Nature's Ouroboros
Environmental Ethics
By: David

Nature will always be Nature, but what is natural? Society is built upon the

creative endeavors of mass population and technology now. This technology is

birthed from "natural" elements. So what does the Natural Order of Existence have

to say about that potential paradox? Are the cultural aspects of day to day life

fabricated in the delusions of synthetic process, system, and program? Or are

there intelligible parallels, considered "natural," simply because WE, are natural?

First off, according to Paul Ehrlich, the doubling of the population has

occurred over a period, periodically, of 1,000,000,000 years, then 1,000 years,

then 200 years, then 80 years, then 37 years, and I would deduce that we are

at about 17 years now. Naturally speaking, whether technological order or

natural order is being debated, nobody can argue the fact that too many people

equals less elements. Will our technology allow us more space? This is only

possible by way of 'dimensionality parallel,' because this plane of existence, the

one our species understands as of now, is limited. Then again, any space, no

matter how far and wide spread, cannot be populated beyond its capacity

unless we eventually find ourselves within the infinite, and then, will we yet

comprehend reality with respect to Nature? It must start here and now in our

limited space, our liminal space; respect to Nature, respect with Technology.

Henry David Thoreau said, "Every part of nature teaches that the passing away

of one life is making room for another." This does not seem to be our reality now, as

technological gadgetries are piled beyond our cities and suburbs in dumping grounds

deemed "necessary" for discarded, or broken will. That a technology is actually 'made'

with a known shelf life and noncompostable body, in the first place, is irresponsible, yet

we consume. We consume because we want the next knowledge. We want to know

why and how far. We even consume simply because we are addicted to consuming;

seemingly built into our psyche. I am no different, I consume as well. But to clarify purpose

in consumption, as attained for balance, through balance, may be a path all could walk

with great respect for their individual world(s.)

"I find it good to remember the eternity behind me as well as the eternity before." Thoreau

says it well. We need to remember. Responsibility and respect do not fade into unnecessary

oblivion simply because we forget. These energies are not limited in/to Nature. In other

words, regardless of our respect or lack thereof, the effects are still a reality, and this reality

will most assuredly comprehend US. Whether WE comprehend said effect or NOT does not

matter to the effect we have placed upon Nature. We are responsible whether we know

or don't know. This responsibility exists, regardless of ignorance.

"We have reached a fundamentally new stage in the development of human

civilization, in which it is necessary to take responsibility for a recent but profound

alteration in the relationship between our species and our planet." This was stated by

Al Gore at the Kyoto Climate Change Conference. We have developed ourselves in to

what some might consider a box. With all that we are aware of, all that we DO take

responsibility for and care for WITH respect, we still fall short of the compliance needed

for a healthy survivability between Nature and Humanity. First off, why do we even separate

the two groups, Humanity is a part of Nature. Yet with all our conscious knowledge of

existence, with all our know-how and technological-evolutionary momentum, all do

not SEE this simple truth. WE are a part of Nature. Nature is NOT a part of us, we are a part

of HER. "There is some of the same fitness in a man's building his own house that there is

in a bird's building its own nest." Thoreau, Walden. And we know this. Our wisest have not

necessarily been teaching us these comprehensions, but we know this. It seems as though

we simply moved on beyond what we thought of as a delusional necessity, when in all

actuality, the most sane of desires. We build. We build great cities that house millions. We

even find room for a three foot square of dirt for a singular tree to allow us a ration of oxygen

every now and again. Yet these are even disrespected. In The City, the little room we allow our

Life Sustainers give way to the ignorant and uncaring, to defecation or vandalization. That there

might be nothing but concrete left to simply exist; inhaling the consummation, it's absurd!

Ouroboros we are not, for there is a limit. We will not continue creating-eventually if we continue

consuming in this way with no respect to our consequences; we shall perish. There is no left

of center to this equation. It is not so difficult to understand how a limited production-ability

will eventually subside leaving in its wake our generous, yet, un-working technology.

