Friday, July 3, 2009
Biodiversity Corner: Declaration of Interdependence
When in the course of planetary events it becomes necessary for one species to get a grip on itself and assume among the powers of that planet, a station that shows a decent respect to the laws of nature and the future of mankind, it is right and proper to declare the basic dependencies of the system within which we live, seek liberty, and pursue happiness.
We hold these inconvenient truths to be self-evident: that all species are connected in a complex carbon-based web of life; that messing with the carbon cycle puts the entire system at risk; that the role of humans in the system is inextricable; that humans are a Johnny-come-lately among the species and have yet to figure out anything but the simplest of interspecies dependencies; that changes which happen slowly are nonetheless real; that parasitism is ultimately incompatible with aggression and overpopulation. Sufficient and healthy hosts are necessary for the continuation of a parasitic species – That rats will always race faster – That humans need to slow down and buy themselves some time in which to evolve – That humans are endowed with certain brain power which they believe trumps the intricacies of a system millions of years older – That they could apply the same brain power to stewardship of their planet – But the history of the human species is one of repeated injuries to other species and usurpations of their habitat.
Let Facts be submitted to a candid world. We humans have plundered the seas, ravaged the coasts, burnt the forests, and destroyed many species. We have caused rivers to burn. We have turned rain to acid (not even the ten plagues of Egypt included acid rain). We have poisoned the air and the oceans. We have poisoned our food with pesticides, preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, coloring agents, and heaven knows what other non-nutrients all the while knowing that we are what we eat. We have lost track of the concept of cause and effect. We have accepted as normal that water will be chlorinated and floridated. How long before we add Valium to reduce road rage? We have lost the discipline and patience to address problems at their root cause. We play with the carbon cycle with as much sense as a skydiver without a parachute.
Nor has Mother Nature been wanting in her attention to this long train of abuses. She has responded with droughts, famines, fires, plagues and pestilences. She has shown us extreme and unusual weather patterns. She has shown us ozone holes and melting ice caps. She has brought a new plague of frogs – not one in which frogs plague humans, but chytrids plague frogs. She has brought a plague among the bats. She has shown us colony collapse disorder to remind us of our dependency on pollinators. She is shouting at us that we are an unfit member species of a balanced system.
Therefore, as a spokeperson for members of the Five Kingdoms, appealing to a basic instinct for self-preservation and continuation of our species, I solemnly publish and declare that all species are united, and are by the very nature of things, interdependent. And whenever any species, endowed with too much hubris and contumacy, is destructive to the shared environment, the system itself, robustly built for a state of balance, will inevitably alter or abolish the species. The alterations are underway. And failure to understand and act in support of this declaration, will cost us our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred sense of Superiority.
© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito