Humankind and nature have been at war. This conflict has been waging on for centuries. For the longest time, Nature had wreaked the Earth with havoc, flooding, quaking and burning.
In fact, some 70,000 years ago, humans almost went extinct due to a gargantuan volcano eruption. Toba, the Supervolcano. There were enough ash, dust and vapour in the atmosphere to dim the sun’s light for a minimum of six years. The human population was reduced to about 40 breeding pairs due to a drop in global temperature, reduction of food resources and clogged up water bodies. Still, in this era, we have Hurricane Katrina, Typhoon Warling and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. This earthquake, with a magnitude of 9.
0-9.1, was felt by us all the way in Singapore. It sent a tsunami speeding across the Pacific, and a widespread tsunami warning was issued covering the entire ocean. Japan was devastated with the rubble of infrastructure, desperate with supplies and even those who survived the initial attack still had to struggle under harsh conditions after. Besides keeping their sanity intact, they were concerned with electricity, displacement and disease.Over time, humans have inflicted harm upon the environment in turn. Annually, deforestation has robbed the Earth of live trees at the rate of 27 soccer fields per minute.
Air pollution from cars and factories result in acid rain that eats away the ‘life’ in wildlife. Oil spills, overfishing, nuclear waste… Seismic surveying. This might sound less familiar. This is a method of geographical surveying that aids in oil and gas expeditions.
This requires the launching of high-powered airguns in the ocean to map its terrain. Sound travels faster in water, thus the effects of this are more drastic. A marine ecologist Ph.D. student from the University of North Carolina, Avery Paxton, revealed that seismic testing reduced reef-fish abundance by about 80%. Zooplankton, playing a critical role in the aquatic ecosystem, has died about thrice the normal rate.
Sea Creatures such as whales are heavily dependant on sound for mutual interaction and navigation. Seismic surveying can cause physical damage, including permanent deafness. In countless ways, human activities are detrimental to nature.
So, mother nature killed humans mercilessly with disasters. Meanwhile, humans have also abused their environment, resulting in the wreckage of ecosystems and the extinction of countless species. Some of which we do not even know of. This conflict, this clash, this exchange of disaster seems unresolvable. However, there is hope.
Humankind and nature can meet at a compromise. Volcanic ash is distributed as valuable soil. New Zealand’s next Prime Minister plans to plant a 100 million trees. Scientists have discovered a way to rebreed areas of the Great Barrier Reef.
The snow leopard and the giant panda have been removed from the list of endangered species. Renewable energy resources are thriving in countries such as Germany and Denmark. Specialised buoys and turbines can tap into the tidal energy, solar power- the light around us, and wind power- the skies. Seems metaphorical, does it not?After hearing this, I hope that you hope as I do, hoping for a future where humankind and nature can truly live harmoniously.