Free Essay: How Should we Live on Earth?
The question How Should we Live on Earth? is one that can’t be answered in a straight forward manner. This essay will try to answer this question in the best way possible.
The environment cannot be complete unless it has all the components and people are supposed to learn how to accommodate these elements. It is this fact that explains the reason Aldo Leopold remarked that ‘we are part of a fragile, mutually dependent web of life, that the land and all the creatures and life forms are dependent upon it are co-members of a large cooperative community. The picture painted by this writer is clear and proves that every creature is important in its own way since without it, it is not possible for the society to be complete.
Often, people take it on themselves to make a decision on what works or does not work for them. We make decisions on which animals are necessary to us and which ones are not. Like Leopold however, we should start thinking like a mountain but there is immense concern that makes people understand how mountains think regarding the environment and especially in Los Angeles.
Because of this fact, the main concern environmentalists in Los Angeles have is that of showing how the unconventional ethic of Leopold is to the contemporary urban environment and how it is applicable towards combating the existing state of things. The approach of Thoreau to necessities and the alternative solutions of Suzuki to the andocentric thoughts and behaviors of people further help in this context.
How and why we should think like a mountain
So that we can live on earth, we should begin to think like a mountain. Thinking like a mountain entails looking at the environment as a complete entity without dividing it into small bits. The thinking of human beings carries out this portioning that we have the right of determining what should be around us. This has contributed to numerous problems within the echo system a large portion of characterized by nature imbalance. On the other hand, thinking like a mountain involves having absolute approval of the profound interrelationship that exists between constituents of the ecological unit. Human beings are encouraged by the process to stop thinking like a group but as individuals.
Like Leopold, we live in a society where existence of some plants, animals, insects and other components of nature seem useless to us. This notwithstanding, constituents beneficial to us are often guarded with the existence and lives of others (Davis, 83-86). These can be exploited at a speed that is alarming till the authorities are forced into coming in and labeling them as endangered species.
Leopold was not able to figure another role that the wolf could play within the ecosystem rather than its major role on diminishing the deer. He developed a new perspective after seeing ‘a fierce green fire dying in her eyes” (Leopold 1). He was unable to determine the meaning of that scenario though the solution he remained with was the mountain must have an answer. People were not anticipating waking up one day only to realize there was no deer that could fulfill their desire to hunt.
The only strategy for ensuring this did not happen was ensuring the jungle did not have any wolves. What they failed to understand was the fact wolves were an imperative component in balancing nature. Without wolves, the deer’s would increase to levels that the ecosystem could no longer cater for and as such, thinking like a mountain helps the people in Los Angeles to find value in each plant and animal. The mountain is aware why every aspect of nature is of great value and why adopting its style of thinking means giving more care to the environment.
Another way through which one can think like a mountain is acquiring knowledge that any small entity of the environment can have great influence to it as a whole. Making such an alteration can cause enormous impact by affecting the environment either positively or negatively. The notion behind this comprehension is ensuring we evaluate the consequences of each action taken. This aids in minimization of destruction brought about by people to the Los Angeles ecosystem without thinking of the mountain. Like the writer Leopold in his eccentric ethic, lack of knowledge is what makes people ignorant of how annihilation of certain animals in the environment means creation of more problems to the ecosystem. This thought can help us have a better understanding that the mountain holds great value for the wolf and the deer. The thought that people considered the wolf unnecessary within the environment was worrying.
By understanding killing an animal can prove detrimental to society can give us a good illustration of how (Flader 26) we can think like a mountain. This kind of awareness is of great importance since people are able to recognize death of one-wolf takes years to be reinstate and the same is applicable to the deer. Like Thoreau, the wilderness is just as important since it easily helps save the world. This means the wilderness should never be regarded as useless since just like the mountain, it also plays a crucial role within the ecosystem and lives of humans.
A good illustration of how helpful the wilderness can be is that countries looked upon, as deserts are renowned for having plenty of precious minerals. Countries in Middle East for instance are crucial in supplying other regions of the globe with oil yet they are located in regions where people easily class as deserts. This explains the reason Thoreau looked at the wilderness as the possible world savior (Suzuki 17). As people carry on the passing of new game laws, they are also supposed to take into consideration the importance of fauna and flora populations, as they are a big part of the representation regardless of any new game laws. The accommodative capacity of the land should be enhanced so the population wildlife can increase.
In order to ensure this happens, Los Angeles people are supposed to work hard towards ensuring maintenance of balance. In modern age Los Angeles, people are not supposed to think that the urban setting is just meant for new estates development as this fails to make people think like a mountain. Apart from new mansions construction, there is also the need of having animals in urban areas. Preferring to have houses instead of balanced environment is looking at the glass half full a mentality where people do not know the role played by every aspect of nature.
Thinking like a mountain therefore for people in Los Angeles is making sure that we equally think about the ‘safety, prosperity, comfort, long life and dullness” (Leopold 1) of other creatures in the same manner we think about ourselves. This aids us in securing wildlife from disappearing. To come up with alternatives, Suzuki asserted overcoming environmental challenges demands proper understanding of the situation causing such challenges. Failing to understand these causes means people will not be in a position to avert the problem in order to build a better tomorrow. The aspect that lacks in human beings is good will towards restoration of the glory lost in our environment. Suzuki made the recognition that with good will, human beings could succeed towards bringing the environment back to normal (Suzuki16).
Another aspect that must be taken into consideration is the fact human activity that is taking place also threatens the environment. The view held by Suzuki is that human activities are supposed to be geared towards challenge resolution in order to improve the environment (Gore 56-61). He makes the declaration the environment change is actually real and it’s a fact that people should no longer deny. The alternative left therefore is combating the degradation and ensuring proper mechanisms are put into place in order to bring the environment on track once more.
The other alternative according to Suzuki is allowing people to speak against out against those without proper environmental plans (Suzuki 8-15). People like politicians who fail to pursue the idea of ensuring environmental conservation should receive the necessary criticism. He advocated speaking against such people. According to Thoreau, we are supposed to make sure we are independent and living deliberately to ensure we rise above the restrictions of our unfair and acquisitive way of life.
The government, according to Thoreau cannot be trusted with reinforcement of justice because in some cases, those who are just find themselves in prison. Thoreau’s assertions are applicable by individuals to ensure every section of the environment, is free to take part anonymously to create balance in the ecosystem. This however can occur when we reason like a mountain as the works of Leopold assert (Thoreau 74-80). People are supposed to recognize the fact every animal is significant. The government is also supposed to rule with justice by ensuring individuals are not subjected to suffering by locking them in prison.
By evaluating these three writers, they all appear to be talking of one thing and complementing one another in an indirect manner. It is possible for the world to be a better place if everyone cooperates and thinks like a mountain. At no point does the mountain feel the need to element one of its elements in favor of another. Rather, the mountain takes and hosts all the elements at the same time. By bearing this in mind, it is possible to do away with our selfish nature.
Top of Form
Davis, Mike. Ecology of fear: Los Angeles and the imagination of disaster. New York:
Flader, Susan L. Thinking like a mountain: Aldo Leopold and the evolution of an ecological attitude toward deer, wolves, and forests. Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1994.
Gore, Al. An inconvenient truth: The planetary emergency of global warming and what we can do about it. Rodale, 2006.
Leopold, W. Thinking Like a Mountain. Retrieved on November 29, 2013 from: http://www.eco-action.org/dt/thinking.html
Suzuki, David, and Ian Hanington. Everything Under the Sun: Towards a Brighter Future on a Small Blue Planet. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2012. Print.
Thoreau, Henry David. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. MobileReference, 2009. Print