By Linley Bignoux
Nature has suffered thus far from human impact, largely and primarily because of identity towards materialism, in a world, which seeks advantage in consuming above and beyond which is needed, which has largely detached citizens in nations to become rather individualistic.
From this we have created and still are producing harm that has far surpassed any species that has lived, existed or roamed planet earth, that in a nutshell should worry most of us, even the most disconcerted human
Mutually speaking, we have not learnt a simple lesson from nature; nature is collective and what’s worse nature will repair itself, it has all the time in the universe, it was here before us, and will still be there after we are gone …ironic isn’t it?
In Mauritius, the environmental degradation is hitting a new peak. With fading marine animals like Tuna and shark populations dwindling to dangerous levels, virtually non-existent. Rapidly eroding coastal zones due to hotel construction and sugar cane production and felling of trees.
This compounded by the government’s intention to bring tourist arrivals to 2 million by 2015, in which the carrying capacity of the nation will be outstretched ecologically, which it is as present with the approximately 1 million arrivals per annum.
Similarly, in my home country of Australia, a vast land inhabited by over 23 million citizens is grasping the undesirable element of high-energy prices, marine fish stocks of which 50 per cent are whipped out or collapsing, rising air pollution and the burgeoning weight of the world’s superpower of mining to feed China’s economic ambitions, to name a few problems.
Indeed, Australia is in the grips of one of its worst bushfire seasons, with record high temperatures that have persisted over a few weeks, which many have suggested that climate change has contributed to some extent impacting the Australian continent ecologically. And this is not to mention the human loss of life
We can, in fact, highlight some key reports that have cropped up in the past, notably The United Nations Environmental Program’s key report after the much fazed Rio Sustainable Development Summit a few years ago, in Brazil – Keeping Track of our Changing Environment: From Rio to Rio+20 have outlined many forecasted environmental impacts that are on a global and local scale.
The report highlighted some gross problems for the international community with rapid forest loss in Africa, South America and the Caribbean nations, with a decrease of 300 million hectares of forest expanses in the region since 1990.
Shrinking glaciers which have predisposed us to sea level rises are threatening the security of approximately 1 billion of citizens in
nations and that has just to start with the problems.
Don’t get me wrong here but I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but 255 governments participated with some 2400 participants from non-governmental organizations which included recommendations and reports by over hundreds of scientists, the issue is immense and perceptions need to be changed fast.
Towards the environment, that sustains us, lateral thinking thus far has not been an inherent trait amongst humankind worldwide. Beset by our method of perception the exam results are poor. In fact, since our inception as an industrial leader as humans we have whipped out 56,000 species to extinction according to several international ecology reports.
Additionally, the very thing that we are destroying is the one that can save us, my parents told me and subsequent teachers in my childhood explained that you do not bite the hand of someone that feeds you, and adage yes, but factual.
The Environment …what does that mean to you? What does the very essence of that particular word mean? What concepts and judgements can be affected upon that word?
Once upon a time, the human race was in connection with this very word environment, which in definition: are the conditions and surroundings that influence our development. In the context of nature, the word environment has a very profound influence and a “big topic” in this day of age.
Humans now control the environment astonishingly and destructively worldwide. The list is quite large of the human impact we are having on this planet we call home. It is also ironic that we sometimes refer to it as planet home. In our homes, we try to keep it clean and orderly and when it is filthy, we clean it again, so it is not untidy and disorderly.
We are certainly not doing this very action to our planet home, politically and socially because of our mindset towards it.
We sometimes as humans say, well my home is my house, we have maybe a concept of this as a way of thinking and therefore our actions and that of our attitudes are based on that and voice that well the environmental situation we are in now globally and locally is not in my ”backyard” or at my ”home”.
But the reality is that it is, but humans divide it into saying ”that happens in another country” or ”to those people” or to ”that culture” or to the ”neighbours” or to that guy or that girl and so on.
Much of this attitude is quite logical and has a very disruptive order to it simultaneously. For example, we have perfected the art of taking something and turning into a resource or what economists call commodities…..wow! We have then strewn an illogical consequence from that nonetheless to produce either directly or indirectly many environmental impacts that at the same time shape our existence as a species. Yet it is the same impactful nature that contravenes are problems and solutions to environmental problems we face currently.
For example, Mercury which is found in various metals has been reaching the seas and being absorbed by fish and various other marine creatures, namely Tuna since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, in turn, the world-over we extract this as a resource to consume. However, we were the ones to put Mercury in fish in the first place via manufacturing industries, an illogical chain of events.
