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Is physical NATURE still a thing on our planet?

Or is spaceship Earth now just a poorly manicured human garden?

Son-of-a-Beach  Male  Dorset 8-Nov-2018 18:33 Message #4728226
Sure. The mechanics and processes of nature remain at some cellular level and the birds and the bees still reproduce, albeit under the duress of global human habitation but … is there enough pristine environment remaining to even qualify as representing raw nature when viewed at some statistical level?

I can only think of Alaska as representing some vestige of true, raw, untouched nature and even there I note that much of it is under threat from human prospecting corporations. (Mining, oil and fishery concerns).

We often chat about the way modern man has carved up the planet and, if something I overheard on some radio station last week is correct, about 75% of all our useful land mass has been commandeered for food production where enormous tracts of land, rainforests and similar areas have been bulldozed simply to provide grazing land for cattle or areas to grow palm oil and similar industrialised crops.

Some folk may be surprised to learn that this lamentable state of affairs hasn’t just occurred over the last few hundred years because, as a statement of fact, it was our ancient ancestors who deforested much of Europe, (at least), from the moment AGRICULTURE took hold several thousand years ago.

And modern satellite archaeology has shown us that areas like the Amazon were once huge populated areas way back in the mists of time … with satellite images revealing vast tracts of roads, settlements and crop marks revealing that the tangled, wild forests we have always assumed as pristine, were anything but.

Africa, itself, was carved up as hunting playgrounds for the rich hundreds of years ago and when we add all this information together, it is quite disconcerting to realise that the image we have of much of the world (as we have romantically viewed it) has not been based on some sincere view of witnessing “the real, raw world” but is, instead, just a man-made, manicured, version of nature that mankind has been (first) tinkering with and (later) re-imagining and reformatting for thousands of years.

Apparently, (check the following yourself), the traditional dangerous CO2 pollution levels from “our industrial age” (based on automobiles, factory chimneys or power station emissions) are no longer, the primarily pollution source, being superceded by , but the vast volume of gasses coming out the rear end of cattle we produce for beef burgers!

So … while the beef-based fast food industry is killing off obese humans at one end of the scale, the cattle themselves are now warming our planet merely by the enormous amounts of flatulence they manufacture!

Since the early 1970’s, when I was playing my T Rex singles, a report released last week stated that 60% of creatures with a backbone, (vertebrates), have already become extinct! 60% of such lifeforms … extinct … even since I was a teenager!!! :-(

I now view planet earth the same way I might view a trip to Longleat. I mean … it looks nice, (with all those animals and beautiful gardens), but … it isn’t really proper nature, is it?
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 8-Nov-2018 18:45 Message #4728227
Apparently there are a few areas of wilderness left, but they are under threat.

Whats 'proper nature'? It is our nature to change our environment, its how nature made us and to me to see us and our actions, lamentable as they may be, as outside of nature is part of the problem, we make it about them and us.

Now we know that the Amazon isn't the pristine millenia old landcape that we'd imagined does that make it any less valuable or amazing? Humans moved out and others moved in, I'm sure this has happened many times and in any places, in some instances rare and important habitats have been created thanks to human activity, the Norfolk Broads are a good example of this.

60% of vertebrates becoming extinct is a shocking figure and it is within our power to halt the decline of other species and their habitat, I think theres lots we could all do, like eating less meat, being less fussy about what parts of the animal we eat, eating less but better quality meat. Driving less, using less energy, not just in terms of turning lights off and buying energy efficient products, but actually buying less and accumulating less clutter. Whether we will actually do these things or not is another matter, we need both government and individual action.
Son-of-a-Beach  Male  Dorset 8-Nov-2018 22:55 Message #4728232
We may have been created by nature but has that given our 0.01% representation of life on earth the right to extinguish 60% of all vertebrates on earth in only 40 years and goodness knows how many species since we first evolved as Homo Sapiens only 100,000 - 150,000 years ago?

I've commented scores of times, (on here and elsewhere), that Gaia, Mother Earth, can easily recover as a living organism once her irritating dose of thrush, (Humans), have themselves painted their species into a corner due to the mismanagement of their planet but is that any kind of solace for the billions of years nature had invested in delivering such a miraculous array of life on this planet?

There is a problem and it is about us and them … with us being an abomination of nature and them being every other rule-abiding species on earth! (By rule-abiding I mean every other creature on earth that, however they manifest themselves, still utilise and work with the original tools nature first granted them).

