The path of scientific caution will not save the ecology of the planet

To prove the ecological abyss into which mankind is moving, the impending ecological catastrophe, today it is no longer necessary to be an environmental specialist. You don’t even need to have a college degree. It is enough to look and evaluate how and with what speed certain natural resources or certain territories on planet Earth have changed over the past hundred or fifty years. 

There were so many fish in rivers and seas, berries and mushrooms in forests, flowers and butterflies in meadows, frogs and birds in swamps, hares and other fur-bearing animals, etc. hundred, fifty, twenty years ago? Less, less, less… This picture is typical for most groups of animals, plants and individual inanimate natural resources. The Red Book of endangered and becoming rare species is constantly updated with new victims of the activities of Homo sapiens… 

And compare the quality and purity of air, water and soil a hundred, fifty years ago and today! After all, where a person lives, today there is household waste, plastic that does not decompose in nature, hazardous chemical emissions, car exhaust gases and other pollution. Forests around cities, littered with garbage, smog hanging over cities, pipes of power plants, factories and plants smoking into the sky, rivers, lakes and seas polluted or poisoned by runoff, soil and groundwater oversaturated with fertilizers and pesticides … And some hundred years ago, many territories were almost virgin in terms of the preservation of wildlife and the absence of humans there. 

Large-scale reclamation and drainage, deforestation, agricultural land development, desertification, construction and urbanization – there are more and more areas of intensive economic use, and less and less wilderness areas. The balance, the balance between wildlife and man is disturbed. Natural ecosystems are destroyed, transformed, degraded. Their sustainability and ability to renew natural resources is declining. 

And this happens everywhere. Entire regions, countries, even continents are already degrading. Take, for example, the natural wealth of Siberia and the Far East and compare what was before and what is now. Even Antarctica, seemingly remote from human civilization, is experiencing a powerful global anthropogenic impact. Perhaps somewhere else there are small, isolated areas that this misfortune has not touched. But this is an exception to the general rule. 

It is enough to cite such examples of environmental disasters in the countries of the former USSR as the destruction of the Aral Sea, the Chernobyl accident, the Semipalatinsk test site, the degradation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, and the pollution of the Volga River basin.

The death of the Aral Sea

Until recently, the Aral Sea was the fourth largest lake in the world, famous for its richest natural resources, and the Aral Sea zone was considered a prosperous and biologically rich natural environment. Since the early 1960s, in pursuit of cotton wealth, there has been a reckless expansion of irrigation. This led to a sharp reduction in the river flow of the Syrdarya and Amudarya rivers. The Aral Lake began to dry up quickly. By the mid-90s, the Aral lost two-thirds of its volume, and its area was almost halved, and by 2009 the dried bottom of the southern part of the Aral turned into a new Aral-Kum desert. Flora and fauna have sharply decreased, the climate of the region has become more severe, and the incidence of diseases among the inhabitants of the Aral Sea region has increased. During this time, the salt desert that formed in the 1990s has spread over thousands of square kilometers. People, tired of fighting diseases and poverty, began to leave their homes. 

Semipalatinsk Test Site

On August 29, 1949, the first Soviet atomic bomb was tested at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. Since then, the Semipalatinsk test site has become the main site for testing nuclear weapons in the USSR. More than 400 nuclear underground and ground explosions were carried out at the test site. In 1991, the tests stopped, but many heavily contaminated areas remained on the territory of the test site and nearby regions. In many places, the radioactive background reaches 15000 micro-roentgens per hour, which is thousands of times more than the permissible level. The area of ​​contaminated territories is more than 300 thousand kmXNUMX. It is home to over one and a half million people. Cancer diseases have become one of the most common in eastern Kazakhstan. 

Bialowieza Forest

This is the only large remnant of the relict forest, which once covered the plains of Europe with a continuous carpet and was gradually cut down. A large number of rare species of animals, plants and fungi, including bison, still live in it. Thanks to this, Belovezhskaya Pushcha is protected today (a national park and a biosphere reserve), and is also included in the World Heritage List of mankind. Pushcha has historically been a place of recreation and hunting, first of Lithuanian princes, Polish kings, Russian tsars, then of the Soviet party nomenklatura. Now it is under the administration of the Belarusian President. In Pushcha, periods of strict protection and harsh exploitation alternated. Deforestation, land reclamation, hunting management have led to serious degradation of the unique natural complex. Mismanagement, predatory use of natural resources, ignoring the reserved science and laws of ecology, which culminated in the last 10 years, caused great damage to Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Under the guise of protection, the national park has been turned into a multifunctional agro-trade-tourist-industrial “mutant forestry” that even includes collective farms. As a result, the Pushcha itself, like a relic forest, disappears before our eyes and turns into something else, ordinary and ecologically of little value. 

Growth limits

The study of man in his natural environment seems to be the most interesting and most difficult task. The need to take into account a large number of areas and factors at once, the interconnection of different levels, the complex influence of man – all this requires a global comprehensive view of nature. It is no coincidence that the famous American ecologist Odum called ecology the science of the structure and functioning of nature. 

This interdisciplinary area of ​​knowledge explores the relationship between different levels of nature: inanimate, vegetative, animal and human. None of the existing sciences has been able to combine such a global spectrum of research. Therefore, ecology at its macro level had to integrate such seemingly different disciplines as biology, geography, cybernetics, medicine, sociology and economics. Ecological catastrophes, following one after another, turn this field of knowledge into a vital one. And therefore, the views of the whole world are turned today to the global problem of human survival. 

