Gaia is a giant, living, self-regulating organism. However, in the last 1 minute of a human life she has gone into shock. Her immune system crashed, circulatory system clogged, respiratory trauma, fever spiked, weakness, and her digestion poisoned. What is going on?
An Interdependent Web of Ecosystems
If one leg drops the whole living system falls; no rain, life stops. Earth’s life keystones are biodiversity, oceans, forests, prairies and drylands, rivers and lakes, rain, atmosphere, and stable geology.
Timescale is everything. Earth is quickly going into shock. What we think is slow in our lifetime is a heartbeat in a civilization’s time. And, we may think that civilization’s 4000 or 6000 year history is long, but in Earth’s lifetime, recent damage has been in the blink of an eye. The combined damage is liken to us getting cancer (urbanism), having congestive heart failure (deforestation), liver failure (pollution), Covid-19 (systemic), eczema (topsoil) and a brain tumor (biodiversity) all in the same second.
Biodiversity Is Your Immune System, And Your Brain
The knowledge in Earth’s diverse gene-code is Earth’s brain. It has taken Earth 3.5 billion years, yes billion, to evolve this interwoven gene-code web of 30 million species to work together. The output of everything is the input of everything. Nothing goes to waste. Destruction and fire create life; frequent fire is necessary. Life must stay connected to the web; biodiverse fragments collapse when isolated.
Gaia’s system is self-regulating from atmospheric temperature to a perfect oxygen level. Too little oxygen, and respiratory life dies; too much oxygen, and the Earth literally burns ups. Systems are more complex than we can begin to understand. Civilization is a brain tumor in Earth’s great swirling, living, gene-code.
Biodiversity is Earth’s immune system. Yet, the majority of diverse wildlife has been genocided in just the last century. Mono farm crops and tree farms are not biodiversity. Only three percent of Earth’s land is ecologically intact. Imagine trying to fight Covid-19 with most of your immune system missing. No vaccine will save you.
Rivers, And Natural Lakes Are Your Circulatory System
Imagine the heart attack you would have if almost every vein leading back to your heart was partially blocked in multiple places. Because most people receive no decent environmental, or permaculture education; and don’t make a living from the wild; most people believe that rivers only flow down stream. Even hydrologist, marine lock, and hydroelectric builder with a PhD; believes rivers flow only one way. They are dumber than a pile of rocks in the river.
The answer is, if you dam a river it will only flow one way. But if the river runs clean, cool, and wild, all rivers run up and down stream. How can that be? There is an entire sheet of diverse life that must flow upstream for inland ecosystems to be long-term healthy. Salmon, eels, snails, shrimp, small fish, plants, and more flow upstream to replenish complex minerals in upland ecosystems. Bears are essential to distribute minerals by eating the salmon. Bears need diverse forests with berries, and herbaceous vegetation. But agroforestry has replaced old-growth forests with fourth-cut tree farms. Dams and fish hatcheries have killed wild-salmon fisheries. The grizzly bear on the California State flag is a ghost. How can a State as grand as California have a species extinct in their state on their flag, and not do anything to recover it?
The only ones who give benefit to watershed ecosystems by damming streams are beavers. Beavers have been removed from all but a few remote streams in the world. What agriculturists believe are better flowing streams are actually dead channelizing water ways. Stream beds are now digging down because civilized-man has prevented them from wondering on the landscape, and silt retention beaver dams are gone. How many stream beds have you seen where the water level, which was once flush with the surrounding field or forest, is now 20′ down? One of the healthiest, and most biodiverse places on any landscape are wetlands created by beaver dams.
As a child in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I spend a two weeks each summer at Camp Arrowhead near Deerwood, Minnesota. I distinctly remember being able to see down from my canoe the gravel bottom. I could see fish swimming 6-8′ down in the crystal clear water of Lake Placid. The neighboring bay was created by a beaver dam. When residents removed the beaver dam, the entire bay dried up. With extensive agriculture runoff, logging, beaver removal, and boating, one can only see down a little more than 1′ through today’s murky-green Minnesota lake water. If your circulatory system was that polluted, you would die.
