22 April 2012

Earth Day: A few reflections

Happy Earth Day! Today we reflect on the repercussions of our actions and our way of life. We're living through one of the planet's great extinctions. Unless there's some artificial creation of new viable species in the future (if such a thing is even plausible given the complexity involved), there will never be as many species on this planet as there were when I was a child for as long as Homo sapiens exist. In other words, if our planet does eventually redevelop the diverse range of species it once had, it will be in some far off future when our ancestors (if still around) no longer look or think like us and certainly do not hold our current values.

On the environmental front, many of the manmade pollutants we're putting into the environment, such as plastic in the ocean, will perhaps never break down during meaningful time scales. When the Earth is nearing its end and the evolved cousins of today's octupi and sea urchins head out to space searching for a new planet, they'll sift through the tiny plastic remnants left in soil samples and ocean mud and marvel at the destruction, shortsightedness, and selfishness of the ancient humans.

I really hope that we can all come together as a global community to work together toward a sustainable and beautiful future with a new vision of where we fit into the planet's ecology. We need a modern Daoist vision of our inherent interconnection with living systems and our environment.

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