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Understanding the Earths System

In: Other Topics

Submitted By eeman328
Words 3283
Pages 14
Emmanuel Udeh
Dr. Draman
March 26, 2015
Strategic Management
Understanding the Foundation George Perkins Marsh (March 15, 1801 – July 23, 1882), an American diplomat and philologist, is considered by some to be America's first environmentalist and the creator of the sustainability concept. His Ideals and concepts were beyond that of the time he lived in. He believed that the earth was a system that had a perfect compensation process. This is system could handle any kind of change or natural disruption, but when man began to tamper with the earth it became apparent that the earth compensation process could not handle the destructive nature of humans. Marsh strongly suggested that if nature, before man was created, was left undisrupted changed or transformed, it would never change. The only thing that would change the world is natural disasters for example, tornados, earth quakes, floods, etc. Even after the rare cases of these disasters the system that has been noted to be perfect would reset itself back to its original state. Marsh explained that before the British colonization, North America, geographically was balanced and had a system of perfection. The soil or ground has been perfectly separated by frost, chemicals, gravity, and flow of water, and or deposits which created a perfect top soil so that trees and plantation could grow back immediately. When Indians and Europeans were at war they began to burn down the trees and plantation, but because the destruction was during the early ages thee systems would replenish the trees as a fast rate. Returning the forest to its normal state. “The succession involved no interruption of growth, and but little break in the ‘boundless contiguity of shade…” (Marsh 48) During this time the trees covered the land and not much light would get through at any moment. There were other forces, other than nature, that have contributed to the destruction of the world. Another primary source was animals. Although animals assisted in this process they could not do enough damage to break the system. Animals like beavers and insects would make their effort to disturb the system but the compensations of the system would always proceed to return to its original state. Marsh gave an example explaining: “Bogs are less numerous and extensive in the northern states… They generally originate in the checking of watercourses by falling timber, or of earth and rocks, across their channels… The trees whose roots are overflowed soon perish, and then by their fall increase the obstruction, and, of course occasion a still wider spread of thee stagnating stream. [This continues until the water finds a new outlet without similar] interruptions. The fallen trees not completely covered in water will soon overgrown with mosses; aquatic and semiaquatic plants propagate themselves… [Converting a pond to a quaking morass]. Then very often restored to the forest condition by the growth of black ashes, cedars, [etc.]… thus the interrupted harmony of nature is at last reestablished.” (Marsh 48)
This is an example of the findings of Marsh and the perfection of this system created by nature. This process is attempted in present time in developed countries, but the system cannot compensate the damage that has been created by man. His findings cannot prove that insects have had a huge impact on the conditions of the world, but insects lay their eggs in dead trees and as colonization continued the insect population has “increased in numbers and voracity.” This implies that man has not only directly been destroying the forestry and the world but they have also indirectly contributed. The imbalances of the system have had detrimental effects. “It is, therefore, a matter of the first importance that, in commencing the process of fitting them for permanent civilized occupation, the transforming operation should be so conducted as not unnecessarily to derange and destroy what, in too many cases, it is beyond the power of man to rectify or restore.” (Marsh 50). It has gotten to a point where man is committing to a war that is impossible for them to win. The damages that have been implemented already will be almost impossible to repair. Marsh believes it is too late for the world to wait for compensations of nature to take effect, the damages are too severe. The growth of the destructive nature of man is at exponential growth, and as civilizations continues to grow as will the world of destruction and the disturbance of the sustainable system. Human actions have to modify or cease to continue the production of technology or there will be consequences. Marsh implied that it is too late for man to wait for nature to restore itself, the human race must take action in this process of replenishing the earth. Human nature is very aggressive, destructive and selfish, because of this the system is broken. At the rate the world is going the world will be unfit for humans to live in. It is insane to think that someone in this time period understood this concept at the level he did. Humans must make a stand immediately in order to continue to live on this planet.