To learn more about wild rivers; and the damage done by dams, and fish hatcheries watch both of these excellent films by Patagonia, DamNation, and Artifishal.
Forests, Prairies, And Ocean Life Are Your Lungs
What would happen if most of the alveoli in your lungs were scraped off? Your alveolar membrane is the gas exchange surface on the alveoli. Across this membrane oxygen is diffused into your capillaries and carbon dioxide released. Answer: You would slowly suffocate. Oxygen would be depleted form your blood stream and carbon dioxide would build up. This is what the removal of the old-growth forests, and prairies, and ocean life is doing to Earth’s atmosphere.
Climatologists focus on fossil fuel emissions and climate change, but they are wrong and ignore the larger issue. Yes, climate changed is caused by civilization, but the primary driver is not fossil fuel emissions, it is deforestation. Plus, greater worry is not more carbon dioxide, eventually it is less oxygen. Plants do well with little oxygen, but the respirators do not. We are respirators.
Rain Is Your Hydration, And Urinary Tract
Dehydration is one of the fastest way to die. Generally, the same plan life that creates oxygen, also creates the rain. Yes, forests create rain, and the correct or historic amount of rain on Earth only happens from old-growth forests. A 20 year old tree is a toothpick compared to a 600 year old, 10′ wide, 250′ tall ancient tree. Earth rain only works well with old trees, perennial prairies, and intact kelp forests, etc.
Civilization leaves deserts in its footsteps. As civilization cut the forests in the middle east, and Africa, arid climates followed. In Southern Oregon where I live, the snowfall in Crater Lake National Park steadily decreased as the old-growth forests around it were logged. During the 1930s, Crater Lake average 614 to 623″ of annual snowfall. By 2000, the average had dropped to 459″. The first and second growth forests do not transpire the moisture or shed raindrop-creating pollen as much as the old-grow forests did.
Jackson County Commissioners declared a drought disaster this week due to unusually low water levels in local reservoirs that are key to irrigation. Earlier this week, Emigrant Lake stood at 21% full, Hyatt Lake was 14% full and Howard Prairie Lake was only 8% full. Reservoir levels are the lowest they have been since the founding of the Talent Irrigation District in 1961.
Stable Atmosphere Are Your Cardio, and Temperature Regulation Systems
Humans become very ill if their body temperature varies from a very narrow range of about 3 degrees. How the body maintains a consistent temperature throughout are lives is a wonder of Nature. How Earth maintains is constant seasonal temperature range while floating in the cold of space is a miracle. It is far beyond our comprehension how Earth also maintains the perfect balance of atmospheric gases to support 30 million diverse species.
In the last century alone, wild ecosystem destruction, and possibly fossil fuel emissions, civilization has caused Earth to spike a 2˚F fever. Scientists have not realized yet, that rise in temperature will accelerate in the future because the destruction of natural diverse forests is almost complete, and complete deforestation is beginning. Old-growth forests and perennial prairies, have been replaced by tree farms. As the climate dries and soils collapse, tree farms will be replaced by shrub-lands, and soon by arid climates. Locally where I live in the Rogue Valley, Oregon, there are now hill sides that will no longer grow forests. In Roseburg, Oregon, home of a multiple lumber mills, forests of giant trees are only a memory on hillsides that now only grow grass from over logging and over grazing.
Its simple, temperature on unshaded clear-cut or plowed bare ground is 10–14˚F warmer than shaded old-growth forest floor. Temperatures are rising, and atmospheric gasses are drifting out of balance because the ancient forests, prairies, and ocean life are gone or drying.
