Biodiversity

I am surely not one of those doomsday preppers you could encounter on some documentary broadcast networks and I am definitely not digging a large basement underneath my house or buying cans of food and devices to purify water waiting for some apocalypse to arrive. It's not that I didn't give a thought or two on the topic. I even wrote a little about doomsday and apocalypse aftermath back in 2012 when it was all in media with that Mayan date event. However, one thing is for sure and probably the most cruel fact you might conclude from this research. We definitely don't have any influence in order to stop many of potential doomsday scenarios - like hostile alien attack or deadly collision with large asteroid or long nuclear winter. But with some we can deal with. Post-apocalyptic environment caused by bio-hazards are those we might prevent. But only if we start on time.


Yesterday would be nice, but tomorrow is still ok. But, before we jump into the term itself and what it represents, let's just spice it up with this quote:

I'd like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realised that humans are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. Instead you multiply, and multiply, until every resource is consumed. The only way for you to survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern... a virus.

Have you heard this speech? I am sure you have. It's one of the Matrix quotes we remember. Do you agree with agent Smith? Before you say no, let's try one mind experiment. Just close your eyes and try to create a speed up video of last, say 2000 years of human history. Try to imagine a short video watching from above with CGI effect representing growing of human population on Earth. Does it look like in above video?


What is going to happen after 2050 is hard to predict, but it seems that it all depends on one little thing called Biodiversity, or how perfectly nice agent Smith described it as natural equilibrium between humans and humans vs everyone else. It seems that one point in time will come in the future where everything might collapse whatever we do. This is the point when natural balance with too many humans populating the Earth will be inevitably reached. It is simply impossible to prevent the energy and the resources failure for all of us if the worse scenario continues. The only solution possible is birth control either invoked by law or by some natural or evolutionary process. In the below referenced indexmundi country comparison for annual population growth rate (births over deaths ratio) it looks that significant number of countries started suffering negative grown percent. Why there is more deaths than births in some population is still negotiable but it could be that nature also takes care of population equilibrium like in UN paper's third scenario.

By now you are wondering, what would it be, whether we will reach a point of no return soon in this century, or nature will slow us down by controlling total fertility rate. I would like to vote the latter and not because I would like nature to do all the work for our survival, but only because if this is going to happen we will be given the second chance to help the nature a little.


The question is how should we help ourselves?

First let's start by understanding biodiversity better. It's all about ecosystems or biological systems occupying geographically isolated area where we can isolate all species within. Additionally we are able to isolate all the dependencies between species, local climate, food chain flow, composition of soil, air, water, in short everything that makes the area a closed ecosystem. This is not where it ends, there are lots of different ecosystems mutually dependable and intractable. The Earth is nothing more than one giant ecosystem harboring all of them within. Apart of those still partially unaffected ecosystems, like those on the bottom of the oceans or those on polar regions one thing is common to all of them. Do you need to guess? It's us. We are populating all of them and we are in charge. We are the one who are able to contribute the most and in both directions, one is negative where we pollute ecosystems, kill other species, sometimes to the edge of their simple survival, imbalance the food chain for reasons as superficial as making money and even powerful enough to influence the climate, especially in small ecosystems. The other direction is positive and this is the one where we start using our comprehensions of our surroundings in order to protect and coexist with others.

So, helping biodiversity like described in above video can be done in different ways. One is global awareness similar to global warming issue. It should be taken seriously and the solution is education. It is not going to be easy, but over a decade or so, a generation or so, we all must understand the risk of natural imbalance. The UN, powerful countries, EU and other leading organisations should have great responsibility in order to spread the knowledge. All countries worldwide should have a budget big enough to take care of their own ecosystems and finally individuals are probably the most important chain link in preserving the habitat of their own lives. Personal education is also very important, and this is my contribution. Never mind how small it is, but the knowledge is cumulative and it will stay written in public place. Think of it as a basket of keywords you could use to surf further.


Before I really started writing this post I asked for some guidance from my dear Facebook friend Iveta Seidlova, president of the Global Biodiversity Protection and beside couple of useful articles and links to further organisations dealing with Biodiversity Consciousness she also sent me her thoughts regarding importance of consciousness as an evolutionary process developed by humans in regards to other species who coexist with us and live for millions of years without ability to think above simple survival or at least in the evolutionary stage just below pure and raw civilization stage, comparable to humans who lived tens of thousands of years ago.

"I don't believe that Nature had the ability to think, until biological matrices capable of supporting thought evolved. However, I don't think that Earth is the first place where it happened. I have no idea what underlies matter, but I don't think consciousness is the answer. Nor is consciousness very common among living things. There are many life forms which have attributes that we don't have. Plants, for instance, make their own food. I don't think there is anything particularly fundamental about consciousness. On the contrary, it's something extremely specialized and rare." - Iveta Seidlova, president of the "Global Biodiversity Protection" organisation.

Indeed, to me, this is really a brain teaser and I couldn't agree with Iveta more. Think of it, it seems that natural equilibrium existed before humans developed rational though was at higher level than it is today. Contradictory, even today we developed full comprehension of a closed ecosystem we live within, in the same time we emerged to be the number one threat to its imbalance. However, if we do nothing it's equally wrong and eventually this will bring us to the very end of our pure survival. But then, looking from this perspective, is there a way out of the magic circle?"


I think there is a hope and here on Earth, we should continue with "living green" campaigns in all aspects of life, including reducing pollution significantly, building houses or living areas as green as possible, using technology for building agricultural plants even in cities, balancing greenhouse gases emissions within acceptable range, taking care of endangered species. Above Earth and equally important we have more seriously to start exploring other planets and possibility of their adaptation for creating artificial ecosystems, exploring and creating space cities for expanding ecosystems and living in planet's orbits.

Please find additional material for your (and mine) further education regarding Biodiversity and here I want to express my endless appreciation to Iveta Seidlova for finding time and helping me out with this post. Thank you again.

International Union for Conservation of Nature
http://www.iucn.org

United Nations Decade on Biodiversity
http://www.cbd.int/2011-2020/

Convention on Biological Diversity
http://www.cbd.int/cop10/

Cybernated Farm Systems
https://www.facebook.com/CybernatedFarmSystems

Cosmic Evolution Blog
http://www.cosmicevolution.net/astrobiology-blog.php

How many people can live on planet earth? - BBC Horizon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwBgNF_4g7Q

Rise of the Machines and Future of Human Civilization Michio Kaku
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iug9vA4ysws

NATURE | The Loneliest Animals | Critical Biodiversity | PBS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7G2rQARCC8

And of course, be careful when you destroy the ant nest on the roof of your house. By doing it you could be responsible of the chain effect and possible disorder of your own small ecosystem. If you later encounter a snake or a big rat in your baseroom it could be all your fault.

More referenced articles:
http://www.globalissues.org/issue/169/biodiversity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiversity
http://www.globalbiodiversityprotection.org/
http://www.eoearth.org/article/Biodiversity
http://www.pabiodiversity.org/whatisbiodiversity.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/global-population-growth.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpj0emEGShQ
http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?t=0&v=24&l=en
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_fertility_rate

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