Occasionally I reflect, reiterate, refine, and share what I am doing with my life and with this blog. I do this, in part, to remind myself what I am doing and why I am doing it. In sharing my thoughts with you, my dear readers, I’m hoping you will comment on and critique the basic ideas which I offer. After all, the reason behind this blog is to establish a dialog with you where we can refine our ideas together.
Premises that are critically important if we are to preserve our environment
My credo is a personal belief and passion which I’ve organized in the form of three premises that I believe to be critically important if we are to preserve the environment in which we humans must live and survive. These premises are the reason why I chose to write this blog. They are:
- Nothing in Nature exists in isolation. Everything, including ourselves, is connected to everything else.
- Conservation is the act of identifying and preserving Nature’s interconnections.
- Hope for mankind’s future comes from instilling a deep connectivity consciousness in our youth.
Everything is interconnected and interdependent
I’ve noted in previous blogs here , here , and here that everything is interconnected and interdependent because connections are necessary to transport and transform Nature’s energy, her operating currency. Starting with our sun, energy is received and stored on Earth through plants. In turn, plants are consumed by herbivores. Herbivores are consumed by carnivores and omnivores. And so on. Broken energy conduits hamper or destroys Nature’s basic functionality. The literature is ripe with consistent ideas and facts regarding interconnectivity in Nature. From Rachel Carson, to E.O.Wilson, to David Suzuki and Gregory Bateson, there is little dispute.
We must conserve Nature’s vital energy flow
My second premise focuses conservation efforts on preserving Nature’s critical energy conduits. Through the identification and preservation of connections in Nature, we conserve that vital energy flow. The act of identifying and preserving Nature’s connections creates a “connectivity consciousness” within we humans. We are then guided to question any ecological action in terms of its effect that broken energy links have on the viability of an ecosystem because in our world of interconnectedness, every action has consequences.
Systems science is the study of how complex interconnected ecosystems function. Systems science clearly shows that man cannot control Nature because Nature is not predictable. I challenge you to predict the weather for more than a few days, or the movements within this mountain stream, or the King Penguin colony shown above, or the exact route of the waterfall at the top of this post. However, Nature’s stewards believe they can control Nature for the benefit of mankind. The killing of top predators, futile attempts to calculate wildlife limits and ranges, and the use of hunting licenses as conservation measures are manifestations of man’s ignorance in how Nature’s systems operate. Add to that the heavy political pressures from agriculture that seem to completely ignore the facts. I believe that effective conservation of Nature’s connections requires mankind to provide three critical services:
- Scientific fact provided by independent experts who are not constrained by any political or personal bias.
- A strong community consensus.
- Skilled facilitators who know how to mediate differences.
Environmental education is an important conservation strategy
My credo’s third premise is that we’ve lost the chance of developing a connectivity consciousness in most of the human adult population. In this era of hyper-consumerism, humanity is so focused on an urban existence that one cannot even identify the source of one’s food beyond the grocery shelf. Humanity’s connection with Nature has been lost. Any contact with Nature is, many times, from the seat of an ATV. Our youth, however, are receptive to the development of a connectivity consciousness because, given the chance, have the ability to be motivated by the awe and wonder of Nature . Unfortunately, our youth are challenged because of preoccupations with technologies like video games, cell phones, and ATVs. I am a big advocate of environmental education in the schools where outdoor experiences are offered along with a solid grounding in how and why everything is connected. Environmental education is a form of conservation.
The themes of all my future blogs will continue to address these premises that make up my credo. I invite all of you to comment and critique.
Why Do I Write These Essays?
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My name is Bill Graham. As a Marine Biologist who has worked in the US and Mexico for 30 years, I am a student of Nature, a teacher, a researcher, and a nature photographer. Through my work, I have acquired an ever growing passion for how everything in Nature is connected. Today, I travel extensively contemplating about, writing about, and photographing Nature’s connections. I also work with conservation projects in the USA and Mexico and mentor talented youth.