Here is another example if you are more mechanically inclined. Imagine driving down the road in a vehicle that consumes the engine as you drive. This living engine’s fuel flow is dropping, parts are loosening, leaks springing, temperatures are overheating. After limping along for a bit, the engine eventually stops. Most of the engine is still there, but the web of parts no longer works together as a system.
Humans have environmental amnesia because we live too short of a time to see the results of the damage we are creating. Humans believe the world should be as we see it. Ninety-nine percent of humans think what we have today is what Earth looks like. Wrong. One has to visit one of shreds of the remaining old-growth forests to see what Earth really looks like. The oxygen level and humidity is 10 percent higher. Temperatures are cooler on a hot day, and warmer on a cool night. The air is a clean as it gets.
Civilization Has Made Humanity Into A Virus
A picture is worth a thousand words. We see several things happening in the photo above: 1. Earth’s natural biodiversity is destroyed. Almost everything you see is mostly a handful of corn, soybean, or other crops. 2. Rivers are blocked. Wild fisheries and the flow up nutrients upstream are dead. 3. Crustacean of Earth’s surface by urban landscapes. 4. Radially depleting aquifers from over-irrigation. 5. Giant heat radiation causing global warming as bear topsoil is exposed to sunlight. 6. Topsoil depletion. Fertile soil is gone from a third of midwestern farm landscapes. 7. Oxygen reduction during winter months because of removal of perennial forbs prairies.
Lewis and Clark would be saddened to see that the natural-wild landscape, bison herds, and Native peoples they encountered are gone. They have been replaced by single-crop farms, near genocide, and assimilated without respect for cultural sovereignty. Americans demand freedom and rugged individualism, but give little in return.
Here is a closer look of the cancer of urban sprawl. In just 30 years San Antonio, Texas has expanded from 790,000 people in 1991 to over 1.4 million in 2010.[Image 3] This is happening all over the world.
We think of ourselves as an individual. In reality, we are a cell in the super-virus called civilization, that has metastasized on its host.
Scientific intelligence is directly proportional to environmental stupidity
Civilized man believe’s in his own magnificence. Yet, scientific intelligence is directly proportional to environmental stupidity. Science is civilization’s pry bar to extract as much resources from Earth as possible. Unless we walk away from civilization, it will be ours and Earth’s undoing.
The end of civilization will be a good thing. Civilization has to kill Earth to live. Either Earth dies, or civilization dies, or both. Civilization is only a recent human social organizational system. Female-led tribalism is the social system we evolved to succeed in. Fish swim in schools, and deer run in herds, and wolves run in packs. The important point is, that humanity is not the problem, the mind-disease called civilization is. Yes, civilization gave me this computer, but it is killing Earth. Otherwise, I would not need a computer to write these words.
Peaceful indigenous peoples live in harmony with Earth. 500 unique tribes lived in California in 1491. We have to get back to the garden to save the Earth-body. The only way there is through a female-centric world, and one-child families. There is only one 👆🏼 way.
Share these ideas with other. Don’t just read this, post links on your social media to essays that resonate with you. Our speech is not free if innovative messages are hidden by search engines, and mainstream media. You found these ideas, now share them with others!
Chuck Burr is author of Culturequake: The Restoration Revolution. Revised Fourth Edition. 10th Anniversary.
 Common Dreams, April 15, 2021. Julia Conley. 97% of Earth’s Land No Longer Ecologically Intact, Study Finds.
 Statesman Journal, April 18, 2014. Zach Urness. Crater Lake’s annual snowfall has been declining for decades.
 Ashland Tidings, March 31, 2021. Vickie Valdous. Jackson County declares drought disaster.
 NPR. February 24, 20201. Dan Charles. New Evidence Shows Fertile Soil Gone From Midwestern Farms.
[Image 1] Curioso Photography. Pexels.com.
[Image 2] Apple Maps.
[Image 3] StateImpact. NPR. Texas | Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas, December 6, 2013. Michael Marks. Here’s What Climate Change and Urban Sprawl Look Like in Texas.