Living Earth Quotes (5 quotes)
I speak as a planetary physician whose patient, the living Earth, complains of fever; I see the Earth’s declining health as our most important concern, our very lives depending upon a healthy Earth. Our concern for it must come first, because the welfare of the burgeoning mass of humanity demands a healthy planet.
I think that we reject the evidence that our world is changing because we are still, as that wonderfully wise biologist E. O. Wilson reminded us, tribal carnivores. We are programmed by our inheritance to see other living things as mainly something to eat, and we care more about our national tribe than anything else. … . We still find alien the concept that we and the rest of life, from bacteria to whales, are parts of the much larger and diverse entity, the living Earth.
Only rarely do we see beyond the needs of humanity. … Now that we are over six billion hungry and greedy individuals, all aspiring to a first-world lifestyle, our urban way of life encroaches upon the domain of the living Earth. We are taking so much that it is no longer able to sustain the familiar and comfortable world we have taken for granted. Now it is changing, according to its own internal rules, to a state where we are no longer welcome.
Perhaps our and Gaia’s greatest error was the conscious abuse of fire. Cooking meat over a wood fire may have been acceptable, but the deliberate destruction of whole ecosystems by fire merely to drive out the animals within was surely our first great sin against the living Earth. It has haunted us ever since and combustion could now be our auto da fé, and the cause of our extinction.
We have to stop thinking of human needs and rights alone. Let us be brave and see that the real threat comes from the living earth, which we have harmed and is now at war with us.