Belated happy Earth Day and Biodiversity Days! Isn’t it grand being a sentient beast on Earth? Plants, animals, bugs and fungi — in that order.
I love life sciences, and biology is a real area of interest. I revere David Attenborough and, if I could pass a mathematics test to save my life, perhaps I would have become a people doctor, or an animal doctor, or a lady who makes documentaries about the splendours of life on this planet.
But, in real life, I can barely do maths, I don’t want to actually deal with sick people because vets have to kill their patients. So that would have left being a nature documentary maker. Sadly, nature is great — from afar. And too many animals are crabs for some reason.
Finally, plants. They move and grow when you are not watching. It would be even worse if they did it while you were watching. Water plants even touch your foot sometimes! Still, sometimes when the morning song hits or something weird screeches in the night, when a dog smiles at me or I swim in the Indian Ocean without anything touching my foot, I think about the odds of being a modern human on Earth and I marvel. And because we are dumb hominids, we are killing this marvel with our activities.
Awareness of climate change caused by carbon emissions is a really cool story that starts a little bit after the Industrial Revolution and even involves Exxon environmental scientists at one point. No lie, actual Exxon scientists. Climate change is real, whether or not one “believes” in it, the politics of it is just what we sapiens do to justify social constructs like “profit” as if they are a talisman against death.
What has been interesting me lately about climate change is how the living parts of the planet are adapting. Like you, my life is plagued with plastics. Plastic recycling is mostly a scam by the way, holler and I will share the link to the NPR award-winning documentary about it.
Anyway, since we who make plastics and pollute with it don’t know what to do, nature is kindly evolving life forms that are capable of consuming it and rendering it less problematic! Bacteria, worms maybe we will discover other things too.
There are other problematic areas such as industrial agriculture, manufacturing, logging, etc, but an article has to have a focus and Big Oil is a perfect villain to highlight. Electric vehicles have existed since the 1920s, and while it does not solve the problem of energy production it certainly addresses it. Alternative energies exist and are being refined. It’s a tangible day-to-day problem worth thinking about. After all, we don’t want to lose the morning song of birds, do we?
Earth has officially experienced about five major extinction events, the sixth one will likely be man-made. My favourite is when cyanobacteria showed up and changed our atmosphere into one rich in oxygen, which killed off all the anaerobic life.
This was about 2 billion years ago. But, thanks to those little assassins, we now have all the things we like breathing, plants, animals, bugs, fungi and some humans. Nature finds a way. Enjoy and respect her as much as you can. And help her. We owe her that.
Elsie Eyakuze is an independent consultant and blogger for The Mikocheni Report; Email [email protected]