For the love of earth.
The Apathetic Activists Medicine Blog.
(Sharing home truths from planet mum)
By Catherine Griggs 2016
This goes out to all those who care what is happening to us, our beautiful planet and the current species that occupy it. This is not a doom sayers blog, although at times it may seem dark. Its an offering of perspective for the cultivating acceptance of the planetary situation, which leaves so many of us with a heavy heart. my intention is to rid apathy, so I would just like to emphasize here the difference between acceptance and passivity, Acceptance being a mind state where you are aware and engaged, passivity being a mind state where you are un-engaged and somewhat oblivious. Among many of us, a feeling of despair and apathy has arisen from beliefs formed from observations of the state of the world . I keep hearing people say there is no hope, that we have gone past the point of no return, so they give up trying and apathy sets in. Im not saying i know what to do about it all (apart from the obvious growing your own food naturally, making habitats for wildlife and cultivating love in you heart).
But! I lifted a huge weight that burdened me and a guilt for being human when i discovered the points i will discuss later in this blog. Ultimately allowing me to love my self more and humanity in general.
Wisdom by Mario Sanchez Nevado
What about this Man Made Extinction?
Mario Sánchez Nevado
The image above shows man heavily burdened by industry, weighed down by what he has created, walking the animals of a cliff whilst carrying the tree of the life, the tree of wisdom in his hand.
The Hopeful Dream
Many of us share the same dream; that humans could be nature’s stewards and peace tenders, guardians of the earth who co-exist symbiotically, a race of global gardeners who tend carefully and creatively to facilitate the highest expression of this planet which is nothing less than a cornucopia of abundance, where all thrive in harmony with each other and as one on this resplendent living orb we call earth.
The current situation is this.
scientist believe we are currently amidst the Holocene mass extinction; one of the big five mass extinctions in all the earth’s history. And there is strong evidence it is anthropogenic (caused by humans).
It is the worst rate of species loss since the dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago. And according to the fossil record the extinction rates are higher than they have ever been. Scientists estimate the normal background extinction rates are around 1- 5 species per year owing to causes unrelated to the activities of humans or commits or other great earthly disasters.. It is now estimated we are currently losing around 1,000 to 10,000 times this.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment calculated the extinction rate is around 8,700 species a year, or 24 a day. A more recent analysis by U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity concluded upto 150 everyday.
Please see http://www.iucnredlist.org/about/summary-statistics for more information
A Few of the Amazing Beasts We Have Lost
Wikimedia Commons The golden toad, once abundant in parts of Costa Rica, was declared extinct in 2007.
Wikimedia Commons The Barbary lions, the last was hunted to extinction by humans either 1942 0r as late as 1960.
Wikimedia Commons The Thylacine or (Tasmanian tiger) was a dog like marsupial they were wiped out in the 20th century at the hands of man as their pelts were valuable and they were predating livestock. The last wild Thylacine died in 1930 at the last last captive in 1936.
Some of the Familiar and Much Loved Faces Under Threat of Extinction
Time to Flip the Perspective
What if Biodiversity Decimation is Biodiversity Facilitation?
A mass extinction happens around every 26 million years and this one is right on time, and it’s apparently because of us.
This is very sad, but could biodiversity decimation of gargantuan proportions be our natural role as a species? As a catalyst for actually enhancing and perpetuating life on earth?
After each great extinction a new species regime evolved, mammals only evolved because the dinosaurs died out giving way to ecological niches that mammals could then occupy, thrive and diverge.
We call ourselves separate from nature but how can we be?, we are nature, we are of this earth. And even if we aren’t as some people speculate, then we are of this universe and that is nature too.
And as for being biodiversity facilitators, what more could we do than bring on the next great species shift?; A divergence of a new species regime.
So although in the present and short term we appear to be greatly diminishing biodiversity, in the long run we are enhancing it. We are a keystone species acting for evolution itself.
In conservation biology there is a principle that intermittent disturbance increases diversity. For example; like a herd of cows going over a muddy field and making hoof holes, seeds get in by the wind, from the animal’s fur or maybe they lay dormant in the soil waiting to be exposed, when they grow the area is diversified. If the cows keep on treading the ground and creating disturbance which is not intermittent then the area will become less diverse. Disturbance is relative, we are not giving nature time to recover now, but in the long run even heavy disturbance increases diversity. All is relative to scale and time.
Our Existence is Reflected in Eternity
There is no way we can predict how we will influence the future, although it would seem we have made good conditions for genetic mutations to occur on a cellular level.
We’ve polluted with so many agents that trigger genetic mutation; radiation from war and nuclear, pesticides and chemical warfare and plastic in the seas that has broken down to small enough particles that it can now interact with dna when ingested. We have emitted greenhouse gases that have damaged the ozone layer allowing more of the sun’s radiation to penetrate the earth, now it bombards the DNA of organisms everywhere with greater ferocity.
We have isolated populations of animals through habitat destruction so they can no longer migrate or find mates causing them to inbreed and go through genetic bottlenecks, which although this leaves them vulnerable to disease it also facilitates mutations that sometimes are beneficial. Selection pressures are high because resources are limited for mates, food and habitat. The best adaptations are being selected by nature in the evolutionary arms race to survive and procreate. The conditions are ripe for species divergence.
Cyanobacteria By Matthew J Parker – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Around 2.5-million years ago cyanobacteria where the first living organisms on earth. They absorbed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and released oxygen. Eventually they evolved into plants and enough oxygen was released into the atmosphere to support animals. Now today each out breath of an animal is matched by the in breath of a plant.
As Tom Chi rightly pointed out “If those early cyanobacteria had the capacity to think. They would not be able to imagine how they could affect the world today with just their breath”.
In time all the things we worry about not decomposing; like plastic, will have vanished, even the radiation. One day It is highly likely there will be no trace of us at all. The earth transforms all, she’s the ultimate alchemist. All that may be left of us will be the species that evolved in response to the selection pressures we influenced in a time long forgotten.
So it seems good and bad are two sides of the same coin and which is which can only be decided by the perceiver of the circumstance. Through all this suffering we are facilitating the next great shift, the sixth mass extinction and thus the sixth species regime. Chopping and Composting the biodiversity of planet earth to fertilise the next bloom.