The 1900’s Understanding the concept of the Climax
Frederic Edward Clements (September 16, 1874 - July 26, 1945) was an American plant ecologist and pioneer in the study of vegetation succession. This man understood and proceeded to explain to the masses that the world we live in has a direct connection with the organism that live in it. The climatic situation that have been implement in nature has a direct correlation to that of climax, or climax community. In ecology, climax community, or climatic climax community, is a historic term that expressed a biological community of plants, animals, fungi which, through the process of ecological succession the development of vegetation in an area over time. Clements explains, “The concept of the climax as a complex inseparably connected with its climate and often continental in extent.”
The relationship between climate and the climax or biome is considered to be the most important one. Animals must be considered in this concept because of their consumption. This consumption of the producing plantation or the climax has a direct correlation to the climate. “On land, moreover, plants constitute the fixed matrix of the biome in direct connection with the climate, while the animals bear a dual relationship, to plants as well as to the climate.” (Clements 82) This means the since plants have a direct connection with the climate, the consumption or destruction of these plants or biomes can have a negative effect on the climate. In other words animals and humans that displace the perfection of the fixed matrix or system contribute to the production of climate changes.
Humans can use technology and radars to predict weather and climate but it cannot be as helpful as the plant community. A climax is not only a response to a particular climate, but an expression and indicator of changes made in the matrix. Clements explained, “The visibility, continuity, and sessile nature of the plant community are peculiarly helpful in indicating the fluctuating limits of a climate.” (82) With these thoughts and discoveries it makes sense to think that the quality of the climate and climax are the same but they are not. Variations of climate are spread throughout the globe. He used examples like the 100th meridian and the temperature variations throughout it.
Clements begins to explain that the unity of the climax or matrix is due directly to the most dominant life form, which is a direct expression of the climate. He gives examples of trees being the most dominant life from in the climax. If the tree or the most dominant life form in the climax is tampered with the expression of the climate will be detrimental. As society continues to grow and change the climax will be overstressed and unable to be restored. The only change for restoration is to find places of the environment that is untouched and persevere and continue the growth of its natural surroundings. There is no doubt that there has been natural changes to the environment but the compensation of nature was able to restore it to its original state. He explained that was able to happen before the destructive nature of man. Vegetation always uses stabilization traits in order to with stand climate, and biomes or climaxes have been stabilized for millions of years without the disturbances of man. He exclaimed that even seasonal changes have little to no effect to the climax. The stabilization process is perfect and has been able to compensate for every climate change animal destructive power, insect multiplication, and seasonal changes, But “Man alone can destroy the stability of the climax during the long period of control by its climate, and he accomplishes this by fragments in consequence of a destruction that is selective, partial, or complete, and continually renewed.” (Clements 84)
The environment is unified and has a perfect system or matrix. Climate is a direct expression of the changes made to the matrix. People need to understand the thoughts of this man. He has come with various evidence to support his thoughts. Greed and power has poisoned the minds of humanity and has blinded man of the damages that has been created. These damages are almost unrepairable, all for the continuation of control, power and growth of the most powerful countries. The world must understand that the only to continue to inhabit this planet action must be implemented immediately.

Mid 1900’s Understanding the Closing Circle
Barry Commoner (May 28, 1917 – September 30, 2012) was an American biologist, college professor, and politician. He was a leading ecologist and among the founders of the modern environmental movement. Commoner believed that there was a problem on hand between those that inhabited the Earth and the affects that they have contributed. He exclaimed, “Any living thing that hopes to live on the earth must fit into the ecosphere or perish,” (Commoner 167). In the Closing Circle Commoner examined and explained why the human race is not fitting into the ecosystem. The continual growth of the economy has strongly assisted the destruction of the matrix of nature’s system.
The harmony of the perfect matrix and stability is crumbling as the relationship between living things and the climax is designating. One of the main problems of this situation is people do not understand the importance of our environment. Society perceives the environment as a separate system, but that is incorrect. Commoner believes that whatever happens in this world will come back around in full force. For instance, an animal’s waste becomes food for soil bacteria, which becomes nourishment for plants, in which animals eat. The system is closed, which makes it difficult to locate a position for humans, and their needs for consumption. Humans do not appropriately fit in this system because, “we have broken out of the circle of life, converting its endless cycles into man-made, linear events.” (Commoner 168) He gives evident of these actions by explaining a specific line of events including: oil taken from the ground, that oil converted into fuel, that fuel burned in engines and factories, which leads to pollution and smog and that is the end result. There is nothing that is converted back into the system. This lone has broken the perfect compensation system created by nature, and it is almost entirely too late to stop the destruction that has been implemented.
Commoner mentioned three specific things that have assisted in the collapsing of the system, these include, affluence, population growth, and technology advancement or economic success. According to Commoners studies the increase in population accounts for twelve to twenty percent of postwar pollution, affluence accounts for one to five percent, but technology advancement or economic growth accounts for ninety-five of the forty percent increase in pollution after World War II. HE explained, “the rate of exploitation of the ecosystem, which generates economic growth, cannot increase indefinitely without overdriving the system and [pushing] it to the point of [collapsing]” (Commoner 169) the economy is growing at an exponential rate. If it continues to grow at the rate it is, there will not be a possibility of the continuation of inhabiting this planet. He studies show that the basic needs like food, clothing, and housing has kept us with the increasingly growing population, but the kinds of good to meet those needs have increased immensely. Technology has change drastically to meet the consumption of this country alone. Commoner exhibited this by saying:
“ that statistical friction, the ‘average American,’ now consumes, each year, about as many calories, protein, and other foods; uses about the same amount of clothes and cleaners, occupies about the same amount of newly constructed housing; requires about as much freight; drinks about the same amount of beer as he did in 1946. However his food is now grown on less land with much more fertilizer and pesticides than before; his clothes are more likely to be made of synthetic fibers that cotton or wool; he launders with synthetic detergents rather than soap; he lives and works in buildings that depend more heavily on aluminum, concrete, and plastic than on steel and lumber; etc…”
In order to meet the greed and consumption needs of this country’s growing economy they have increase production at the expense of the ecosystem. People are not concerned with this fault in technology advancement, because they forgot or have not learned that we are a part of this system and not above it. The ecosystem cannot be divided into two different parts. It can only be considered as a whole, with different connections of those parts. He believes that ecological survival does not mean that technology has to be abandoned, but thee technology advancements must be reevaluated for every point with the accepting that the system is not separated and have a reductionist midst of a scientist. People have lost interest in the environment because they do not find it glamour’s compared to the shimmering promise of brand new technological advancements and new ways to consumer. The “[nation] needs” a new major way to make this research program happen to understand what exactly is going on.

