Ten things that should be self-evident

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Kalense's picture
Kalense
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Ten things that should be self-evident
  1. In whatever way you define biodiversity, humans are part of it.
  2. Humans obtain services from ecosystems to survive, make a profit, or increase their own well-being. In doing so, little effort is made to ensure long-term (inter-generational) well-being or equity; the focus is on maximising short-term well-being.
  3. To extract services, humans often adapt and simplify existing ecosystems or replace existing ecosystems with simpler ones. Humans thus increase their well-being by reducing the diversity within and between ecosystems; that is, by reducing biodiversity. Industrial agriculture, in particular, strives to simplify to the extreme and to eliminate diversity.
  4. Biodiversity loss and change is not a thing "out there" but an integral part of the way human societies work. We cannot stop biodiversity loss by treating it as an independent object. Biodiversity loss and accelerated change are entirely anthropogenic, and are intimately bound into our economies and societies.
  5. Human demands on biodiversity are a function of our large and growing global population, and the nature and intensity of the metabolism of societies. The metabolism of industrial and post-industrial societies places a severe and ever-growing demand on ecosystems around the planet. Most of the impact on biodiversity of these societies is outside their political boundaries.
  6. At a global scale, the human demands on the living world exceed the rate at which nature replenishes itself. We are in global overshoot. The cost of this overshoot, translated as permanent loss of services, is paid mainly by the destitute, the unborn and by species other than humans. 
  7. Overshoot at a global scale can not, and will not, last. Biodiversity loss at this scale is a symptom of an unsustainable human species. 
  8. Historically we know that human demands on the environment increase until nature resists. Nature resists in ways that reduce human well-being, often terminally for the societies concerned. 
  9. To avoid such an outcome, we must take responsibility for our future, that of our children, and of the rest of the living world. We must rapidly abandon the role of plunderers and predators and accept the role of gardeners with a clear vision of the living world we would like our children to live in. 
  10. To bring human societies into a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with the living world will not be easy and the path is not clearly signposted. Research, and active political engagement, is vitally important if we are to meet this challenge.
JAG's picture
JAG
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Re: five MORE things that should be self-evident
  1. Human consciousness is merely a tool, and not an identity.
  2. From a self-identified perspective, life is suffering.
  3. From a biological perspective, life is an unconscious dance with no distinct dancers.
  4. Human thought is a distortion of reality.
  5. The only thing that is self-evident is that there is no evidence of self.

 

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
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Re: Ten things that should be self-evident

1. Don't tug on superman's cape.

2. Don't spit into the wind.

3. Don't pull the mask of the ol' Lone Ranger.

4. Don't mess around with Jim.

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
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Re: Ten things that should be self-evident

Well said, Kalense.  We (people) are like that cell that starts multiplying like crazy.  Not a good thing for the body [earth].  I wish we did have it in us, as a species, to learn to live in balance with the rest of nature on our own.  But it sure doesn't look that way. 

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
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Re: Ten things that should be self-evident
Kalense wrote:
  1. In whatever way you define biodiversity, humans are part of it.
  2. Humans obtain services from ecosystems to survive, make a profit, or increase their own well-being. In doing so, little effort is made to ensure long-term (inter-generational) well-being or equity; the focus is on maximising short-term well-being.
  3. To extract services, humans often adapt and simplify existing ecosystems or replace existing ecosystems with simpler ones. Humans thus increase their well-being by reducing the diversity within and between ecosystems; that is, by reducing biodiversity. Industrial agriculture, in particular, strives to simplify to the extreme and to eliminate diversity.
  4. Biodiversity loss and change is not a thing "out there" but an integral part of the way human societies work. We cannot stop biodiversity loss by treating it as an independent object. Biodiversity loss and accelerated change are entirely anthropogenic, and are intimately bound into our economies and societies.
  5. Human demands on biodiversity are a function of our large and growing global population, and the nature and intensity of the metabolism of societies. The metabolism of industrial and post-industrial societies places a severe and ever-growing demand on ecosystems around the planet. Most of the impact on biodiversity of these societies is outside their political boundaries.
  6. At a global scale, the human demands on the living world exceed the rate at which nature replenishes itself. We are in global overshoot. The cost of this overshoot, translated as permanent loss of services, is paid mainly by the destitute, the unborn and by species other than humans. 
  7. Overshoot at a global scale can not, and will not, last. Biodiversity loss at this scale is a symptom of an unsustainable human species. 
  8. Historically we know that human demands on the environment increase until nature resists. Nature resists in ways that reduce human well-being, often terminally for the societies concerned. 
  9. To avoid such an outcome, we must take responsibility for our future, that of our children, and of the rest of the living world. We must rapidly abandon the role of plunderers and predators and accept the role of gardeners with a clear vision of the living world we would like our children to live in. 
  10. To bring human societies into a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with the living world will not be easy and the path is not clearly signposted. Research, and active political engagement, is vitally important if we are to meet this challenge.

