“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — It was Sir Francis Bacon who exhorted us to obey our nature if we wish to command it.
By obeying, it doesn’t mean we will not enjoy from its wealth.
By commanding, it doesn’t mean we will destroy it.
The laws of nature definitely are in consonance with our existence, thus there is no need to exploit and ravage nature for our whims and caprices.
There is no need to rape the environment for our own irrational selfishness and greed.
The following are some of the ways in which man has upset nature’s balance and reduced our supplies of natural wealth:
1. Destruction of vast forest areas. Enormous quantities of lumber were taken from our forests for buildings, furniture, fuel, and other useful purposes.
But because of the apparent abundance of forests, lumbering practices were very wasteful. Little heed was given to the replanting of trees to keep our forests producing for the future.
2. Destruction of wild life. When forests are cut away, the homes of countless animals are destroyed, and these animals die.
The balance of nature has been upset at a vital point, and entire species may vanish as a result.
Added to this is the effect of needless trapping and shooting of animals for sport.
Examples of species made extinct or nearly extinct by man most particularly in America are: American bison (buffalo), antelope, passenger pigeon.
3. Reckless use of farm lands. Nature’s orderly processes keep soils permanently fertile.
But when man’s sole interest is to extract the maximum crop from his farm each year, regardless of the consequences, the soil soon loses its essential minerals and cannot support plant life at all. The soil, moreover, loosened and laid bare by the planting and harvesting of a single crop, and the wind and the rain easily carry it away.
4. Overgrazing of pasture lands. Sheep- and cattle-raisers, through lack of planning and foresight, have pastured their animals on the same land year after year.
Here, too, the result has been to lay bare the soil, so that it falls victim to erosion.
5. Pollution of streams. The dumping of sewage and industrial wastes into streams and rivers makes these waters unhealthy for water life.
The result is the destruction of large numbers of fish, oysters, and other valuable organisms.