Man–the great imbalancer

Editorial

EVER since man turned from nomadic hunting and gathering to planting crops, he has been planting with gusto.
But as the human population expanded and mankind’s needs increased and he turned to mechanisation, somewhere along the way his planting became directional and channelled towards the crops that benefited his needs.
In turn, he harvested more from nature’s reserves than it or he was able to replenish and his own efforts became more and more concentrated on less and less.
Large areas of forested land were turned into farm lands and the natural forests receded, an imbalance was created in nature.
Mankind’s strident march towards industrialisation and mechanisation added to this imbalance and nature was stretched to the limit to provide an adequate waste disposable sink for the chemical by-products of mankind’s drive to improve, as he called it, his “standard of living”.
He placed the “standards of living” of all other living creatures and, in due course, his own, under tremendous and possibly irreversible stress and peril.
Mankind certainly did not himself realise the danger he had placed himself and other far more innocent living things in until much too late.
The result was massive global accumulation of the unwanted by-products or wastes of the mechanisation, industrialisation and globalisation process.
Being a careful balancer, nature tried its best to filtrate this manmade threat, for which it had no response, by distributing the wastes evenly around the world.
By air or water it circulated excessive accumulation of wastes (pollution) in one part of the world throughout the world in the hope of containing the threat.
But there had to come a time when a point of insolubility had to be reached, a point where nature’s defences had to be breached.
The hole in the protective ozone layer was the first.
Next, the melting of the polar ice caps. Global warming and rising of the sea levels is next.
The time for reckoning for our excesses has arrived, by the hand of fate, in our lifetime.
PNG communities in our low lying islands such as the Cataracts islands are already feeling the pinch. Through the Cataracts, PNG has the dubious honour of hosting the first refugees of global warming.
The science aside, when viewed from this logical vantage point, it all makes sense.
It does not matter what the intelligentsia on the one side of this debate are saying about this being a recurring phenomenon and that there is no need for the big global warming song and dance and that this is an attention grabbing hoax.
There have been cycles of global warming and cooling throughout millennia, the claim is made in that camp, and that this present one is just part of that cycle.
But there is another far stronger logic that lies not too deep below the surface of this other argument that rises the counter-argument.
That is that at no time in the past has the occupants of this planet or the physiological processes of nature been impacted by the untrammelled actions of one species in its own advancement or that such a species has the sentient ability to recognise the dangers of its own making and equal capacity reverse the process if he so wished.
This is the point at which mankind stands. The climate born calamity greets us in PNG and in other South Pacific island countries far more closely than on continents where the landmasses are far too vast to suspect the incremental advancement of the dangers released by global warming.
At the ringing of the global warming alarm bells, somebody coined the magnificent expression “Think Globally, Act Locally”.
To what extent has this apt and perhaps prophetic warning been grasped by individuals, communities and governments everywhere, it is uncertain.
The fires of industrialisation blaze higher than ever before and the rampaging march of humanity into the uncertain future of its own creation continues undiminished in the least bit.

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