We have noticed a marked rise in the attitude that consists in declaring “it’s too late anyway, let’s get some popcorn and watch the world end”. We’re not exactly sure whether that came from electing a reality TV president, or from Hollywood creating too many catastrophic movies, but it’s an approach that has been doing great damage to the sustainable transition, as well as leave huge space for people who benefit from this destruction to act freely.
To these resigned people we want to say a) you’re wrong to think the game is over b) you don’t really believe that or you would be crying in a corner hugging your knees in your arms, and c) nice try, lazy guy.
At the forefront of the climate crisis, biodiversity seems to have passed what scientists call a threshold. And while people are deeply attached to animals as a whole, this aspect of conservation sometimes fail to explain beyond cuteness and tourism what the actual emergency is, and what is actually at stake.
Plan A believes in the link between all these events. We are tackling a large, multi-faceted issue, and our approach digests the problem into a series of smaller issues that people and organisations can tackle if we all put our minds to it. Visit www.PlanA.Earth to discover our monthly climate action campaign.
Cutting to the chase, we created a top 5 reasons why biodiversity is as important as the cleaning of our oceans, or the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. And to get a bit of courage back in you. Because we always need some courage.
1. Ecosystem balance
An ecosystem is literally made up of all the life forms that compose it. Without a healthy biodiversity, an ecosystem cannot protect itself from the variety of attacks it can suffer. From invasive species to disease to harsh weather, each life form has its importance in the regulating and maintaining of the ecosystem it belongs to. In other words, wildlife is nature’s caretakers and housekeepers. Just like a game of Jenga, remove one block too much, and the entire tower can fall. And as in the board game, once the tower falls, well the game is over. #GameNotOver
2. Giant and self-renewing R&D Department
Biodiversity evolves to adapt to their settings and the attached dangers. Thus, we can make the hypothesis that biodiversity itself will at the very least contribute to figure out solutions to the Anthropocene’s many challenges. From waste management being taken care of by micro-organisms (or crows in the Netherlands), to innovations in textile (“sharkskin” wetsuits, zipper, Velcro… how did we close any coat back in the days?), we get most our inspiration from nature. Sorry (not), we’re not that brilliant and we will always need their innovations. #JustUseIt
3. Keeping you healthy since – 200,000 years
Life occupies all available niches and finds parries to the numerous attacks it faces. This changes wildlife into a gold mine of information. Get this: best estimates believe we have recorded about 1% of the world’s biodiversity, but about 25% of our medicine comes from natural resources. The study of living organisms adapting to conditions seemingly unfit for life has already overturned our scientific understanding of life as we know it. As we discover more and more niches of life, our basic concepts of how life works, where it can happen, and how it can be saved grows. Even lemurs tell us something about us. #BiodiversitySolvesMysteries
4. Philosophical value
In the lifelong journey of understanding what is what in life, wilderness is a large part of the answer. The wild informs us on our emotions and the way we feel. Trees tell us something about the time that passes, and goats keep pushing the limits of randomness.
Thoreau once wrote “In wildness the preservation of the world”. Biodiversity is more than the sum of its parts. When all is said and done, the game of life will continue, with or without philosophers. Wildlife is our insurance policy against the extinction of life. What is wild may survive our downfall. For domestic goldfish, it will be a bit more complicated. #ToBeeOrNotToBe
5. The Gaia hypothesis
The Gaia hypothesis states that organic matter (living things) interact with mineral resources (air, water, even rocks) to create a synergistic and self-regulating system that perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet. By that rationale, not one element works without the other.
It is actually living organisms that turned this carbonated rock into an oxygen-rich, atmosphere-protected and not-too-warm-not-too-cold environment for life to thrive. Earth without life would simply not be Earth. It would be a something between Venus and Mars. #RockOfLife
This article was originally published on the Plan A Academy. To read more, visit https://plana.earth/academy