Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Guardian Species

Even if a single element within the natural framework is destroyed, its effects will be felt by the entirety. Unless we as human beings realize that with great power comes with great responsibility we will drive ourselves to our own destruction through the destruction and that which we were meant to protect. Ecology is clear: the most powerful species of a food web acts as its guardian and steward; ensuring that everything remains in its natural place and in its natural order – it is a role that all guardian species human beings embrace instinctually without question. Because we are capable of rational choice, we are conscious of our own power and while a shark or lion would never abuse its natural authority, we can and overwhelmingly do. We have become so enchanted by our power, its potential, and especially the technological marvels that it generates that we have almost forgotten the natural role that everyone in the ancient world accepted as a fundamental part of life as a human. Now the world is viewed as an object to shape in our own image as opposed to a living organism that we are a natural part of with our own role to play and our own intrinsic responsibilities as beings in nature.

Instead of employing our gifts and technology to better fulfill our natural role as the worldwide guardian species we have instead employed it like corrupt despots and abuse our power and the authority nature invested in us. So intoxicated are we by our own capabilities and the capabilities of what we create we fail to understand that nature has ways of punishing the wayward; sooner or later our recklessness will bring about our downfall as our abuse of nature returns to ourselves. Capricious gods sooner or later consume themselves.If we are to survive and if the natural framework we all depend upon for life on this planet is to survive we must realize the role we were meant to fulfill in nature as human beings and never lose sight of it as we live our lives. The species at the top of the food web bears a natural noblesse oblige to ensure, not only its own continuation, but the greater wellbeing of the ecosystem itself.

As human beings, we wield such power that we sit at the very pinnacle of the global ecological structure. We are in every sense of the word lords and ladies of the natural environment and if we are to live with dignity we must accept our place as aristocrats instead of continually wallowing in our own filth. Just as a knight, from birth, is trained to guard his estate, safeguard its people, and wisely husband the resources of the land, we must be a guard unto the entire world; it is our natural role and our natural obligation. Failure to do this is not an option, for to fail means our own demise and without dignity that will be a demise not long in coming. The whole sea is endangered because of our reckless slaughter of sharks, the guardian species of their realm, over a petty desire for luxury products; just think of the fate of the earth if it loses its ultimate guardian species? And, furthermore, dies by the hand of its ultimate guardian species because its ultimate guardian species failed to do its duty. That would be a universal tragedy that we cannot possibly allow. The time has come to cast out the language of rights and entitlements and return to the noble language of obligation and virtue. Nature is not equal opportunity, nature is managed equal opportunity and the guardian species of the world are the ones who manage it.

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