The “laws of ecology” established by biologist Barry Commoner are essential in understanding the carbon cycle and the solutions we must seek for our climate crisis:
1. Everything is Connected to Everything Else. There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all.
2. Everything Must Go Somewhere. There is no “waste” in nature and there is no “away” to which things can be thrown.
3. Nature Knows Best. Humankind has fashioned technology to improve upon nature, but such change in a natural system is, says Commoner, “likely to be detrimental to that system.”
4. There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. In nature, both sides of the equation must balance; for every gain there is a cost, and all debts are eventually paid.
All life on Earth is connected by carbon. The burning of carbon – carbon that has been sequestered over millennia by the accumulation of animal-based petroleum and plant-based coal – over the course of a few hundreds of years has proven not to be a “free lunch”. The relentless rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not going to stop and the relentless rise in temperature will continue. The only answer – which we resist, deny, refuse and are unwilling to accept – is that we must stop burning ALL fossil fuels. Not a reduction and not less. All. The Burning Age is over. And just as the Stone Age ended before they ran out of stones, so the Burning Age must end before we run out of fossil fuels.
The Real Weapons of Mass Destruction: Methane, Propaganda & the Architects of Genocide | Part III
An investigative report: http://bit.ly/gMrxw9
Clive Hamilton – Facing up to Climate Change
Creative commons photo courtesy of RATAEDL via Flickr.