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Last Vestiges • Posted: Apr 04, 2008 00:52:17Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

Resent studies indicate Spring is coming earlier and earlier to many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. The consequences of that change are not insignificant. Migrating birds may arrive too late to find adequate food during mating. The health of developing offspring may be adversely affected by an early onslaught of rapidly breeding insects. Plants may begin to germinate before there is adequate sunshine to sustain healthy growth. In other words, the entire edifice of complex environmental inter-relationships may teeter as if a building in an earthquake.

While it is likely warranted to attribute human activity as the cause of all these recently observed environmental upheavals, we might not actually gain anything by doing so. First, environmental change is massive, it happens relatively slowly compared to most things we observe, and there is little we can do to leverage a benign reversal of all that is changing. Second, the remarkable beauty of nature's evolved balance and complexity is just that, an evolved balance of adaptive interplay. We observe the winners. We don't see the endless tragedy of all that has been lost achieving the breath-taking balance we so endearingly admire. And third, the beauty we admire is in fact an artifact of our own egocentric narcissistic intelligence, a private fantasy that has little to do with the processes of nature itself.

Regardless of the actual cause or the eventual plateau of equilibrium that will result, the processes by which nature evolves, adapts, and achieves balance remain unchanged. Beauty, as we perceive it, is not a consideration. While the consequences of our actions are certainly real, what we see, what we believe, what we think are likely entirely irrelevant.

Sunday, February 10th, 2008