Immune system of the planet
What we are witnessing in these days of quarantine is nature’s immune system at work. Human civilization has become a problem for Life. Uncontrolled growth is damaging the ecosystem. The Covid-19 virus is an immune response.
A few tricks
Nature’s body is much like the human body in that it is regulated by homeostatic mechanisms. We humans have figured out a few tricks to fool Mother Nature over the past century or so. We learned how to mine the calories stored away in the soil by using nitrogen fertilizers to increase crop yields and feed a growing population. We discovered how to cure diseases and extend the length of our lives with antibiotics, vaccinations and advanced medical interventions. Due to these and other technological advances, we’ve increased our impact on the planet exponentially during this time, and in consequence exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet.
We are dependants
What we haven’t figured out is that we are part of a web of life, that we are the children of this web. But rather than living in harmony with Mother Nature, we have this sick parasitic relationship with her. We are feeding on her voraciously and poisoning her with our toxic wastes. This is making her ill. She’s beginning to show a fever (global warming) and her immune system is stepping up its game.
The Core Message
What I am being told is if we humans are unwilling or unable to regulate ourselves, we will be regulated. What we are seeing now is a function of Nature’s immune system. No judgement, no blame. This is just how it works. Homeostasis much be restored.
The function of disease
When a species exceeds the carrying capacity of their habitat, one of the ways Nature controls the population is with disease. The Covid 19 virus in historical context is not even particularly devastating. It has a fairly low mortality rate and tends to cull the elderly and the weak. We might consider this as a slap on the wrist, a reminder that we are part of a larger body. At least we weren’t presented with a disease that kills 90% of us this time, as was the case in parts of North America when First Nations people were initially exposed to the pathogens of Europe & Asia. But make no mistake about it, if we do not change our relationship with the Natural world, this is only the beginning.
The good news
Humans have a choice. We can regulate ourselves. We can bring ourselves back into balance with Nature. We can reduce our population and our rates of consumption. We can change our attitude towards Nature to one of respect rather than of exploitation and minimize our impact on natural systems. Many traditional cultures have the values of living in harmony with the natural world deeply woven into their traditions and lifestyles. Let us learn from them.
This is not the first time that civilizations have trembled. When we surpass the carrying capacity of our environment, bad things happen. We have developed ways to live in harmony with our environment in the past; it’s time to make the adjustment now – before it’s made for us.
Note: After I first received this download, I read an article online that had much the same message from a more scientific point of view. This encouraged me to shape this “message” into a blog. Here is the article.
Here’s another article passed on by a friend since I posted this blog, bringing in a First Nations point of view.
4.11.20 Another good article with a similar message from William Rees, a professor of human ecology & ecological economics at UBC