Towards a More Healthy Earth
Our call as the Noah Species for the next 1000 years is to establish a society and a way of living on this planet that is for lack of better terms – sustainable and livable for all species that inhabit it. A way of living that can be maintained as it is for an indefinite period of time without exhausting resources or destroying the land, sea and air. There is certainly a role for technology here, but sustainability has more to do with our ways of thinking and acting rather than what gadgets we can invent to clean up what ever mess we make. We need to fundamentally view the earth as precious-as our only option for home.
The metaphor of the ark holds great insight for us if we imagine what the biblical story would have
been like. All those species crammed together in a small fragile wooden boat, supporting them all. What happens to the vessel on one end dramatically affects the passengers at the other end even if they are unaware of the goings on. If one species bored a hole in the hull, the entire boat would have gone down. Just as it is with our ark!
Another of the lines and borders we draw for ourselves are the lines around wild areas. We call them wilderness preserves, or national parks and forests. We restrict use to differing degrees inside the boundaries, but pretty much outside we say we can build and do whatever local or regional governments allow. The “default” use of the land- that use which is most common or most expected – use for human made endeavors. Over the course of the next 1000 years, we need to reverse that thinking to make the “default use” no use at all. Put lines around specific areas where we will permit specific human endeavors and say outside of those lines we will do nothing except allow nature to take its course. We humans have a need and a right to live on this planet and take up some space and resources, but it is fundamentally wrong for any one species to use up so much of the Earth to the exclusion of all the other species. It is simply outside our role as caretakers.
We need to find ways to show restraint in our own population growth that respects both our right to reproduce, as well as the preciousness of all life’s stages and states.
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