Gaia and the Balance of Life

Gaia and the Balance of Life
David Schlecht

Dr. James Lovelock, decades ago, wrote about the Gaia of Earth. He was trying to explain to us, in a different bent, that which we learned in early childhood: life on earth is a delicate balance of life and elements.

Earth is a collection of interconnected lives. As species come and go, the balance changes but always remains in balance. Imagine back before any life on earth, back when earth was pretty much like any other planet in the universe. It was pretty bleak, certainly not a place where live would have much of a chance to survive.

After millions of years (or seconds, depending on your religious beliefs) life started to get a foothold and earth became a home to living organisms. Earth became life. Earth, unlike the other planets, was becoming conducive to life.

Back in the beginning, mankind would have never survived. Earth, like other planets had no oxygen. As life flourished, plants that consumed the carbon produced oxygen as exhaust. After millions of years of this exhaust, finally there is enough oxygen in the atmosphere to support life as we know it.

As we continue to over populate the earth, we’re replacing the oxygen with carbon and devolving back into the bleak earth of before, an earth that can’t support life as we know it. Just the act of breathing means we’re putting more carbon back into the atmosphere. The more of us there are, the more oxygen we deplete and more carbon we emit. There’s no doubt that we are heading in the wrong direction.

Obviously earth cannot support the number of people already on the planet. It’s time to start discouraging large families. And it’s time to start thinking about what we’re doing to this home of ours.