New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted
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Rude Awakening

December 13, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Jan Lundberg

When and How Will Gaia Take Action?

by Jan Lundberg

When one looks at a blueish star twinkling beyond some silhouetted living leaves in the sky, the beauty and wonder of the natural world speaks to us: this existence we witness as conscious beings is an amazing accomplishment of life on this lucky outpost of the Universe.

Our splendid reverie transforms to a jarring, ongoing realization that hits us first as a rude awakening.  Reluctantly, we acknowledge this new era of unraveling and lethal chaos.  Typically alone in our contemplation of the tumbling health of our Earth, we graduate to a profound level of despair and near disbelief.

As happy bloggers and dime-a-dozen philosophers, we strive to keep on top of our fast-changing tenure on the Third Stone from the Sun.  In keeping with this imperative, together as readers of this biocentric column we now confront — drum roll here — the “Gaia Stamp-Out-Human-Plague? Survey.”  The sole question offered in this study was complex or simple, depending on the respondent:  Why isn’t Gaia acting to put the destroyer species, Homo Sapiens Sapiens, into its place, or perhaps boot it off the planet?  Or has she indeed started to do this? (more…)

Guided by Gaia

April 25, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Jan Lundberg

Sharing with All Life on a Finite Planet

by Jan Lundberg

When I first heard of the Gaia Hypothesis in the 1990s, as formulated by chemist James Lovelock and microbiologist Lynn Margulis, I was skeptical but respectful of the idea.  I didn’t rule it out.  But neither did I feel confident that the Earth is a living single organism.  Perhaps I was too caught up in scientific reductionism, and needed to have proof — such as to sit down with Gaia herself.  So I took note of the notion and kept on trying to save and heal Earth.

About this time, one small deliberate act regardless of the Gaia Hypothesis was that I stopped putting the article “the” in front of Earth, so as to use Earth as a name, or her name.  Is it unscientific or childish for our home planet to have a personal-type name?  If so, we probably need to be less “scientific” and more childish.  Do you remember your child-wonder when you were very young and noticed the trees’ sound in the wind?  I thought they were talking to me. Many years later I remembered this after forgetting it.

As an environmental activist most of my adult life, I have loved nature as I always had. But I could relate to being sufficiently unaware of threats to nature’s health so as to find it easy to keep consuming products, burning fuel, wasting packaging, etc. (more…)