Peak & Prairie
April / May 1999
From the Chair
by Greg Casini, RMC Chair
Long ago, humans believed that the earth was the center of the universe. Through careful observation of the heavens, we came to realize that this is not true, and we have become used to this fact. Not so long ago, the appearance of humans on Earth was thought to be the result of an action separate from that which gave rise to all other living creatures. With patient study of species past and present, we now know that all organisms have evolved through the same process. Some of us are still adjusting to this fact.
Today, our society clings to another myth: that the laws of nature do not apply to us. That humans, self-aware and intelligent, are in charge of the world and need to conquer nature in order to thrive.
Humans are not a biological exception. Like all species, we are an integral part of a living community, intimately dependent upon the health of that community for our well-being. Like all other biology on this planet we are subject to the same unalterable laws of nature. When we exempt ourselves from these rules, we tear apart the fabric that holds the community together.
The fact is, our ignorance is not just placing the rest of the living world at risk: by waging war against nature, we are jeopardizing our own future. The continual dumping of our waste into the air, water and land overwhelms natures ability to regenerate and purify itself, affecting the quality of our air, water and soil. Farming and ranching practices that strip the land and kill off competitors for our food decrease the food supply of other species that keep insect and predator populations in balance. The clearing of forests and filling in of wetlands destroy the homes of count-less living creatures that we rely on for medicines.
Our actions are now affecting the Earths biological diversity. Biological diversity is not a luxury. A community flush with species can recover from sudden changes in environmental conditions; but as the numbers of species dwindle, the community becomes much more vulnerable to challenges. The laws of nature pro-mote biological diversity as a survival mechanism for the whole world. Diversity of species ensures survival for all.
Grudgingly, we have come to accept our place in the cosmos and our participation in the process of evolution. Now it is time to acknowledge that the laws of ecology are relevant to all participants in life, and that these laws have a purpose. It is only when we recognize these facts and incorporate them into our beliefs and behaviors that we will ensure the continued success of the living communities of Earth.[chapter/PANDP/footer.htm]