Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Nature Quote


Humans have a tendency to fall prey to the illusion that their economy is at the very center of the universe, forgetting that the biosphere is what ultimately sustains all systems, both man-made and natural. In this sense, "environmental issues" are not about saving the planet—it will always survive and evolve with new combinations of atoms—but about the prosperous development of our own species.

~Carl Folke is the science director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University


                                                                         Photo by steve_lacy941 

13 comments:

  1. Amen, brother!  Tell it like it IS!  I gotta read more by this guy.

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  2. He's stated it well. It might behoove environmentalists to promote this angle more. But our species is already so egocentric, and I thinkn most of us want to promote the idea that the natural world has intrinsic value.  

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  3. Another thoughtful quote and beautiful photograph!

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  4. Esp love the photo--- I plugged your blog on mine --bc I love the way your Monday quote gives an artful start to the week---but forgot to ask permission first!  Hope  you're okay with what I said about you :-)

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  5. And YOU stated THIS well. 

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  6. Heck, dkm, I'm delighted! What a sweet endorsement--thank you!

    Readers can find dkm at BackyardSpectator: http://backyardspectator.blogspot.com/  

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  7. Sallie (FullTime-Life)March 8, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Gosh even a Republican should be able to understand that.

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  8. Our future is shaped by the methods we use to create as well as what we create.

    "environmental issues" are not about saving the planet—it will always survive and evolve with new combinations of atoms—but about the prosperous development of our own species.

    "of our own species" has me wondering at least 2 things:

    1) If we don't have prosperous development, no other animal species will prosper?
    2) If we disappear all other species will prosper?

    Prosperous development is where the environment is not consumed completely, damaged, in essence not spending the principal instead of spending the interest to

    make products or services.

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  9. Hmmm, I think I'm interpreting this quote differently than the way you  are, Bob. I'm reading it as saying that regardless of what we do to the planet, it obviously will survive--even if the biosphere doesn't look like it does today--even if terribly damaged, atoms will continue to recombine and be recycled into...something. So really, what environmentalists are trying to do is save the current biosphere...as much for our own sakes as that of other beings.

    Sooo, by my view, Folke's "prosperous development" means the well-being of humans continuing to live on this wonderful planet; other species will likewise prosper--we need them to, because we need a healthy, functioning biosphere to live in.

    Maybe each of us can put our own spin on this quote. 

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  10. I believe that the single cell biosphere, the real life on this planet that takes good care of the planet, has survived 4 billion years of catastrophic meteors and comets and times when the entire planet is covered with erupting volcanoes or immense ice sheets, shifting tectonic plates that disappear completely and solar flares that roast the land. The single cell life will probably only disappear when the last drop of water is gone from the earth, maybe a couple of billion years from now when the sun blows up. And then the spores that can withstand outer space will carry on.

    People and animals are keyed to the current biosphere, a major change in the biosphere could be very bad news, something to be avoided at all costs.

    I believe this to be true, Folke's "prosperous development" means the well-being
    of humans continuing to live on this wonderful planet; other species
    will likewise prosper--we need them to, because we need a healthy,
    functioning biosphere to live in.

    I also believe that if people don't live and interact with the world in reasonable way, that people will suffer as well as all the other animals. When seven billion people all want shark fin soup, there will be no more sharks in a very short amount of time.

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  11. Aha! Looks like we are speaking the same language!

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  12. Fabulous discussion, Patricia and Bob!  If I dare bring politics to the table, did either of you happen to see the excellent opinion in NYT this morning about Romney and Santorum's views about the conflict between prosperous development and public land? The Trees Are All Right
    opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com

    That two grown men can be so ignorant about the importance of preserving our national forests, parks, and wilderness areas against commercial development simply boggles my mind. What on green earth did their mother's teach them?  I pity the republican who has to choose one of these guys.

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  13.  If only they were
    Cardboard cutouts
    Inflated by ego
    Caricatures of caricatures
    I could
    Laugh them off

    They are not scary
    It is the ones
    That stand behind them
    Not to back them up
    Those who feast
    On natural treasures

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