Late 1900’s Understanding the END of Nature
William Ernest "Bill" McKibben (born 1960) is an American environmentalist, author, and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of global warming. He believes that nature has in fact ended. In his eyes man has gone absolutely too far repair the damages that were created. He explains, “We have changed the atmosphere, and that will change the weather. The temperature and rainfall are no longer to be entirely the work of some separate, civilizable force, but instead in part a product of our habits, economy, and our ways of life.” (McKibben 223)
He believes that all of the damage made was on accident at first. That people were only looking for a better and more efficient way to live their lives. The economy’s growth was just a way to find a better way of life. The carbon dioxide and other gases were just a result of the growth. Humans did find out about the problems but did not cease to slow the growth of the economy. The damages are irreversible. He strongly believes that there is nothing to do. Thee damages have been made and it is something that humanity must live with. He says throughout the article that nature is over. He spoke of a time when he saw a rabbit and observed it. Both him and the rabbit very curious of each other, both part of one system. He knew one day that rabbits will be genetically produce and asked himself what would be the value of caring for it or nature as a whole. At that moment he knew that nature has already ended. Man has placed a permanent stamp nature.
According to McKibben the end of nature is already upon us. Man has now taken or has tried to take control of the nature. Trying to genetically preserve wildlife, trees, etc. The weather and climate will now result in the action that is implement by our economy’s and policy holders. There is nothing that we can do anymore but to see what our fate is in the end.
The Connection
Between the four articles and Stepping in wholes, there has been very important theme and that is that of the system. Our entire environment is a system. We are not separated from that system but a part of it. Marsh shows this by explaining how natural disruptions of nature would always returning to its original state through compensations of thee perfect system. Clements spoke of the inseparable connection between the climax, living organism and the climate, Commoner spoke of the perfect system being altered into a linear system by humans. McKibben spoke of the systems inability to restore itself. Theses all show when something happens to a connecting piece of the system the entirety of it is at the mercy of that connecting piece. Humans have not known that we are a part of this system. We have lost interest in the because of our greed and need for consumption. From what I noticed or recognized in these articles is that we are completely at fault but our necessity for control and power has blinded us of what is accurately going on around us. Each article explains in various ways the effects of our nature, and each article showed that our nature has continued to dig a deeper whole.
Each article the different connection of our destructive nature and the climax or biome. Marsh explains that before man there was system would be able to restore itself to normal in short periods of times. He mentioned that during the colonization that trees would burn down but because the early stages of the systems destruction it would be compensated and restore. New plant trees would grow immediately. After the man continued to destroy the system it did not continue to grow at that rapid pace. Which is directly connected to Clements findings when he spoke he said, “On land moreover, plants constitute the fixed matrix of the biome in direct connection with the climate, while the animals bear a dual relationship to plants as well as to climate” He knew of the effects of destructive nature of the of humans and how it would affect the climate. Commoner found the exact reasoning for the ecosystem continuation of it collapse. He brought up different statistic points showing that the economy’s experiential growth has messed up the system not allowing it to compensate anymore. That is why it is to be believed that it is will be the end of nature, which is declared by Bill McKibben.
If one were to put these articles in order by time, one would be able to see the severity of the nature of the article. As time went on one can understand that the author was telling the others that it is almost too late for a restoration act. Stepping into Wholes also shows what it means to break a system. I do not understand what can be done at this point but I know that the future generations at stake. I understand it is impossible to teach an old dog new trick but that is a possibility to influence them. My idea is to create something that everyone wants to be a part of and implanted this knowledge on them slowly. This information must be taught to children at a young age so they do not grow up thinking the same way as we do.

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