I am not … let me repeat … I am not a religious man but I am beginning to think that it is quite telling that the very first (religious) story ever laid out as a parable is the story of Adam and Eve living in a paradise of plenty, (a world of seeming perfection) where Adam is told he can  eat freely of all the trees in the garden except for a tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

We all know the punchline. :-(

I smile and recall another omnipotent and hugely successful species.

The Dinosaurs reigned for 180 million years.

We upright Hominids have only been around for 6 million years.

Dinosaurs successfully existed on earth for 30 times longer than we have survived so far … without ever breaking the planet!

Proper nature, as you label it, did just fine under their rule.

You ask, “Is the Amazon any less valuable or amazing” under our current human governance?

And the answer is; Of course it is less valuable and amazing because … we are bulldozing it and its depleting flora and fauna out of existence … so how, in goodness, can we claim that the embattled, stripped of resources, Amazon of the 21st century is remotely an embodiment of what it would be had it been free of human interference?

In your comment(s), you maintain your observation from a selfish human perspective, suggesting we should use that perspective as a datum point when, in reality, that perspective is from the jailer to the prisoner or the hunter to the prey!

When scaled up to international, global perspective (with regards to the catastrophic levels of human environmental destruction), mentioning The Norfolk Broads as an example of the benefits of positive human activity … well … I’m almost speechless in responding to such a comment.

I’m also riven with disappointment that it is likely that you and I are to be the only, (save for a very few others), participants engaging cerebrally with this topic though, as I promised on the Shammy birthday thread, I will try my very best to bite my lip and, instead, appreciate that there are still folk on Midsummer willing to engage in a ‘deep and meaningful’ fashion now and then. :-(
tsunamiwarrior  Male  Hertfordshire 8-Nov-2018 23:40 Message #4728233
It’s great that there are some who enjoy posting long and often meaningful posts.

There is little I enjoy more than engaging cerebrally on many popular and obscure topics but I only enjoy this in face to face conversations and have never felt the desire to do so online.

Like many, I see these forums more suited to a few lines of serious conversation or a little banter, but that shouldn't deter others from posting at greater length if they so wish.

Keep up the good work one and all.
Son-of-a-Beach  Male  Dorset 9-Nov-2018 00:05 Message #4728235
Thank you, Tsunami,

I really appreciate the sentiment and meaning in your comments.

It is true that the character of Midsummer has waxed and waned over the years but if a longer or more comprehensive post can act purely as a “food for thought” read, (even without inspiring a reply), then that outcome, (I hope), adds a little spice to folk signing in to while away a little bit of time or find some distraction from everyday life.

Thank you again. :-)
TheSarcasticOne  Male  Essex 9-Nov-2018 00:30 Message #4728239
Gaia rocks.

The rest is politically incorrect so I can make a point without treading on egg shells.

Man, and by man I mean humans are the biggest problem on this planet.

The planet if left alone would be fine and healthy, but man has to make money and most don't really care about the cost.

Nature tries to balance everything but man steps in to "fix" it.

Too many people for the water, man makes money sending water.

Too many people for the food, man makes money sending food.

In both of the above cases, the people have to migrate to where the food and water is, the result being they loose their land, animals and skill to support themselves. They then set up camp or someone makes more money setting up these camps, they have nothing to do so they breed creating an even bigger problem which more men make money out off.

Nature uses a disease to fight over population, man makes money out of "curing" it.

Natural disasters caused either by nature or because man thinks he can beat nature, guess what, more men make money.

Their are more examples of this but stopping now so you don't get too bored.
Jeff  Male  East Sussex 9-Nov-2018 01:46 Message #4728247
The exponentially increasing population means that Father Christmas has had to greatly enlarge his factory at the North Pole.
Son-of-a-Beach  Male  Dorset 9-Nov-2018 01:49 Message #4728248
You’ve nailed it, Sarcastic … beautifully!

For some twisted, cynical reason, humans have perfected a sublime way of compromising or checkmating their own brethren.

If there is a way for one tribe to compromise another, it will be found, leapt upon feverishly and exploited!

I’m, immediately, running scenarios in my head of which animals in nature perform the same exploitative endeavours and, for some reason, have the movie animation BUG’S LIFE permeating my thoughts.

