The Sheer Terror of Looming Biosphere Collapse
The global ecological system is collapsing and dying as humanity overruns natural ecosystems and the climate. We are entering an age of unrelenting violence and suffering, prior to biosphere collapse and the end of being, unless dramatic social change based upon a global ecology ethic arises quickly.
Earth Meanders, by Dr. Glen Barry
Humans evolved within a lush and vibrant Eden teaming with life, which until just a few generations ago provided for natural abundance and the prospect of perpetual human existence. We are one of many species utterly dependent upon natural ecosystems for all needs including air, water, food, and shelter.
The rise of ecological colonialism and the industrial revolution changed all that, as million year old naturally evolved ecosystems became fodder to be liquidated and consumed for accumulation of paper wealth. The disambiguation of buying our needs with money has led us to deny our ecological nature.
For two centuries humanity has waged an unrelenting war upon nature. Ecological habitats and their wildlife residents have been slaughtered incessantly. Entire species have been wiped out, as their members have been burnt, shot, tortured, and left to starve. Whole ecosystems have been dismantled to create consumer crap that is quickly thrown away.
At the same time Western science has learned what indigenous peoples have long known, that we are but one species in a web of life. That all is one, intertwined in a miraculous system whereby life creates the conditions for life. And that as goes nature befalls us. Those in touch with nature realize ecology is the meaning of life. And that without ecology there can be no economy.
It has become increasingly obvious to experts and astute lay persons that the ecological fabric of being is fraying. We now know that ecological boundaries exist, and that the human endeavor has overshot them. Old-growth forests remain as tawdry remnants, soil has become lifeless and sterile, oceans are dying, and water and food are scarce for humanity and kindred species.
Ever expanding human numbers have lost sight of our place within ecology, and have little knowledge of the natural world. Instead well-being is defined by mobile apps and expensive play-things that soon grow old and are discarded. For many life is a vacuous search for status and stuff, utterly detached from the condition of natural capital that makes their and all life possible. And for the rest – the large percentage of people living in abject poverty – life is a squalid struggle to meet basic needs amidst Disneyfied conspicuous over-consumption by celebrities and bankers.
Long a war-prone species, humans have – concurrent with ecocide – nonetheless undergone remarkable social evolution whereby slavery’s prohibition, women’s rights, freedom of thought, and representative democracy (with some progress on racial equality) have largely been achieved. Nonetheless attempts last century to eliminate war have failed miserably. Over-populated inequity in an age of resource scarcity – stoked by grotesquely wasteful over-consumption by the few – fuels a rise of authoritarian fascism and conflict between the haves, have-lesses, and have-nots.
Few diagnose the state of perma-war waged by lone terrorists and drones as the result of environmental decline. Yet the coming anarchy can be seen all around us, by those who wish to see.
Streams of refugees flee collapsing ecosystems and abrupt climate change. Traditional food stocks from the oceans and forests are virtually exhausted. Saving seeds has become a radical act of resistance as all that is natural is commodified, homogenized, and toxified. Basic seasonality fails as abrupt climate change takes over. And what remains of natural vegetation is sickly and fragmented, no longer connected to provide the matrix of ecological services upon which all life depends.
All around are well-meaning people pursuing pieces of the solution. Organic permaculture, reducing fossil fuels, protecting and restoring natural ecosystems, consuming less, and other acts of righteous ecological living are occurring. But it is too little, too late, by orders of magnitude as the sheer inertia of ecocide found in mass over-population and consumption prepares its final assault upon the natural world.
Already societies and economies are collapsing, from Syria to Haiti, and including the downturn in economic aspirations for the petty-bourgeoisie. The Earth’s capacity to provide for human well-being is collapsing. Every last natural ecosystem is to be mopped up for chopsticks and the last drop of oil. Not only will your children not have more than you have, they may die in an unimaginably horrendous ecological apocalypse.
Every month without the rise of an ecology ethic, we fall deeper into nothingness, as the signs of progressive worsening of sick ecosystems and dysfunctional climate are written off by the ecologically challenged. Soon as the pillages of war and ecocide come to your neighborhood you can expect to know hunger, disease, and the bad kind of anarchy.
Expect to face firsthand the terror of biosphere collapse – where as social order disintegrates your mothers, wives, and daughters are raped, along with your sons sold into slavery, before they and you die like famished stray dogs; filthy, hot, and hungry, as your local bioregion fails.
The global ecological system is collapsing and dying.
We are a clever species, with opposable thumbs and relatively large brains. Perhaps the Internet community and the sense of the human family it engenders can help us realize there is no god but Earth, that we are one people, and that we are one species of animal amongst many. And that we can choose to return to nature’s fold.
All that is green and natural must be protected and restored in earnest and urgency with all our might or the biological foundation of being ends. Start with growing your food and regenerating the land, reject personal cars and large families, ruthlessly cut your emissions, and work outward to reconnect your community to a peaceful and healthy bioregion.
Work to live and grow a global ecology ethic. Otherwise the hairless ape shows all intentions of pulling down the biosphere as we frantically seek more not understanding there is no more to be had. The sky is falling. Earth is nearly dead. The end of being looms.