Updated: Mar 8
As Dutch Ecologist, Menno Schilthuizen, says in his book, 'Darwin Comes To Town', "It’s time to own up to the fact that human actions are the world’s single most influential ecological force."
What if we are ‘wild life’? What if we are BOTH a destructive & a creative force?
Destruction and creation are one and the same.
The falling of a tree does create a new habitat: there’s just the minutest of breathes in between. Throughout all of our natural processes, the destruction of one life form is ALWAYS food/fuel for another…
What if humanity represents chaos AND hope, just on a more visible scale than most species across our globe?
Was plastic a mistake? Or was it humanity utilising our evolved intellect to combine elements to create a new form of matter, causing our planet - through necessity - to respond through the birth of a new species (as far as we know) of plastic consuming fungi, ASPERGILLUS TUBINGENSIS?
Our human intellect can be either visionary or crushingly pessimistic. Currently, we seem to be focusing on the negative.
Our collective state of mind appears to be cementing into one of overwhelm. A common question is, “How can we start again?”
But what if we’re just not looking far enough ahead?
What if we are - in fact - already on the right track?
What if, in using phrases like, “We’re disconnected from nature” and “We’re interfering with natural processes” we are massively limiting our own capabilities by falling into inaction, exhausted by our own seemingly endless stupidity?
But how arrogant we are, to believe that we have separated ourselves outside of the very processes that have created us? We are born from the earth and plants that feed us, we’re 80% water, our immune systems rely on sunlight and our physical well being is balanced (kept healthy) by access to the natural vibrational frequencies of our planet and yet we say, “We have disconnected from our natural world.”
How can our tiny minds with our limited capabilities (we can view only 0.0035% of the entire electromagnetic spectrum) possibly have outsmarted and separated ourselves from the immensely complex intelligence that has spawn and runs everything, whatever name we have given it, from God to Gaia?
What if ALL that has happened is that we are experiencing a mass misunderstanding of our own place/importance on this planet? What if we are only choosing to see the results of our destructive tendencies instead of our creative purpose? What if plastic WASN’T a mistake? What if it was a step to allow new life - plastic eating fungi??? - to evolve?
As Scientist, James Lovelock says in his famous work, Gaia, “Pollution is not, as we are so often told, a product of moral turpitude. It is an inevitable consequence of life at work. The second law of thermodynamics clearly states that the low entropy and intricate, dynamic organization of a living system can only function through the excretion of low–grade products and low–grade energy to the environment.
Criticism is only justified if we fail to find neat and satisfactory solutions which eliminate the problem while turning it to advantage. To grass, beetles, and even farmers, the cow’s dung is not pollution but a valued gift. In a sensible world, industrial waste would not be banned but put to good use. The negative, unconstructive response of prohibition by law seems as idiotic as legislating against the emission of dung from cows.”
“What if there are no mistakes?”
I really like that question. It inspires hope in me and I find myself asking in response… “Ok, so if there are no mistakes and we were meant to create this matter called ‘plastic’, what are we meant to do with it NOW that could be a positive?"
And what about the great cruelties that we have inflicted on animals, through factory farming and laboratory testing? If that wasn’t a mistake (and yes, I do shudder at that question because the suffering we have inflicted is unjust and terrible) then what next? What have we learnt from our actions?
Have we discovered that factory farming causes illness in ourselves due to the massively depleted nutritional value of the lives we consume? That animal testing actually delays medical research and that instead there are better/faster ways: ANIMAL FREE RESEARCH? That our health should be prioritised by growing our own food, making space to co-habit with all of life, now more educated on what our dark alternative future could be instead?
I choose to believe that we are a specialised, evolved species, as wondrous as we can be terrible. I cannot say that I understand why we have evolved to commit torture and cruelty but I do hold onto the fact that there’s a growing movement of humans across our planet who are focused and 100% committed to a premise of equality amongst all species. Perhaps as a species we had to trigger darkness to further evolve to become a beacon of an even brighter light?
At least in choosing to focus on hope, I find myself active and proactive. I look for opportunities. Where there is destruction there is always a birth of new life, as a fallen tree evolves into a home/habitat and a resource to nourish other species.
Currently I am looking to choose that plastic litter could be converted from a negative to a positive through 'RUBBISH REVIVED' (converting waste plastic into wildlife tunnels to help all of our planet’s wildlife more easily traverse our urban infrastructures).
And of course I am choosing to align those plans with URBAN POCKET WILDSCAPING. As Menno Schilthuizen also states, “I argue […] that we must embrace and harness the evolutionary forces that are shaping novel ecosystems right here, right now, and work towards allowing nature to grow in the hearts of our cities.”