The scene where the cartoon hornets are amassing and then committing true carnage on the cartoon bee’s (or wasps), nest gives us a spectacular graphic vision of just how targetted and cruel nature can be and … despite our human veneer of civilisation being some organised, civilised way of living together, in reality, as you describe, WE, as individuals (or as a pack), will always exploit any group (or situation) to line our own particular nests.

Any idea that humans are above and better than the rest of the animal kingdom is a fallacy.

In truth, if any of us show weakness … or lack any kind of resources … we will be preyed upon by our own kind … to bolster some 3rd party's dominion over us.

And like you say; We could go on forever offering such examples.

I love your observation highlighting the “cures” mankind offers mankind to counter the natural order of things … at a monetary price!
Son-of-a-Beach  Male  Dorset 9-Nov-2018 02:06 Message #4728251
Jeff commented; The exponentially increasing population means that Father Christmas has had to greatly enlarge his factory at the North Pole.

Expansion won't help Father Christmas and with online internet shopping increasing exponentially, it can only be a matter of time before his customer base shrinks as much as the ice his business is sat upon.
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham 9-Nov-2018 11:47 Message #4728257
Valuable post. Very thought-provoking, both the OP and the responses - particularly succinct from TSW & SO.

Worth a mention though, that much of my enjoyment (possibly shared by others) when out and about, comes from observation of how our environment has been worked, altered and exploited and also by deduction as to how modifications came about and to what effect.
I find that it isn't always easy to differentiate between natural events and those brought about by anthropological means. All that we might ultimately gain from such observation is the admonition: 'Could do better'.

Hang on to this thought:
Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
Look after our planet - it's the only one with beer.
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 9-Nov-2018 18:56 Message #4728284
I just don't think we can sperate ourselves from nature, we are a part of her whether we like it or not, I think most of our problems, certainly in recent centuries stem from the belief that we are special and masters of nature. Yes the dinosaurs were around for millions of years and we've only been here 5 minutes and have wrecked the place, but we have to work with where we are right here right now and do what we can to reverse some of the damage. I'm not really up for a load of existential guilt and hand wringing, I don't see the point, I think its self indulgent and does nothing to fix things.

I saw on the news that fertility across many countries is falling and we for the most part not replacing ourselves one for one, which can only be a good thing for other species and the planet in general, as we do need fewer humans. But unless you want to go down the route of culling humans either by some kind of eugenics, decimation or bio-terrorism, which would be really cowardly then we're sort of stuck really.
Son-of-a-Beach  Male  Dorset 9-Nov-2018 21:42 Message #4728296
Rang-tan: the story of dirty palm oil (On Youtube)

Watch it. It is only 1m:30s long.
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex 31-Dec-2018 13:08 Message #4732325
There are some species of trees in Finland (within the artic circle) that still grow only in uncontaminated air, when I was there last. Some areas on earth are still uncontaminated by humans. And of course Chernoble which we cannot live in is apparently doing very well with wild life and nature.
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire 31-Dec-2018 22:25 Message #4732473
I'm not religious either, but sometimes I reflect on the prophecy of the lion lying down with the lamb.

I sometimes wonder if humans used their intelligence less selfishly, we might be destined to lead into a peaceful sharing of resources where killing is no longer necessary because food can be genetically generated.

I love watching unusual animal interactions and relationships and the psychology of animals is fascinating. But presently, humans can be do arrogant that they are superior and deserve prioritisation.

Son-of-a-Beach  Male  Dorset 1-Jan-2019 05:06 Message #4732541
It's depressing, JustLyn.

And things are getting worse rather than better.

From oceans to orbit, mankind is littering his world on a scale that just has to end in catastrophe.

I'm gonna stop using the internet.

Thanks for contributing to my threads.


(I'm done with this stuff)

BunnyGirl  Female  Buckinghamshire 1-Jan-2019 07:45 Message #4732547
Alot of people do not like Nature. They think that a drink down the pub or abusing children and women is all life have to offer. They never look around them to see how beautiful this world can be if only they will open their eyes more and just look around them to see squirells scampimg across the road or birds singing on the trees. In my garden i can hear birds comunicating with each other in their bird language and even i know now that they too have a life of their own. Cats and dogs can be interesting too. But atlas they would rather throw rubbish on the beaches etc So one could cut themselves on glass that has been left in thr countryside. Litter everywhere coz they are too lazy to find a bin. To me it is a selfish attitude only thinking of themselves.

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