Many people think that Mother Earth’s “Global warming” fever is just nature’s immune system trying to rid itself of a pesky human infestation. This idea is popular. As a metaphor it certainly makes more rational sense than God’s “wrath” for homosexual behavior or some ancient outdated, and prohibitive penalty for human sins.
Still, it is problematic, here is why: It again returns to the whole idea not that humanity is part of nature, but a separate organism. Since all human beings are ecosystems, it makes little sense to paint humanity as the one ecosystem that does not belong with all the others. In fact we share our DNA with all organisms, and depend on all the same inter connected elements, and systems. We inhale the same oxygen molecules and we exhale the wastes that other life depends upon. We affect the air quality, as well as soil, water, and abundance of resources. People cannot control nature. People cannot serve nature. Nature can serve and control nature. Humans are of that nature.
Human beings are seriously in danger of hurting earth and its many ecosystems, but not because humans are a pestilence, but because humans refuse their actual belonging. In fact, those who try to enlighten the rest of humanity as to why behavior should be more constructive than destructive end up smashing head on into the idealists. There are those who deny the “hoax” of climate science and the political agenda of the “do-gooders” who in their view, suggest earth should be served by people, not be exploited by people. In the dystopian view of those who are threatened by the idea of sustainable earth systems comes the outrageous fear that we should not fear damaging our lives, but having the entitlement to do so taken away!
Earth should neither be exploited solely by humans, nor served by humans. Humans are just one of many animals and organisms. People can never be arrogant, or competent, enough to control all earth’s systems, nor humble enough to be earth’s sole salvation.
All organisms exploit to their best ability to gain an edge in having resources. As an example, nearly all species are in some way territorial. However, only humans take that to the extreme of ownership, property rights, abstract borders and documents and so on. If one were to view the whole organism of earth as a deeply inter-connected whole, the idea of one species being more entitled than another would appear as nonsense. No one can and should own the plants that create soil, the microbes that maintain it, the water that replenishes it and the cleansing and regenerative natural system that make it possible.
However, by the simple act of being grateful and in awe of the creation, people reconnect, find belonging too, rather than conquering of, all the plenty and abundance of earth. A super storm like Frank-en-storm Sandy, the warming trends that create drought, wildfires, poor yields, extinctions and more, should not be viewed as punishments, but valuable lessons in how to become attuned to nature’s laws.
This is not to be insensitive to world wide victims, or to say people deserve what they get. It is to say creation and life are interactive. In the process of creation disaster is needed. This island of Oahu, for example, could not support human life at all had powerful plate tectonic forces not been part of what generates life.
It is only when destructive forces are contrary to what is sensible for sustaining life that they should be watched carefully. That homo sapiens has the power to injure does not mean they have the directive to do so.
Degradation to soil, pumping greenhouse gases without regard, and generally fouling one’s own nest can be thought of as self inflicted. It is those areas for which humans can affect actions and reactions that human beings should pay attention. Nature, to be sure is within ourselves and external to ourselves. It is only when we place ourselves as entitled to control, or conversely, as helpless victims, that we bring needless suffering to nature’s examples of sustainable systems.
Earth’s warming and cooling cycles are billions of years old now. What is new is that people have reached a time of decision as to whether they wish to exceed earth’s carrying capacity and blame others, or to cooperate and learn some of nature’s energy, food, water and replenishment lessons. Those who wish to enjoy the beauty and abundance of biodiversity seek nether to be victims of, nor conquerors of the earth, but recognize earth as shared elements, shared systems, and shared family.