Human invention is played up, and even sensationalized, far and wide. Fascination with the latest breakthroughs keeps the media, science, and the public at large, in constant scan mode. The latest and greatest gets top billing. Even fear of the geek-label fails to deter. The minds of young and old alike flow into the technological groove. Encourage that race – better, faster, and above all, first!
But few become attracted, much less attached, to improving understanding of the absolute essentials – air, water, soil. You would think that a deep and expansive knowledge of the planet would be the educational gold standard, given our ever-so-obvious dependence. But this idea is a heck of a long way from becoming any kind of a benchmark.
And even though the most innovative technological ideas derive from observation – and often flat out copying – of what already goes on in nature, the source of inspiration sure isn’t shown much, if any, appreciation.
The war on insects is just one sorry example of how little ecosystem expertise there is compared to all the energy directed to single, and narrow purpose technological interference. Insect issues are routinely reduced to:
which product is best to poison the invaders out of existence?
how and how often should we dowse them with it?
… and move on. And if there isn’t a technological knock-out already – or the noxious after-effects of existing ones are complained about loudly and long enough – the race is back on to develop new ones.
Examination of environmental evidence often doesn’t even cover proper understanding of the target insect and how to kill it. And lately, the cavalry has shifted the sights to overtly genetically messing with nature itself. How much genetic change has already occurred with no recognition that anything is amiss – yet. How much useful – and ultimately indispensable – information goes misinterpreted, ignored, or over-looked all together when the concentration is so intently directed at defeating the enemy, ASAP?
No matter that the invaders re-appear, sometimes even stronger and better adapted than before – or are replaced with other unwanted bugs … or worse. That many fixes turned out to be the equivalent of band-aids just doesn’t break the spell! The soil, water and air continue to bombarded with a host of unnatural, toxic or altering substances, leading to even more imbalance and undesirable outcomes – and then finding fixes for the fixes adds more to the mess.
It would take a while to count how many times a cure turned out to be worse than the ailment. The chances of there being consequences not even detected yet are pretty good. The outcomes already observed are unsettling enough, but we must take care in investigating. Too often, hasty conclusions are drawn before research has barely even scratched the surface – and seriously hindering progress.
Technology is a Hammer – Nature isn’t a Nail
Technology is a helpful tool when used intelligently. It’s not a panacea and the habit of fashioning weapons with it doesn’t come of wisdom. The answers we need to understand ecological balance aren’t likely to be found by waging escalating technological warfare. The us vs them mentality is extremely narrow and limited.
It’s said that we live and learn. We also learn and live – and continue to learn so we can keep on living. Just because we’ve always fallen for the fallacy, doesn’t mean we have to persist. The option to look around for more sensible approaches is ready and available.
Awareness of how the planet operates belongs first, front-and-center in the continuous learning arena. Data gathered so far has a lot of holes, but not enough care is taken to keep this in view. There’s far too much faulty interpreting, so while technology – and faulty explanations – race ahead, comprehension of the underlying natural foundation falls further and further behind. If we don’t figure out how to straighten up and re-pin the under-story, gravity- will prevail.
Planetary Prosperity and Our Own are One and the Same
The war mentality shuts out so much information, there’s nothing to recommend continuing with it. Constant racing isn’t sustainable, either. Winning and losing are just more black and white thinking limitations. Recognizing and eliminating the ways we’re only succeeding at shooting ourselves in the collective foot, is long over-due.
The study of air, water and soil – and the life that depends on them – is so very new in the world’s time-line. The potential is awesome – and I mean the learning, not the capitalistic notion of, potential. The mastering the world and everything in it mindset is an incredibly myopic habit in need of a sharp correction.
Nature is the master, the mistress, has the last word – and holds the keys to the knowledge vault. The funny part is that the door isn’t locked, and the information is abundant and intended for everyone. But look how often it happens that the first idea that comes through is grabbed and run with as if it’s all there is.
Putting the attraction of shiny, new first ideas into perspective isn’t a big deal. We can do a lot better job of understanding what’s needed to heal, restore and protect. There’s almost always more than one way and curiosity doesn’t kill cats. Impulse is the real culprit. The careful, open-minded, curious and observant approach takes more reasoning power and research elbow grease in the beginning. But taking care of the planet is taking care of ourselves, plain and simple. It’s worth doing, and it’s worth doing well.