Published on February 23, 2014
Laws of Nature DEVC 212 – Environmental communication Anna Merlinna T. Fontanilla MS DEVCOM, 98-38359 January 7, 2012
Interconnectedness • Air, water, land and the living things in and on them are all connected in ways obvious and subtle • Humans are part of the ecosystems – how we live our life affects all other life • Butterfly effect
Interconnectedness • • The interconnectedness of all matter and all life is illustrated clearly by Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh: If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud there will be no water; without water, the trees cannot grow; and without trees you cannot make paper. So the cloud is in here. The existence of this page is dependent on the existence of a cloud. Paper and cloud are so close. Let us think of other things, like sunshine. Sunshine is very important because the forest cannot grow without sunshine, and we humans cannot grow without sunshine. So the logger needs sunshine in order to cut the tree, and the tree needs sunshine in order to be a tree. Therefore you can see sunshine in this sheet of paper. And if you look more deeply ... you see not only the cloud and the sunshine in it, but that everything is here: the wheat that became the bread for the logger to eat, the logger’s father ... the paper is full of everything, the entire cosmos. The presence of this tiny sheet of paper proves the presence of the whole cosmos.
Balance of Nature • Ecological systems are usually in a stable equilibrium (homeostasis) • A small change in some particular parameter (ex. Population size) will be corrected by some negative feedback that will bring back the parameter to its original “point of balance” with the rest of the system • Systems remain in approximate equilibrium most of the time. • Besides natural factors, human factors can also upset the balance of nature thru deforestation, pollution, overhunting, and livestock grazing to name a few.
Biological Diversity • The degree of nature’s variety in the biosphere (includes genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity) • The more species present, the more stable the community because several species keep other species in check, preventing any species from overpopulating the habitat
Biological Diversity • The great variety of life on Earth has provided for man’s needs over thousands of years.
Finiteness of Natural Resources • There are limitations and boundaries in utilization • Even the most abundant of natural resources are in danger of being depleted in the light of human overpopulation and overexploitation • Natural resources are limited by the Earth’s capability to renew them
Finiteness of Natural Resources • “Resources” is not, ultimately, a physical concept; it’s an economic concept. And to be limited physically is not necessarily to be limited economically.
Carrying Capacity • The maximum population of a given species that can survive indefinitely in a given environment • It depends on the condition and resources available in the specific area, and the consumption habits of the species considered • Carrying capacity is always changing
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