No intelligent species would destroy their own environment
Today the earth is more densely populated than ever, there are 7 billion people, with an anticipated plateau of 9 billion by 2050. There is nowhere else to go, there is but one planet.
“The earth’s green carpet is the sole source of the food consumed by livestock and mankind. It also furnishes many of the raw materials needed by our factories. The consequence of abusing one of our greatest possessions is disease. This is the punishment meted out by mother earth for adopting methods of agriculture which are not in accordance with Nature’s law of return.”
Albert Howard 1947 from 'the Soil and Health'. Albert Howard was an English botanist, an organic farming pioneer, and a principal figure in the early organic movement.
This quotation was written as industrial agriculture and artificial fertiliser was starting to gain momentum in the latter half of the last century.
Sometimes we forget that everything we have and do depends on the earth.
Without food and water we simply could not survive. Yet we put the least value on the most precious items. Why?
As a society we place value on the latest iPhone and yet when it comes to food, we expect to have it at the cheapest possible price. Why?
There is an expectation that the planet can continue to be pushed to produce more from a finite source. We are told that there are options, that new technologies will allow us to produce more food, that we can continue as we are. This unfortunately defies a basic law of physics, which states matter cannot be created from nothing, only transformed.
We have reached a limit and to produce more we must either increase yields or farm more land, this can only happen with devastating consequences for the planet.
“Civilised man was nearly always able to become master of his environment temporarily. His chief troubles came from his delusions that his temporary mastership was permanent. He thought of himself as “master of the world”, while falling to understand fully the laws of nature”
Tom Dale and Vernon Gill Carter, from Topsoil and Civilisation (Tom Dale and Vernon Gill Carter were two highly experienced ecologist in the 1950’s.)
Time and time again, man has burned the usable timber, has depleted natural resources, and civilisation after civilisation as failed as a result. This really isn’t too different to how things are today, just substitute “failing to understand” with “we do understand but we choose to ignore”.
We can all see the writing on the wall. The politicians know, we the people know, there is an appetite for change, however the mechanisms for change are hampered by vested interests.
Maybe society should look to what we are producing and how - and change it before it’s too late!
P.S. Did you know that you can donate your veg box to charity when you go on hols or are too busy to cook? (COPE in Galway or KARE’s “Meals on Wheels” in Dublin). This small gesture is a big deal to those in our community that need our help. Contact GEO Galway 091 793 768 or GEO Dublin 01 460 0467 to take part.