Tuesday, February 5, 2013
LOVE NATURE, LOVE YOUR LIFE
"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men". St. Francis of Assisi
It’s February again and the airwaves are becoming alive with messages of LOVE. Saint Valentine’s day is around the corner. I will also share my love with you and will recommend for you something that needs your love as well. Your natural surroundings, your environment; nature needs your love. Loving nature should be one of the easiest things to do and something that must come to us naturally. If not for anything, to satisfy the selfish human nature! Do you ask why? It’s simple, LOVING NATURE IS LOVING YOUR OWN LIFE.
I have decided to share with you a few reasons why you should resolve to show more love to nature:
“The loss of biodiversity and the quality of nature harms the basic psychological interests of man: nature contains beauty and wonders, offers a variety of experiences and challenges, acts as a mental anchor, generates insight and wisdom” -- Sigmund Hågvar
Plants, animals and ecosystems bring important economic and social benefits. Vegetation has cultural, aesthetic and recreational importance to all humans. Interaction between organisms and their environment are important to human survival: humans rely on ecosystems that function properly for clean air and water and healthy soil.
Water is fundamental to the survival of all humans. The human body is primarily water. Infants are made up of 70 percent water, while adult males are 60 percent and females are 55 percent, it is said. Apart from drinking water, most economies depend on water (agriculture, transport, manufacturing, etc). The condition of freshwater ecosystems has a critical impact on the wider environment, especially for sustaining native wildlife and vegetation. Our waterbodies serve us in many other ways. Beaches are a great leisure resort for many people. The oceans and seas support a vast array of marine life and ecosystems of great importance. Where do our fish come from? What about the prawns, lobsters, etc?
Trees produce the oxygen that was mentioned in the paragraph above. Let's face it, we could not exist as we do if there were no trees. Trees absorb dangerous chemicals and other pollutants that enter the soil in a process known phytoremediation. Trees can either store harmful pollutants or actually change the pollutant into less harmful forms. Trees filter sewage and farm chemicals, reduce the effects of animal wastes, clean roadside spills and clean water runoff into streams. Trees control noise pollution, slow storm water runoff and by so doing check erosion. Trees serve as carbon sinks against excessive carbon emissions into the atmosphere, clean the air and serve as windbreaks.
Soils are also just as important as plants, animals and waterbodies. Soils influence distribution of plant species and provide a habitat for a wide range of organisms. It controls the flow of water and chemical substances between the atmosphere and the earth, and acts as both a source and store for gases (like oxygen and carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere. Degraded soil affects agricultural productivity, wildlife habitat and water quality.
Our atmosphere is supporting our life on earth. Oxygen sustains us. The ozone layer shields us from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. Even greenhouse gases that we talk about so much (predominantly carbon dioxide), maintain the surface temperature of the earth at levels that can sustain life. It is excessive emission of greenhouse gases which is negative and a product of human’s activity. Other than that, greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere for the good of humans.
I admit that it is so easy for one to pursue quality life totally ignorant of what a quality environment can offer. Because quality of life have been examined with many determinants including financial security, health, length of residence in an area, satisfaction with work, education, perceived empowerment, social opportunities, loneliness, community belonging, living with a partner, living in a less densely populated area, family relations, housing, religion, and self-esteem, etc (Chipuer et al. 2003, Cramer et al. 2004, Michalos 2004, Tay et al. 2004). But in all these assessments, the importance of the natural environment in quality of life has been largely overlooked. But this is a time for awakening. If you did not know, now you know.
LOVE NATURE, LOVE YOUR LIFE.
“I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?” -- Robert Redford quotes
1. Chipuer, H. M., P. Bramston, and G. M. H. Pretty. 2003. Determinants of subjective quality of life among rural adolescents: a developmental perspective. Social Indicators Research 61(1):79-95.
2. Cramer, V., S. Torgersen, and E. Kringlen. 2004. Quality of life in a city: the effect of population density. Social Indicators Research 69(1):103-116.
3. Michalos, A. C. 2004. Social indicators research and health-related quality of life research. Social Indicators Research 65(1):27-72.
4. Tay, J. B., C. C. Kelleher, A. Hope, M. Barry, S. N. Gabhainn, and J. Sixsmith. 2004. Influence of sociodemographic and neighbourhood factors on self-rated health and quality of life in rural communities: findings from the agriproject in the republic of Ireland. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 58(11):904-911.