminent death of the honey bee not notice enough, I wonder? Is not the great effect upon the weather globally notice enough? Is not the dire effect of the oceans not notice enough?

    Much of the dirth to come (the planet would heal itself if humans were to stop at any time) is the effect of human ignorance and stupidity, believing that the planet would sustain forever. It is not only sad, but highly existentially disturbing.

    Fortunately, there is, in small pockets of the world, awareness and a motion to change what has already been done. Perhaps, technology can help. But it can’t be the only solution; humans themselves must also become conscious and aware enought to change along with the technological advances.

    Your posts of late have been nothing short of eye-opening, as well as great.

    • Nature gave humanity plenty of warnings, and will continue to do so, but humanity need to wake up and recognise the dire situation we are now in to survive.

      I have faith that technology can assist in a brighter future, but as you say technology can assist only in a small way. Humanity will have to reconnect with nature, perhaps adopt some of the attitudes of indigenous cultures to survive.

  6. If only people would wake up to the damage they are doing, Alex. The mentality I see around me is of the “I’ve been hearing it for years and don’t believe it” or “I won’t give up what makes me happy” What are they going to do when suddenly even the basic needs can’t be met?

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