Dean and I are getting my needlepoint site up and running. check it out – modernneedlepoint.com
Archive for September, 2006
I guess birds have always been an easy way to commune with nature. They are an utterly foreign creature from ourselves, which makes them intreresting, with their unlikely concoction of feathers, beaks and claws, and the innate ability to fly. We can very quickly lure them into our surroundings by offering food and water – they almost always accept. We often though are disappointed at the overall lack of variety that we attract to our little oases, just sparrows, or just dove. We crave the more showy, colorful bird characters, the painted bunting, the vast variety of warbler, oriole, yet almost every other action that we as humans engage in, effectively limits our ability to ever see these standouts among birds. Here in Texas, we have launched a full-scale attack on the native cedar (juniper) trees because we need to put houses there instead, the cedar are scrubby, and we don’t appreciate the havoc the pollen wreaks on our sinuses. The Golden-Cheeked Warbler, which nests exlusively in the central part of Texas, depends on these cedar trees. They make their nests out of long strips of cedar bark held fast with spider web glue. Should we expect or suggest that to survive in this overly fast-paced, changing world, the Golden-Cheek better adapt to a new kind of tree to use for its nest? Change its behavior that has been fine-tuned for ages, just so that we as humans can make this world entirely and selfishly our own?
I am reminded over and over of all of the science fiction that I have read – scenes of terra-forming planets to suit our purposes, the need to search out new planetary resources because we have depleted our own in our recklessness and our shortsightedness. Is it even possible, with our human population as immense as it has become – to turn back now? Or is it all just a matter of waiting for the inevitable planet-recycling event that will wipe humanity off of the face of the earth in order for nature to start the process all over?
I also can’t help but stop and think about how our vast race of humans, will someday be the fossil-fuels for future beings. All of our bodies will lay in the ground for eons, pressure, heat and time, slowly being converted into just the precious resource that we crave so badly and use with such wild abandon.
“Extra-human, extra-natural terms divide us from compassion. We have a death-dealing capacity that is without parallel; and, having to a large extent disorganized the gradual, assimilated experience which bound man to place, we have thrown events not only into the hands of unpredictable change but into the unknown capacity of mankind to keep control without appalling tyranny. We are governed by our obsession with means. We have been treating the earth with a recklessness which is no tribute to human genius. The almost total poisoning of the natural environment is only being postponed by fragmentary efforts.
The great danger in a revolutionary world that takes us with it in spreading mobility, forced communication and unprecedented speed, uncertain of the outcome, is that we will take our own risks and live out our own violence as we can. In other words, we may risk the habitable earth for the sake of mere impetus. Perhaps the awareness of disaster will prevent us from bringing on our artificial ice age which could postpone spring for ten thousand years. Perhaps we can, by conscious, continual effort, keep turning the bow aside to save the ship. We will have to try, in this one world. We have come now to the point where we meet the living earth either in terms of fundamental conflict or fundamental cooperation. All our pillaging and presumption have brought us face to face with ultimate limits. We have pushed ourselves and the rest of life on earth to a point where one step more could mean survival or extinction.”
From John Hays – The Immortal Wilderness (1987)
“We put the whole animal kingdom down as being lower than ourselves, but their travels are flexible and they have minds which work according to rhythmic consistencies and recurrences of the earth. That’s about as deep as you can get.”
PRINCIPLE OF SUBOPTIMIZATION
The well-being of an element is dependent on the well-being of the system of which it is a part. It is sometimes necessary for an element to limit its goals and actions in order to preserve the well-being of the system. In acting to achieve its goals one element may come to constrain the actions of another element to the point of serious injury to the other element.