Bill McKibben stated, "An idea, a relationship, can go extinct, just like an animal or

a plant. The idea in this case is "nature," the separate and wild province, the world apart from

man to which he adapted, under whose rules he was born and died." Have we forgotten our

place WITHIN Nature? We scrape the skies with our building blocks, we string our dwelling

towns with electrical grids that separate us, just a few feet from our minds, the entire sky, we

walk less and less upon actual Earth, for what? Is this proper? I dare question an Ape, or a

Wolf, or an Eagle. Do we think they would have no reply? They have replied in great volume

already, for they do not grace their presence in "the city," there is no reason for them to exist

here. We have shut them out. Of course there are those who adapt. But at what price?

Day old food left on the sidewalks and garbage cans; these do not replace the wild, edible,

natural sources. We find a space, it makes SOME rich, and others come to share in this wealth.

Then a hierarchy is established between the "finders" of said foundry and the workers who did

not find it. If order was not followed, through basic respect of Nature and the Natural Order

of Existence, corruption sets in. There, is established a new separate order, one of disrespect,

not only to Nature, but obviously, since we are WITHIN Nature, ourselves. Kenneth E. Boulding

stated, "Nevertheless, that fouling of the nest which has been typical of man's activity in the past

on a local scale now seems to be extending to the whole world society; and one cannot view

with equanimity the present rate of pollution of any of the natural reservoirs, whether the

atmosphere, the lakes, or even the oceans." Do we not understand what WE, ourselves, a

PART of Nature, are doing to WE, ourselves, Nature? One individual exists as one formidable

equation of an entire system of existence; as one individual, as well, one is a portion of the

whole. That said, one individual's energy, the source-able Ouroboros parallel, the consumable

creator, IF responsible for THEIR energy, this being the space they dwell and respect in every

aspect of existence, FOR existence, sustainability may be acquired. Without this individuality

respect of ourselves with Nature, of Nature with ourselves, we are destined to extinction by

default. There will be no fight. We live it now. It is continuity at its finest, limited extension to an

end. Our demise is categorized and fed to our dimmed comprehensions of mortality.

Consciousness is not a free pass to health and heaven. It is a responsibility beyond

individuality, AS individuality.

"A human soul on even as this wire - which now vibrates slowly & gently so that the

passer can hardly hear it & anon the sound swells & vibrates with such intensity as if it would

rend the wire - as far as elasticity & tension of the wire permits - and now it dies away and is silent -

& though the breeze continues to sweep over it, no strain comes from it - & the traveller hearkens

in vein." Henry David Thoreau. We are Nature. With conscious proclamation may we express

all our fantastic desires and comprehensions to Nature. She will not disown our individuality,

but I dare understand, to you, that She will have compassion until She does not. But if we reach

that moment of clarity between sunset and evening, that our faculties redeem their parameters

of respect and freedom in a flash of emerald light, this Sea of Consciousness might find well to do

with what it has naturally: energy. We may go beyond this unseeing reality, further into the actual

reality of what is. Earth has always been a catalyst to this equation. Let us see how far we might

go now, as respect allows us: this path.

Ehrlich, Paul. "The Population Bomb." In American Earth: Environmental Writing since Thoreau.
Ed. Bill McKibben. New York: Library of America, 2008. 434-437.
Thoreau, Henry David. "Journals." In American Earth: Environmental Writing since Thoreau.
Ed. Bill McKibben. New York: Library of America, 2008. 2-8.
Thoreau, Henry David. "Walden; or, Life in the Woods." In American Earth: Environmental
Writing since Thoreau. Ed. Bill McKibben. New York: Library of America, 2008. 9-25.
Gore, Al. "Speech at Kyoto Climate Change Conference." In American Earth: Environmental
Writing since Thoreau. Ed. Bill McKibben. New York: Library of America, 2008. 855-860.
McKibben, Bill. "The End of Nature." In American Earth: Environmental Writing since Thoreau.
Ed. Bill McKibben. New York: Library of America, 2008. 718-724.