Finding Your Ecological Niche, Giving Yourself to Gaia
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There are many men and women around the World who have made a life out of understanding biological life, ecological systems and requirements for global ecological sustainability. One such man ? Peter Raven of the Missouri Botanical Society, truly a hero of the planet ? is profiled in this Guardian article. Here is an individual fully engaged with the preposterous task of reconciling unlimited human desires, the needs of biodiversity and ecosystems, with the reality of global poverty and the crying need for equitable, just and global sustainable development. The Guardian story goes into these issues in depth.
There are many others doing a myriad of activities on behalf of the Planet, and there are many ways to give your life's work back to the Earth. There is an unmet need for taxonomists ? and other scientists ? in order to understand life forms with which we share the Planet. We also need communicators ? people to enunciate these scientific findings. And we need enlightened policy-makers, and activists to lead them to bright green environmental policies. And if there is to be such a thing as long-term global ecological sustainability, we need most everybody to live an ecological life, in accordance with the rhythms and flows, as well as the opportunities and limits, of the Earth.
There is much ecological understanding that must be mainstreamed through society. The same water courses through the Earth's aquifers, as pulses through our veins, and circulates from ocean to atmosphere and back again. We are made from the land, and completely dependent upon its plants for our existence. The atmosphere and oceans surround us, seemingly infinite, but in fact endangered by our callous lack of awareness of our connection to the air and sea. The Earth is truth, beauty and holiness ? the very foundation of being.
The task of sustaining the Earth is eminently doable ? and it depends upon you. Pick a piece and dig in ? become a specialist on a particular forest region, organize your community to protect its groundwater, cut your energy use and advocate for others to do so as well. More of us must choose to rise above the mediocre, aspiring to be more than robotic consumers seeking identity from things, and refusing to be squelched by the vulgar and as of yet unenlightened. By feeling and nurturing our connection with the Earth, we connect to sublime ancient truths, which provide motivation and know how to save the Planet, ourselves and our children. Find your ecological niche and give yourself to Gaia.