Saturday, 3 October 2009

Planet-o-my: the need for an ecologically functional user's manual of planet Earth

[W]holistic view of our home planet*
A planet, according to NASA's definition is first "a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun..." -- so it is a body -- in the parlance of human-biology it is similar to a collection of cells and specialist cells(or organs) designed to perform/s specific function. More than that a body is also a whole system accommodating many sub-systems that may and can override other sub-system in need of help or assistance. The behavior of the sub-systems are mainly devoted to stabilize the whole system upon which it rests, the scientific term for this is called 'homeostasis' (Greek for 'state of equilibrium). This quest for stability is critical for any system as it provides conditions favorable for growth/development/progress or similar.

Automata 'duck' *
In my view, this systemic understanding is lacking in our education for the last few decades. Mainstream Cartesian reductionist education were and still is placing a lot of importance on the 'part' not the 'whole' resulting in the overrating and overvaluing the opinion of experts and specialists while overlooking and undervaluing the more holistic view of the generalists.

The driver for this inequality originates from the technocentric, interventionist and managerialistic/rationalist ie nature seen as 'resource' (in contrast to ecocentric, holistic and convivial) approaches and above all an atomistic (individualist/separative) Western world-view of the universe.  Fortunately, this view is fading fast as we now reaped or experience the ripe fruit of decades of abuse and blatantly ignoring the dire consequences [of adopting] this short-sighted view for our world. Examples of these are manifested in the multiple-crises we are now facing which fused together a range of problems from local to global socio-ecological, economic and political issues. The scope is wide, encompassing the way we deal with the issue of hunger, impoverishment [poverty is more about power-relations rather than being poor], the wasteful world economy and climate-change - which hopefully will create a united platform for [an ecologically sustainable] and saner ways to conduct on this finite planet. We need [urgently] an easy to understand functional Earth manual for the 'modern' world!

* both pictures courtesy of Wikipedia