Hello Kalense,

To gain a consensus agreement to this question would be a good start ...

Thank you for posting and welcome to cm.com ...

My Best,

~ VF ~

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
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Re: Ten things that should be self-evident

Great video on exponential growth, Vanity Fox! 

deggleton's picture
deggleton
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Re: Ten things that should be self-evident
Kalense wrote:

We must rapidly abandon the role of plunderers and predators and accept the role of gardeners with a clear vision of the living world we would like our children to live in. 

To bring human societies into a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with the living world will not be easy and the path is not clearly signposted. Research, and active political engagement, is vitally important if we are to meet this challenge.

Until these last assertions, I was able to think "yeah, more or less."  These, far from objectionable, sparked additions/variations.

Gardening is a good and a necessity, but some have been and practically all can be next-to-primary producers, plant-like, if you will.  The mind/heart/spirit combo, working through the body, is analogous to chlorophyll.  Put another way:  humans can nourish humans, and will when they choose to do so.  We do not live by bread alone.  In many cases, leadership is all that's lacking.  We've long been misdirected into and restrained by competition with each other, instead of contribution to each other and collaboration with each other.

The signposts of the path are up, but they're in a dense forest of mixed (real and false) signposts.  Findings from research are adequate, but effective political engagement is poorly understood (at what level?  on what basis?).  There's so much to hack through and push aside!

land2341's picture
land2341
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Posts: 402
Re: Ten things that should be self-evident
deggleton wrote:
Kalense wrote:

We must rapidly abandon the role of plunderers and predators and accept the role of gardeners with a clear vision of the living world we would like our children to live in. 

To bring human societies into a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with the living world will not be easy and the path is not clearly signposted. Research, and active political engagement, is vitally important if we are to meet this challenge.

Until these last assertions, I was able to think "yeah, more or less."  These, far from objectionable, sparked additions/variations.

Gardening is a good and a necessity, but some have been and practically all can be next-to-primary producers, plant-like, if you will.  The mind/heart/spirit combo, working through the body, is analogous to chlorophyll.  Put another way:  humans can nourish humans, and will when they choose to do so.  We do not live by bread alone.  In many cases, leadership is all that's lacking.  We've long been misdirected into and restrained by competition with each other, instead of contribution to each other and collaboration with each other.

The signposts of the path are up, but they're in a dense forest of mixed (real and false) signposts.  Findings from research are adequate, but effective political engagement is poorly understood (at what level?  on what basis?).  There's so much to hack through and push aside!

 

This was posted a long time ago,  but recent events have caused me to return to the beginning.  And I see that this is the very basis of the response problem.  Cooperation and communal approaches are the only way we can make ourselves smarter than yeast.  Our very bodies are inhabited by thousands of bacteria upon which we depend.  And which clearly depend on us.  If they over populate we become ill and we take anti-biotics wiping out the good with the bad.

So we need to cooperate.  Yet we have an acculturated ethos that says that individual freedom is the most important thing of all,  self sufficiency is the means to survival.  The only known means of assuring such communal lives has been through governmental coercion.  And that never works,  nor is it sustainable.  What is needed is a massive overhaul in our very values system.  And I am certain we are incapable of such a thing.  So,  the planet will soon begin to administer its own version of anti-biotics.   

deggleton's picture
deggleton
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Re: Ten things that should be self-evident
land2341 wrote:

...we need to cooperate.  Yet we have an acculturated ethos that says that individual freedom is the most important thing of all,  self sufficiency is the means to survival.  The only known means of assuring such communal lives has been through governmental coercion.  And that never works,  nor is it sustainable.  What is needed is a massive overhaul in our very values system.  And I am certain we are incapable of such a thing.  So,  the planet will soon begin to administer its own version of anti-biotics.   

My hope is that the notion of cooperation, which too often looks like giving in and going along, will be refined in light of what Stephen Covey calls complementary teams (in The 8th Habit).  These are arrangements of co-missioned people that make strengths productive and weaknesses irrelevant.  Such arrangements accommodate individuality, a reality warped and diminished by individualism, like nothing else, and may be attractive to many.

I concur that the race is on and the results cannot be predicted.

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