The search for a sustainable development strategy began in the early 1970s. They were initiated by “World Dynamics” by J. Forrester and “Limits to Growth” by D. Meadows. At the First World Conference on the Environment in Stockholm in 1972, M. Strong proposed a new concept of ecological and economic development. In fact, he proposed the regulation of the economy with the help of ecology. In the late 1980s, the concept of sustainable development was proposed, which called for the realization of the right of people to a favorable environment. 

One of the first global environmental documents was the Convention on Biological Diversity (adopted in Rio de Janeiro in 1992) and the Kyoto Protocol (signed in Japan in 1997). The convention, as you know, obliged countries to take measures to conserve species of living organisms, and the protocol – to limit the emission of greenhouse gases. However, as we can see, the effect of these agreements is small. At present, there is no doubt that the ecological crisis has not been stopped, but is only deepening. Global warming no longer needs to be proven and “digged out” in the works of scientists. It is in front of everyone, outside our window, in climate change and warming, in more frequent droughts, in strong hurricanes (after all, increased evaporation of water into the atmosphere leads to the fact that more and more of it must pour out somewhere). 

Another question is how soon the ecological crisis will turn into an ecological catastrophe? That is, how soon will a trend, a process that can still be reversed, move to a new quality, when a return is no longer possible?

Now ecologists are discussing whether the so-called ecological point of no return has been passed or not? That is, have we crossed the barrier after which an ecological catastrophe is inevitable and there will be no going back, or do we still have time to stop and turn back? There is no single answer yet. One thing is clear: climate change is increasing, the loss of biological diversity (species and living communities) and the destruction of ecosystems is accelerating and moving into an unmanageable state. And this, despite our great efforts to prevent and stop this process… Therefore, today the threat of the death of the planetary ecosystem does not leave anyone indifferent. 

How to make the correct calculation?

The most pessimistic forecasts of environmentalists leave us up to 30 years, during which we must make a decision and implement the necessary measures. But even these calculations seem too encouraging to us. We have already destroyed the world enough and are moving at a fast pace to the point of no return. The time of singles, individualistic consciousness is over. The time has come for the collective consciousness of free people who are responsible for the future of civilization. Only by acting together, by the entire world community, can we really, if not stop, then reduce the consequences of the impending environmental catastrophe. Only if we start joining forces today will we have time to stop the destruction and restore ecosystems. Otherwise, hard times await us all… 

According to V.I.Vernadsky, a harmonious “epoch of the noosphere” should be preceded by a deep socio-economic reorganization of society, a change in its value orientation. We are not saying that humanity should immediately and radically renounce something and cancel the entire past life. The future grows out of the past. We also do not insist on an unambiguous assessment of our past steps: what we did right and what did not. It is not easy today to find out what we did right and what is wrong, and it is also impossible to cross out all our previous lives until we reveal the opposite side. We cannot judge one side until we see the other. The preeminence of light is revealed from darkness. Is it not for this reason (unipolar approach) that humanity is still failing in its attempts to stop the growing global crisis and change life for the better?

It is not possible to solve environmental problems only by reducing production or only by diverting rivers! So far, it is only a question of revealing the whole of nature in its integrity and unity and understanding what balance with it means, in order to then make the right decision and the right calculation. But this does not mean that we should now cross out our entire history and return back to the caves, as some “greens” call for, to such a life when we dig in the ground in search of edible roots or hunt wild animals in order to somehow feed ourselves. as it was tens of thousands of years ago. 

The conversation is about something completely different. Until a person discovers for himself the fullness of the universe, the entire Universe and does not realize who he is in this Universe and what his role is, he will not be able to make a correct calculation. Only after that we will know in what direction and how to change our life. And before that, no matter what we do, everything will be half-hearted, ineffective or wrong. We will simply become like dreamers who hope to fix the world, make changes in it, fail again, and then bitterly regret it. We first need to know what reality is and what is the correct approach to it. And then a person will be able to understand how to act effectively. And if we simply go in cycles in the local actions themselves without understanding the laws of the global world, without making the correct calculation, then we will come to another failure. As it has happened so far. 

Synchronization with the ecosystem

The animal and plant world do not have free will. This freedom is given to man, but he uses it egoistically. Therefore, the problems in the global ecosystem are caused by our previous actions aimed at self-centeredness and destruction. We need new actions aimed at creation and altruism. If a person begins to realize free will altruistically, then the rest of nature will return to a state of harmony. Harmony is realized when a person consumes from nature exactly as much as is allowed by nature for a normal life. In other words, if humanity switches to a culture of consumption without surpluses and parasitism, then it will immediately begin to beneficially influence nature. 

We do not spoil or correct the world and nature with anything other than our thoughts. Only with our thoughts, the desire for unity, for love, empathy and compassion, we correct the world. If we act towards Nature with love or hate, with plus or minus, then Nature returns it to us at all levels.

In order for altruistic relations to begin to prevail in society, a radical restructuring of the consciousness of the largest possible number of people, primarily the intelligentsia, including ecologists, is needed. It is necessary to realize and accept a simple and at the same time unusual, even paradoxical truth for someone: the path of only intellect and science is a dead end path. We could not and are not able to convey to people the idea of ​​preserving nature through the language of the intellect. We need another way – the way of the heart, we need the language of love. Only in this way will we be able to reach out to the souls of people and turn their movement back from an ecological catastrophe.

Leave a Reply