Moreover, this detachment from the environment is quite fruitless, as we believe that we have constant control over our environment, a grave fallacy indeed. We have for the better half of a century had short –term solutions to long-term problems, it is quite easy to explain. Personal debt and overall financial debt globally is attributed to that as well and its mechanism is the same, it is called credit.
Take for example some credit cards, you borrow money to purchase at a very high-interest rate, you then do not worry about it for a year, the interest racks up and finally, you are paying more for it than what it is really worth at the end of the day when you did not have the money in the first place.
Therefore, the no money that you had, you decided to borrow, then you end up paying more in bank interest and finally the illogical consequence, you are in debt. The natural world has been combating this dilemma with humans. Sounds like what we do to our environment and it is going to want its money back, interest and principle.
In theory, we actually subsidise for our downfall, we pay for it! In addition, they say voting is democratic, so is paying and consuming …you are voting with money, which inevitably influences the natural world. Are we humans not natural? so we are a part of it!
Today at present, we see massive destruction of forests, waterways, seas and oceans, plant life, marine life, and nature and the environment in general worldwide. Deforestation, pollution of water, air pollution, extinction of species of fish, plants, birds, and of animals in general, and the list of destruction that is human imposed is just too big to list all here-on. The human infliction on nature is certainly well to see in front of you.
Global climate change, a big issue, but issues of money, status, what I own, what I wear, image, what car I drive, what job or career I do, what is the latest fashion, again individualistic virtues have taken in some way more important of that of nature and the environment globally and where you live right now in this world, I call it the distraction from importance or commonly termed as human relevancy.
Humans are a very intelligent and innovative race, we have achieved so much good through advancement in technology which has brought about great and beneficial solutions to problems in medical, engineering, computers, buildings, aircraft, spacecraft, business, education and many other industries and disciplines, the list is huge, and it is great that we have been able to do that.
In many ways, we have used the same technological advancements to destroy and to cause suffering in the way we treat nature and the environment at present. Humans for that matter have the power to change this way of thinking and intern change the environment to a healthier state.
Whether you agree or disagree that climate change is an issue or not or the environment is there for our taking, we can, however, be aware that there is a global crisis with the environment and with nature, which has been imposed by heavy human activity.
Throughout history, we have succeeded in overcoming problems and finding solutions to the problem, as humans, we are good at doing that, a very adaptive persona.
We have in a constructive way created a problem, reaction, solution equation, this is very positive.
The issue is in the reaction part of it. We have problems and we have the solutions to the environment issue, but it’s our reaction to it, which is to why we have not done a lot about it or not enough, it’s in our reaction, that is missing, and we are not at that level of a great reaction yet.
With all the technology and innovation we possess. we have yet to make a global solution through our reaction to the environment.
There are plenty on the contrary who have created the reaction that solves…many environmental problems. Many organizations, universities, institutions and some government’s bodies have done plenty to help save the environment all over the world.
Individually and collectively they have achieved a lot. This is very positive. Through creating awareness and knowledge we can better understand the environmental problems we are all facing. The issues are in front of us, and when we a better understanding then we create a belief to change through a better reaction to it.
When I started my scuba diving career and then later on my journalism career in my native country Australia and then later started to take pictures of the underwater world in Australia and Mauritius and of landscapes I would look at the picture of a fish, squid, coral, or any living organism and sit in ore of what I am seeing in front of me, the true beauty of nature, not just because of just a picture!!
The presence you feel in a moment which is captured I time, an image never to be repeated again through the eyes of a human soul and a machine such a camera.
The very essence of life, the colour, the shape, the form, the spirit of it, and the intelligence of nature, that we are all a part of regardless of borders, nations, nationality, political affiliation, culture, colour, religion, and gender, we are all part of nature and the environment so in turn what affects nature and the environment will affect humans and vice versa.
Planet earth is not a division of people with different seas and lands that separate us, or political ideology that divides. The very fact of our existence bear upon or togetherness as a whole ,rather than the divisions of nations and idelogies .
Why then do we seek to destroy the phenomena of physical like, the entire material world as a whole of forces observable within it, the essential character of anything, which is called the environment, and nature as a whole? The environment is what we breathe, we live, we work, and we play.
In fact, the notion that we identify with things and not feel is true, this is a large problem which has led to our slow demise with mother nature as well, it’s funny we call it mother nature, we don’t treat mothers like that!
When humans choose to be part of nature and the environment, rather than just to live next to it, then we will finally do something about the environmental predicament we are in now. We are constantly failing nature’s exams.