Monday, February 25, 2008

Biological work and economic work

A thoughtful, very cool article by Shahid Naheem from the Columbia Spectator online about the contrast between the work of organisms and the work of human economies. He urges us to join the carbon workforce alongside our fellow organisms -- a stimulating prospect!: ...The solution is complex, but it is clear. Work with, reengage, and reenlist our brethren species in the business of running Earth’s life support system. Biodiversity conservation is at once both mitigation and adaptation not only to climate change, but to changes in Earth’s life support system. Don’t get me wrong. Building carbon mineralization towers, putting up windmills, or making better solar cells is important—so is moving away from the coasts, preparing for stronger storms, or moving plants and animals out of harm’s way as the climate changes. Such steps to mitigate or adapt to climate change, however, are distractions. The real challenge is reconnecting our work with the work of all other species in managing Earth’s life support system.

Besides, let’s face it, what could be more interesting, more exciting, and frankly more fun? If, when you awake, you consider that you join forces with lions, wildebeest, aardvarks, moose, whales, hawks, blue jays, juncos, beetles, bees, spiders, oaks, pines, ferns, fungi, and yes, the Yeti crabs deep beneath the Pacific, in running a magnificent global life support system, it changes one’s world view....

Meet your co-worker: E. coli on Macconkey Agar Plate, Centers for Disease Control, Wikimedia Commons

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