Mother Earth is that rarest of jewels, a life-bearing gem in the vault of the heavens. And not just the simple self-replicating lower forms of life. Earth is home to the self-reflective, sentient and cognizant species of intelligent life known to us as humanity. How or why humanity has come to appear and evolve on this remarkable planet is the source of much debate within both the scientific and religious communities. Nevertheless we are here to marvel at and to ponder upon our material existence.
With this home planet of ours being such a miracle, such a precious rarity within the galaxy (if not the entire universe) it would leave one to think that we humans, as supposedly intelligent beings, would be better caretakers and stewards of our material home Mother Earth. Yet in a large part this is not the case. Instead of treating her as the celestial queen which she is, much of humanity throughout most of its recorded history and especially within modern times has shown a blatant lack of reverence and respect for the planet. In the past and in the present she has been and is being continually abused, raped and ravaged for her resources and treasures without shame or remorse from an arrogant and greedy humanity. This arrogance and near total lack of regard shows itself in many ways. Yet foremost is the modern mindset that Nature is a force to be conquered and subjugated and that she is an endless source of resources to be exploited and plundered by a hungry humanity.
At present in our indulgent, rapacious modern industrial and technological society we have become in no small way a society of producers and consumers. Granted, many products produced by humanity, past and present, are worthy of great esteem and praise. Mankind has surely had its share of momentous accomplishments. Yet in its pursuit of pleasure, possessions and power, of a life of ease, expedience and comfort humanity in many instances has turned a blind eye to its negative impact upon Mother Nature and the environment in general. This lack of foresight on the part of humanity, this lack of respect and the mismanagement of earthly resources are beginning to overtly prove to be of dire consequence to both humanity and to Nature itself. A crucial balance is being upset here by humanity’s shortsighted exploitations.
In terms of much of industrialized society’s twin roles of producer and consumer, modern civilization has assumed the position that Nature’s resources are ever-abundant if not inexhaustible and are there for the taking. There is an unmistakable air of unaccountability. Unfortunately, we have adopted a “use and abuse” mentality. We have become a “throwaway” society. In our personal and collective quest for luxury and ease and the “good things” in life and due to our voracious appetite for comfort, convenience and status-conferring possessions we as a collective society have lost sight of how to live in harmony with and to hold proper respect for Mother Nature. This rampant and runaway consumerism is depleting Earth’s resources and leading towards an acute environmental crisis.
Coupled with this serious mismanagement of earthly resources is the alarming production of massive quantities of industrial and consumer-related waste. Humanity is producing vast amounts of non-biodegradable waste and is using both the land and the oceans as vast dumping-grounds for this waste. As if this is not bad enough, our consumption of petroleum and other fossil fuels is choking Earth’s atmosphere. This is the triple threat to land, air and sea which is endangering our planet. Mother Nature is being put in a precarious elemental position. As humanity continues to generate this pollution of the biosphere the delicate balance of Earth’s environment is being sorely tested. Entire ecosystems are being threatened and are collapsing or entirely disappearing under the weight of this exploitation and abuse. Mankind must somehow relearn how to live in peace and harmony with Mother Nature if he wishes to avert a looming catastrophe. Global warming and adverse climate change are a global inevitability down this road of environmental degradation which we are traveling upon. Only we as a collective society can choose another, wiser path. Only we can break the chain.