Letter 2.5 Global warming?
It seems to me that we got it all wrong.
Planet earth is more than a stack of raw material.
You would think from the comments of the media that the climate of the earth is in the hands of the Homo sapiens. They assume that we are surrounded by matter. Planet earth is a machine and we are on the driver’s seat. We have at our disposal a mountain of raw materials. We use the law of cause and effect to decide the future. We are the owner of planet earth and we can use it as we please. The governments of the world are going to implement their “human” solution!
That could be all wrong. We are not surrounded by ‘matter’. We are surrounded by ‘life’. Every week we are told of floods, earthquakes, forests and cities devastated by fires, volcanos in eruption, tsunami, pandemic… How can we pretend that the climate of the earth is under the control of the Homo sapiens?
Let’s try an approach of global warming based on life instead of matter:
Planet earth has temperature. This is a symptom. It is not the disease. The other symptoms are water pollution - air pollution - chemicals pollution - trash... New illnesses appear and old ones are getting worse. What could be the common cause of those symptoms? They did not exist two centuries ago. What has changed in the past two centuries?
In 1800 the world population was below 1 billion. Today we are close to 8 billion.
- One birth every 8 seconds
- One death every 11 seconds
- We have a net gain of one person every 35 seconds.
You don’t have to be an expert to see that this is not a normal “evolution” of mankind. It is a disruption. Many scientists agree that if everyone becomes vegetarian, the present 1.4 billion hectares of arable land (3.5 billion acres) would support about 10 billion people. It would be much less for meat eaters.
We may have reached the limit of the number of Homo sapiens that planet earth can tolerate. It is normal to think that there is a limit to the population of any species on earth. We are learning what this limit is for the human population.
Two centuries ago, to make our life easier, we started to use machines in agriculture. That was a good idea. It gave us some freedom. Unfortunately we used this freedom to increase the world population and we went too far. Instead of making life easier for a few, we may be making life miserable for many.
This is not limited to agriculture. We use machines in every industry. They allow one person to do the work of thousands and even millions of people. That does not mean that we are free to increase our population indefinitely.
Reducing the world population is not a solution that any politician, in his right mind, would recommend. It is safer to make calculations about temperatures. Nature, on the other hand, does not have to be reelected.
How is Nature going to react?
There is life in planet earth like there is life in a virus, a fish, a human and a galaxy. The implementations may be different. Size matters! What they have in common is fight for survival. Wherever there is life, there is an organism fighting for its survival. Something similar happened many times in the history of our planet. When there are too many preys, Nature increases the number of predators until the predators die of starvation and everybody gets back in line. Our problem is: How is the earth going to handle the human threat?
- Mother Nature could reduce our use of machines: She could deplete the sources of energy that our machines are using. The main one is oil.
- Mother Nature could reduce the food available. Your skeleton must be replaced four times a year. That requires a lot of calcium in our food and our food comes from plants. We also need 60 more minerals to survive. We could find that our soil can be depleted like the oil fields.
- Nature could also use the animal kingdom. They are alive and very efficient. We need bees to pollinate 80% of our food. We are already killing them by the millions with our pesticides. We have to transport them by trucks across the country to place them where they are most needed.
If they become an endangered species, humans also would become an endangered species.
- Even if we could make an offer to Nature to limit the world population to 8 billions there is no guaranty that our offer will be accepted. We are only one specie among many others.
After getting rid of the Homo habilis, the Homo erectus, the Neanderthal and a few others, getting the Homo sapiens back in line should not be a problem. Humans are to the earth what our cells are to our body. Nothing less but nothing more.
Humans are to earth what our cells
are to our body
You will notice that Nature does not differentiate between country, race, religion or political ideologies. She does not solve a problem by creating a new one. She goes to the source of the problem and removes its cause.
Don’t panic! Nothing is sure. Many things can happen in the next two centuries. Most of us could move to another planet. So far we have the sun growing plants and we eat the plants. We may find a way to bypass the plants and get our nutrition directly from the sun. What is sure is that the size of the earth is not likely to increase.
If I were in your shoes, Benoit, I would get ready for a sizeable reduction of the world population. It took it two centuries to explode. It could take it another two centuries to implode.
We should keep track of the depletion of arable land. The countries producing most of the food would be the first ones to get depleted. We know that 10% of our world is suffering of malnutrition. This is not new but it could get worse. Instead of talking endlessly about the human way to solve the problem of global warming, we should try to anticipate how Nature is going to do it and how we can minimize the damage. We may dominate matter but we don’t dominate life.
We should treat the earth as a living organism instead of a simple warehouse of raw material. We should behave, on earth, as a thoughtful guest instead of a predator.
There are a few things we can learn from this predicament.
“Use but don’t abuse“
is a law of nature
that our science has
not yet discovered.
A few thousand years ago we were conscious of belonging to a village in the forest or a tribe in the desert. Today we are conscious of belonging to a country or a religion or a race. It is a step in the right direction. Global warming could make us conscious that we are part of the human species. Races, religions and countries of origin are details.
Global warming could also make us conscious that we must get out of our comfort zone and deal with the immaterial world outside our science. This is not a world made of atoms. It is a world based on energy, life, heat, love, vibrations….
“Use but don’t abuse“ is a law of nature that our science has not yet discovered.