Our planet’s death by a thousand cuts
Last updated on December 19th, 2017 at 09:01 am
“This I think is the future of our planet the Earth, although the correct expression would be “Earth’s death by a billion cuts”.”
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
The BBC’s ‘How to grow your planet’ series highlighted the conversion plants and trees had on a young Earth. Ultimately it’s these interactions between plants and the animal kingdom which keeps the earth healthy.
Humanity is a magnificent creature, but our numbers are without doubt overwhelming the natural processes. The planet doesn’t rely on us; it is just a ball of rock which just happened to be the right distance from its parent star for liquid water to flow.
The world is drying out, from the Himalayan glacier-fed rivers from Middle Eastern territories and the American plains once famous for its farming roots. With each tree felled, with each forest chopped, we bring ourselves closer to a planet unable to sustain life.
The emergence of life on earth and ultimately its evolution of complex bio-diversity including us was entirely dependent on a rich and diverse plant and tree coverage. Without it, the weather systems, the marine systems and the critical water cycles are withering.
Mars, our planetary neighbour, is a perfect example of this. Once a wet world like the earth, Mars died because photosynthesis never managed to grab hold (for whatever reason), the atmosphere never transformed into Oxygen and complicated life could not live.
Earth’s death via a two pronged attack
Our planet Earth did achieve this, but now it’s encountering a two-sided attack from its most significant achievement, us!
On one side are industrial scale deforestation and the other side industrial sized fossil fuel burning activities. The earth’s ability to maintain life cycles is slowly but surely diminishing. A slow premature death, by a billion tree cuts.
So why is humanity on this self-destructive path?
As a creature, with foresight, knowledge and comprehension; why are we damaging our only possible home?
How central heating will destroy the world?
Please bear with me on this one.
Since early human males probably 50 million years ago, decided the females were more attractive with less body hair than those with more, the seeds of our planet’s destruction now sown.
Countless generations went by; and the pioneer groups spread northward out of Africa but came across temperatures unsuitable for a hairless creature, so our innovative ancestors used other animal’s fur to endure.
Hundreds of more generations go by, and humans first central heating system, fire’ allowed we increasingly fur fewer predecessors to spread into the colder regions of the north. We have been surviving in our strange lands ever since.
Our populations have grown and our technologies with them. The vast forest regions of the north which surrounded the entire globe from the Arctic circle to the Mediterranean have been cut down since, leaving only remnants’ of a global forest once unexplored and unappreciated.
The need to heat our homes has been a driving force for deforestation before modern times over millennia. In recent times, especially in the contemporary conurbations, wood fuel has been replaced by fossil fuels, which in such industrial large amounts are causing the global heating problems we now see.
The need to heat our homes is necessary because we are away from of our warmer ancestral homelands. The technologies we have discovered because of the fundamental need to keep warm, and thus the resulting early resource wars with the tremendous technological advances they have brought, will ultimately and gradually erode the Earth’s ability to sustain life.
The ability for us to survive and then thrive in climates, not of our own has brought us to this point.