Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We are part of nature

Sweden yesterday inaugurated its first truly marine national park, the Koster sea.

Greenpeace protests against that local fishermen will be allowed to fish in the national park and they threaten to dump boulders to prevent trawling. We are speaking about a fishery of shrimp, crayfish, crab and lobster mainly. The local fishermen have been trained in how to fish in a sustainable way and they have had to amend their gear to suit the conditions. Greenpeace says that despite training once, in 2004, some fishermen had damaged a precious corral. I have not studied the details of the arrangement – and I am quite convinced that Greenpeace can be right in that observation but I don’t agree with their conclusions: There is no wilderness on this planet, there are no truly wild landscapes. From the African Savannahs and the Amazon rainforest to the archipelago in Sweden, the human being has been part of the landscape for millennia.

Similarly as for the fishery the county administration states that farming will continue. The continued use of the land is a prerequisite for the maintenance of the cultural and esthetic values. Continued grazing is essential and it is desirable to increase the number of animals grazing.

It is a lot more important that we promote a connectedness and an active use of “the wild” than that we try to exclude all humans from interaction with it. Those against often claim that the economic value of “the wild” can be bigger if used for tourism than if used for production. That is perhaps often true, but there are many nuances here. And who says that economic value should be the yardstick in the first place.

- one is that the tourism itself, even if it is based on just observing can be very intrusive and probably disturb wildlife even more than commercial use. I have had the benefit of whale-watching in New Zealand and seeing the incredible wild life on the African Savannah. And in most cases it is like a crazy zoo, of cars or boats rushing from one site to the other, with drivers in constant radio contact to ensure “value for money”. The cars and the tourists seem to upset the wildlife more than the Massai herding their cattle.
- the other is that the wildlife tourism represent a consumption culture, a way of interaction with nature where we consume the experiences, but don’t interact. I enjoy this activity myself, but we should realize that it is not the same (true) nature experience where we live in/with the wild, where we get our livelihoods in the wild. And that part of human culture is essential and as endangered as the landscapes that go with them. The Innuit hunting seals are a lot better ecologically adapted than the city-dwellers that protest against it. The Massai herdsmen are a lot better ecologically adapted than the city vegan eating a global mix of a scientifically composed diet – and of course a lot better ecologically adapted than the city-dweller eating hamburgers at McDonalds.

Others claim that the wild has its own rights and that regardless of what we want and the economic values we have a moral obligation to let it be. Yes, but……

- As I explained above almost all landscapes have been influences by humans today, so whatever we considered to be “wild” is actually something that is the result of a long term interaction between a number of species and their environment, and in most cases the human has been a main actor to shape the environment. The Koster Sea would not be what it is without the humans. To throw us out is not the recipe to keep what is valuable today. To throw us out is to create a new “unhuman” landscape that never existed.
- Already some 5000 years ago we had expanded into almost all parts of the globe. And 200 years ago we farmed allover the place. As a matter of fact, humans have pulled back a bit lately in rich countries, that is why rural areas are depopulated and the number of deer and foxes are exploding and meadows are (re)converted to forests. Other wildlife invades our cities, e.g. seagulls are now abundant not only in coastal cities.
- Farming has been the biggest blow to wildlife since humans appeared. In the end it means that we shouldn’t have domesticated plants and animals, that we would still be 10 million hunters and gatherers on this planet. The expansion of farm land and pasture to 35-40 percent of the surface of the globe is without comparison the biggest habitat destruction. Many times worse then the logging in the Amazon (which is also driven by farming) or shrimp trawling in the Koster sea. Another story is that farming, and even more grazing, has created its own new precious landscapes, landscapes that we hold in very high esteem.

I strongly object to the rapid destruction of habitat for many species, and I think we humans must voluntarily reduce our impact on nature, but in the process of finding a sustainable relationship between man an nature, we would not only need to get rid of unscrupulous business tycoons. We would also be better off with fewer people having an idealistic view of nature, where the human being is seen as an alien. It is only by seeing the importance of the interaction between man and the rest of nature that we can find our way for the future.

Also we need to shed the idea of ecosystems being in some kind of static balance. They might be in some kind of balance (whatever that means) most of the time, but they are far from static, they change all the time. And humans are part of those ecosystems. This insight are in no way a justification for the current rape of the earth and the total disregard of other species. On contrary, it is an insight that shows the way for a future redefined relationship between (wo)man and nature.


