Earth is not one thing. For humanity, Earth is everything. At least, it is until we somehow download our intelligence into self replicating computers. Even then, those computers will require some earth resources to “be.”
Everything that we know, even as we tip toe into the vast ocean of night, comes from earth. Biodiversity is credited for life on earth, and it is biodiversity that we need to be aware of when we wish to argue there are real reasons to protect “earth.” In other words, to save ourselves, we need to protect biodiversity on earth. In fact, we cannot save earth. It is earth and earth's capacity to save us, which we need to care about. Earth lasted billions of years without us. We cannot last a split second without earth.
What is biodiversity? From microbes to vast forests, from blood cells to thousand acre food production farms, biodiversity is everything required for life to exist. No thing exists alone, nothing. Without sun, wind, rain, minerals, and more, no life could be. Pollination requires birds, bees, bats, and many other animals as well as the plants themselves. Biologists have never ceased to be amazed at the incredible intricate and complex manifestations of how nature has devised billions of forms most wonderful that continue to evolve. We could care, but wait, isn't Dancing with the Stars on? Or, is that a drunk celebrity!? We are distracted, and probably because we are in denial, we are willingly distracted.
Yet, it is resolved that we need to recognize we cannot exist without that which sustains us. We need other organisms, and those organisms are each required to have adequate oxygen, water, soil, food, minerals, weather reliability and more. We need to own our power, to recognize that just as we messed up, we can clean up. When it comes to learning from Nature, we have the power of "KNOW" We can come to know her wisdom. When it comes to filling our lives with more clutter at the cost of freedom, and pure resources, we have the power of "NO!"
The truth is we do not even know what any long term consequences are of the way in which we live our daily lives. Most of us have completely lost touch with every aspect of how food comes to be set upon our tables, how water magically appears at our sink, and how other species are intricately involved out there, in the real world, beyond our walls and cubicles. Even light has changed dark into day. We no longer know the seasons, the sky, the harvest signs, or the way in which subtly itself, affects just when the bud opens, when the bee has the precise moment to collect pollen, and the sky itself has more nutrients than contaminants falling from it.
We are so blind to the outside world we do not even stop to think of how our latte cup, our plastic shopping bag, our car trips, or our flipping off a switch has impact on every subtly. When we enter a forest, it all comes back, but who lives near a forest anymore?
Ecopsychology, the theory that life, our Biophilia, matters to our existence, our thinking, our emotions, and our over all health, directs us to reconsider our ancient relationships that have become so strained in recent industrialized time.
As we rapidly approach the seventh billionth person to be born on our planet, we have to think about what resources are needed for that child to live. What other species, numbering in the low thousands, or even hundreds, do we sacrifice so that child can live? Do we bother to worry about feeding that child? Every day worldwide we continue with our lattes, and plastic bags while about 32,000 starve and just as many die of water contaminated, or water shortage consequences. These statistics continue to be meaningless to those who lobby for continued use of dirty fuels to “protect” economic interests. Others think we should save the child, sacrifice the polar bears if we must. We only care about a bear when one shows up, panicked and distressed, in our ever outer sprawling suburbs. Of course, we could use a Mama Grizzly as a political tool, but when one actually tries to protect her cub, we should happily blow her head off.
We tend to see it as a contest, Us against Them. In reality, it is a race against knowledge of our belonging arriving in time to beat our own Religions, ideologies, and foot shooting. There is no contest. There is only knowing that we are more than "we alone."
This shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how we need all the players to run the play. It is time to think globally, even if we only care to protect our economic interest. If we foul our own nest, how in the world are we supposed to use all the money in the world to buy clean air, water, or food, when there is none left anywhere?
It would be better to conserve every resource, to copy nature's efficiency, and to learn from every valuable bit of knowledge that every valuable bit of nature contributes to us. United, not just as humankind, but as earthlings, we shall not perish from the earth.