Ecocide Is Not Development; Love and Ecology Are the Answer

by Dr Glen Barry

   Earth's ecosystems are collapsing, human and all species' habitats are being lost, and our one shared biosphere is failing and dying. Love of other peoples and species and of nature, truth, justice, and equity are the only lasting basis for global ecological sustainability.

   “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” -- Krishnamurti

   “Truth matters. Freedom matters. Justice matters. Ecology matters. Peace matters. Knowledge matters. We should all try to matter by serving such ideals.” -- Dr. Glen Barry

   Earth is alive -- just like the biological patterns found in cells, species, individual organisms, and ecosystems; only at a different scale -- and thus can die if boundary conditions for health are exceeded. The biosphere -- Earth's thin mantle of life -- is collapsing and dying, as ecosystems and climate are being murdered by human industrial growth. Such ecocidal madness, called "development," is hailed as the goal for society when in fact it is ecocide, and can only end in utter social, economic, and ecological collapse. Industrial human development destroys natural ecosystems necessary to maintain a habitable Earth.

   Burning fossil fuels and clearing natural ecosystems are industrial ecocide, the furthest thing possible from "development" or any meaningful and lasting human advancement. The global ecological system is being overrun by human industrial growth, which is ravaging ecosystems upon which all life depends. Runaway human exponential growth systematically strips our habitat of life-giving species and ecosystems, and then it fouls and poisons whatever remains.

   The problem with climate change and ecosystem loss is that we think we have time, when in fact the biosphere is already well into collapse. The evidence is pouring in that climate change, biodiversity extinction, and terrestrial ecosystem loss already exceed thresholds whereby the biosphere is collapsing. Humanity is already in mid-death swoon, pulling down the biosphere as it annihilates itself, kindred species, and shared habitat. Humanity is like a disease on the planet, consuming life-giving habitats and treating nature as resources to liquidate and consume, after which there can only be collapse and mass death.

   Humanity’s wild careening towards apocalyptic global ecosystem collapse is caused by, and is causing, the rise of new fascist and violent governments. The global environment and freedom are collapsing and dying in tandem as the industrial growth machine liquidates ecosystems in the doomed attempt to keep up with the material demands of burgeoning population and the ruling elites’ overconsumption. To maintain the mirage of advancement from ecosystem liquidation, governments strip away liberties and impose fascism, obstructing the necessary social change to sustain ecology.

   True peace is not the absence of conflict while enslaved and needlessly dying at your own hand. Peace is rights, equity, justice, jobs, ecological sustainability for which people sometimes must fight. Only a prudent, well-considered revolutionary change of governance that is minimally violent or nonviolent can stop the cycle of big nanny, corporatist government razing the Earth for a few decades of further irrational ecocide.

   Continued exponential industrial growth at the expense of ecosystems is impossible. The human family either embraces a steady-state, no-growth economy or faces environmental collapse. In other words, protecting the climate and ecosystems will have an economic cost that eliminates jobs from the ill-gotten fruits of ecocide.

   Technology will never replace ecosystems, and the biosphere cannot be engineered, as it is simply too complex and unpredictable. Such techno-optimism is more of the hubristic, ecocidal disease that got us in this mess of collapsing ecosystems in the first place. Ecosystems -- their protection and restoration -- are our only hope. To the extent that appropriate technology can assist, fine, but nearly always its unintended consequences cause the very ecological and social problems we seek to overcome.

   Either the human family comes together now to protect and restore old-growth forests and end fossil fuel burning, or else our one shared biosphere collapses, and being ends. Perhaps life ends, or some dandelions and rats hold on for a while, but complex life is being lost, and the ability for re-evolution is not assured if global boundary conditions for habitability have been exceeded. To survive and thrive, the human family must immediately focus upon protecting and restoring ecosystems, reducing human population, increasing equity and justice, cutting emissions, growing food ecologically, and loving all life and each other.

   Ecology is the meaning of life. Truth, justice, equity and sustainability are the ideals whereby ecology is maintained. As a species, we change and evolve, or we die, perhaps taking down the biosphere and all life with us. A sustainable, decent human future depends on going back to the land, putting a halt to the destruction, and dedicating ourselves to the nurture of ecosystems and each other. True and lasting community advancement and well-being, with local and global ecological sustainability, depend critically upon doing so. Love and ecology -- served by truth and knowledge-- are the answer.

From Earth Meanders

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