  1. Sustainable natural sea and forest farmings would solve most of those problems and it is the system that support for the future of food security. We should reduce animal farming and mass fishing but instead do more vegetables, fruits and wildlifes farmings just like Torfolk Gard. To save the earth, it would be a good idea or start to eat less meat but more fruits and vegetables. Trees can absolve a lot of pollutants. Do we human need so much meat? Look at our own teeth!

  2. Simply, "progress", so-called, is destroying the earth(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Life, Truth, Love, Peace, Hope, Grace, Miracles, Faith, etc.) ;-(

    And The Creator(G-D, Father,Spirit) has promised that HE would "destroy those who destroy the earth(HIS Creation)!" (Rev11:18c)

    Yet there is a Living, Lively Hope!

    However, such Hope is not for that which is of the earth, earthly and fleshly, but there is a Living, Lively Hope for that which is Spirit, Heavenly and Spiritual.

    Hope for that which is Spirit is Alive because "progress", which is the product of mankind's "imag"ination, can pervert, yet not destroy that which is Spirit! For that which is Spirit is Real, and only that which is Real is Forever!

    So no matter how perverse this world's systems of religion become, that which is Spirit can only be abused and perverted, not destroyed!

    That which is Spirit is Eternal.......

    And as for that which is called "religion"?

    Pure religion and undefiled before G-D The Father is this, to visit the fatherless (those children who know not their Father, HE WHO is The Only True G-D, Father{Creator} of ALL) and widows(those who have not "experienced The Messiah and The Power{Our Father} that raised Him from among the dead") in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world......." (James 1:27)

    Simply, all other religion is impure and defiled, and so it is that those who are of this world, those who are "contaminated by this world" are destroying the earth.......

    And notice that "pure and undefiled" religion is of "oneself(individual)", a Brother or Sister doing The Will of Our Father, led of The Holy, Set Apart, Spirit.......

    Corporate "religion" is pagan, and of this wicked world(babylon).......

    And "Brothers and Sisters" is not "religion", for what are Brothers and Sisters if not Family? Would not The Family of The Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL, known by many(yet experienced by few) as "The Body of The Messiah" be joined in Spirit as One? And would not such a Family be much closer than any natural, fleshly family?

    What is declared to be "religion" today is truly the devil's playground.......

    (continued in next comment)

  3. Simply, Faith will not create a system of religion.......

    As stated previously, "that which is called ""progress" is of mankind's "imag"ination and can pervert, yet not destroy, that which is Spirit", and so it is that this world, and it's systems of religion, have their version of "Light", which can be turned on and off;

    Their version of "Truth", which is of the "imag"ination;

    Their version of "Love", which should be called lust;

    Their version of "Peace", which needs be enforced;

    Their version of "Hope", which is but a desire for temporal "things";

    Their version of "Faith", which is powerless;

    Their version of "Grace", which is the liberty to "do your own thing";

    And sadly, the favorite color of this world's religion is gray ;-(

    So come out of the shadows! And as is said by many, "Get Real"!

    Once again, "only that which is Real is Forever, and only that which is Spirit is Real"!

    Hope is there would be those who "see" that The Life is in and of The Spirit.

    Those who "see" will no longer have their portion with the multitudes who are destroying the earth(water, air, land, creatures, vegetation) and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Life, Truth, Love, Peace, Hope, Faith, Grace, Mercy, etc.) ;-(

    Simply, each breath(Spirit) you take is a revelation of The Source of Life.

    And "A Simple and Spiritual Life is the only Life that will survive!"


    So "set your affections on Heavenly things" and be not of those "whose god is their bellies because they mind earthly things". Be not of those who "love this world and it's things" and who are "progress"ively destroying the earth(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Life, Truth, Love, Peace, Hope, Faith, Grace, etc.).......

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one" (1John5:19) indeed and Truth.......

    Truth is never ending.......

  4. A very interesting article and ideas..the underlying theme for your Garden Erth book which I greatly look forward to reading (once it is out in English! )
    Nice to think of us as part of the ecosystem. It's easier to visualize when we are close to nature. How do you see large urban centers and ecosystems? Urban infrastructure performs some ecosystem services, but others not at all...a very artificial environment.