Tuesday, November 26, 2019

INTERCONNECTEDNESS - what does that mean?

INTERCONNECTEDNESS - Goodness, that is a mouthful!

If you don't get a feel for this word perhaps you've heard the term interdependence, another mouthful, or more specifically, ecosystem services. The invisible axiomatic truth is that pretty much everything is connected to everything else. That may be in a primary sense, right here right now, or manifest as a kind of ripple effect off to the side or into the future. Simplistically we might refer to this as a domino effect.

The images below illustrate how we NEED to have healthy environmental systems, plants and animals, in order to have a chance for healthy lives ourselves. And sometimes, as in the case of Mangroves, we have for many years simply treated them with disdain. Below you can see a summary, written for a US audience, of how mangroves help us and what threatens them.

Below gives an inkling of the negative things happening everyday across world mangroves.

[These images were taken from the IUCN website article referencing the importance of mangroves at  https://www.iucn.org/theme/marine-and-polar/our-work/climate-change-and-oceans/mangroves-and-coastal-ecosystems ]

This earth we live on has such a complex, diverse and enigmatic web of interconnected effects. Everything we do affects this place we live.

People have been working on understanding what when why and how these connections work over the entire evolution of humankind. Which are the things that effect our health and well-being and those things that are detrimental.

Human inventiveness and adaptability has affected those natural systems and their often hidden interconnections have affected our planet. Fire gave us comfort, better health and protection from animals who might eat us and it can burn forests down. Being able to grow crops has given us a steady food source and it has drained rivers and polluted receiving waters and lead to a changed pattern of eating.

Who would have thought that it took about 3,000 litres of water to get that yummy burger into your mouth? 

The more there are of us, the more changes we make. The statistics tell us that there are about 7.7 billion people on earth today, an increase of 6.1 billion people in only 117 years. The environmental systems that make the world habitable for us, producing breathable air, food, clean water, ARE struggling under the weight of our human numbers.

Is the climate changing? Well, clearly, it always does. Are we affecting the changing climate in ways that are different to past history? How could we not with the burgeoning number of people on the planet?

Humankind are such smart creatures. It's time to take stock of our interconnectedness. We will need to pull in our belts and make some brave decisions to look after mother earth and the cradle of the sea in order to ensure our own life on earth.


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