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Guardians of the Environment

© Kat Morgenstern 2003, all rights reserved.

Naturally as humans our view of the environment is completely anthropocentric. We think of it as resources to fuel and fill our needs and wants. We assume that it is our divine right to decide upon the fate of a piece of land and all the myriad species which that piece of land might support, most of which we are never even consciously aware of. And thus it is not surprising that the quality of life for all species is deteriorating in direct correlation to the degree with which we exploit 'our natural resources'.

The web of life exists not as a co-existing haphazard assembly of competing species but as an interwoven and interdependent mutually supporting tapestry of life. Thus, to pull one string affects the whole; to pull at dozens of strings simultaneously upsets the overall ecological balance.

Plants are not just there to fill our needs or to decorate the landscape; they are the organisms that make life in our biosphere possible: they make an otherwise lifeless environment habitable, arable and teaming with myriad of life forms that all ultimately depend on the green life force of plants and their magnificent ability to transform sunlight into digestible energy, make the air breathable and regulating the water cycles of the planet. Let us not forget that our lives depend on the integrity of the entire web, even down to the humble and most lowly species such as the ocean algae, which produce most of the oxygen, without which we could not breath, or the myriad of single celled organism that help to maintain an ecological balance by detoxifying polluted lands and water. They cover and stabilize loose soil thus protecting the surface of the earth from drying out, or from letting wind and rain carry its nutrients off, to the sea to be lost forever.

Their existence supports millions of other forms of life, including our own. So why do we so haphazardly destroy the integrity of this web of life, exhaust its resources to the last leaf, for the sake of greedy self-interest and a free market economy.

If there is to be a future, and life on this planet to continue as we know it, we must urgently recognize our position in this web of life and seriously address the imbalances in our ecosystem for which we are responsible and change our relationship with mother earth from an exploitive approach to a sustainable one.

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