The calendar now tells us it’s Spring. It also informs us that we’ve reached the month of April where we will celebrate Earth Day on the 22nd and Arbor Day on the 30th. With all these indicators drawing our attention to the Earth, it only seems natural to talk about our responsibility to the ecology of the planet.
Ecology is defined as “the study of the relationships between living organisms and their interactions with their natural or developed environment.” Think about that for a moment. Sometimes I think we humans forget that we are “living organisms” and we have a relationship every moment of every day with both our natural and developed environments.
According to the Christian Bible, we were given stewardship over the Earth and it even speaks to being good stewards of the Earth. Yet, somewhere along the line, mankind began to believe that it meant they could do anything they wanted with the Earth – rape, plunder, pollute, etc. I’m sure that’s not what was meant by the passages in the Bible or the mentions of our responsibility to the Earth by any other spiritual path.
I was re-reading a book I had read about 20 years ago, Chop Wood, Carry Water, when I came across some interesting information that I had forgotten about. It got me thinking. I’d like to share it with you, in its entirety.
“The Three Laws of Ecology
“Ecology, it has been said, can be applied at the most minute, personal level of behavior, and at the most ‘cosmic.’ A good way to appreciate all of these is to keep in mind the Three Laws of Ecology, articulated in their contemporary form by Patrick Moore, the Canadian ecologist who was one of the founders of the Greenpeace movement – drawing on Bookchin, Hegel, et al.
“The First Law of Ecology…states that all forms of life are interdependent. The prey is as dependent on the predator for the control of its population as the predator is on the prey for a supply of food.
“The Second Law of Ecology…states that the stability (unity, harmony, togetherness) of ecosystems is dependent on their diversity (complexity). An ecosystem that contains 100 different species is more stable than an ecosystem that has only three species.
“The Third Law of Ecology…states that all resources (food, water, air, minerals, energy) are finite and there are limits to the growth of living systems. These limits are finally dictated by the finite size of the earth and the finite input of energy from the sun.”
Along with mankind’s misinterpretation of what being a steward of the Earth means, there are those humans who have come to believe that they know more than Mother Earth or the Creator of All-That-Is when it comes to what is possible on this planet. They want to take natural laws and bend the heck our of them, at the very least, if now completely break or disregard them. Is it any wonder we’ve come to this place where both this planet and all its inhabitants, of which humans are part, are in jeopardy?
If you re-read those three laws, you’ll being to see the underlying message, in all three, is balance. The predator and the prey, through their interaction, produce a balance to the existence of both. Without enough diversity to a species, an imbalance is created that can mean the extinction of that species. Overpopulation, pollution/contamination, excessive or overuse of resources can create an imbalance that causes starvation, death, and other crises to humans and other living creatures on this planet. Yet, humans seem determined to go down that road and, more often than not, cause the balance of the Earth to be thrown off. Why do we insist on doing that?
It’s not just our interactions and relationship with the natural world around us. Some of us seem to have a complete disregard for our fellow human beings. Our survival, as a species, relies not only on this plane, but on each other. Yet, the greedy attitude of “me first” persists. We saw that in this country last April when there were those, thinking only of themselves, bought up massive amounts of toilet paper and other supplies, leaving little or nothing for the remainder of those living in their community. How could a person take such an action without thinking about the consequence of such an action? It seems to be a repeating theme by some and goes beyond the overbuying of toilet paper to more harmful actions that affect other humans and the Earth along with its other living beings.
I know here will be some who vehemently disagree with me, but I’ve even given a lot of thought to why this pandemic that we’re now experiencing is happening to our world. We are overpopulating the Earth. We are a danger to other life on this planet by our total disregard for the sanctity of life other than our own (and even then, not so much at times). Has the pandemic come to bring us an the Earth back into balance? Think about it/ While we were all quarantined last year, the canals of Venice cleared and dolphins, swans and other life returned there; the smog over LA and China began to clear. The Earth was beginning to heal. The real proof is that now we’re out and about again, all that pollution has returned.
Until we learn to live in balance with the Earth and take those three laws of ecology seriously, we will never be good stewards of the Earth. As a result, the Earth will continue to suffer and, eventually, we will have created the circumstances of our own demise. How sad. Especially when we could have had a paradise of Earth for all living beings.
Love & Blessed Be