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The Trouble with Environmental Boundaries

The Invisible Gardener, Andy Lopez
The Trouble with Environmental Boundaries

The Trouble with Environmental Boundaries

The Trouble with Environmental Boundaries

A few lifetimes ago, I wrote a column entitled “How to Kill all Living Things in 50 years” 2000. I previously published a book called “How to Heal the Earth in your Spare time “ 1990. I guess you can see what age has done to me. I thought about updating it again, but what would be the point in saying “Opps too late”?

So I give up and just be me.

So, here goes:

When I wrote about how to kill all living beings in 50 years, I was talking about environmental boundaries. I did not know about “environmental boundaries as such (yes, there is a report called Planetary Boundaries.. see the chart and link below:


t turns out that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Things like clean water (how we use our water), clean air (how we use the atmosphere), a clean ocean (how we use the sea), clean live soil (how we use the land), climate change (how we use our climate), Genetic diversity (how we use our planets bio-system). I added a few like Radiation exposure (how we use our energy), soil damages (how we use our soil) tree biosphere (how we use our trees), plant and animal life (how we use our animals, insects, plants birds, etc.) to name just a few.

When I wrote the 50 years column, it was all about going past the boundaries. Typically going past limits should be a good thing. It is a better person. Not letting limitations stop you in your beliefs and what you want to do with your life. But, in this case, that is not a good thing.

We have managed to destroy every boundary that we should not have crossed. Radiation levels are higher down than in thousands of years. Toxins are at a new high level never seen before by humankind. This new time period, the age of man, will be known as the age of plastics. Plastic is found almost everywhere on earth, inside virtually every living creature. It will also have several different titles attached to it like The Age of Destruction- when humankind destroys all living things. Or how about The Age of Money, when the rich finally rules and the rich must eat cake to survive?

Anyways, we have managed to kill off all forms of life on this earth. It seems we are dead set also to destroy ourselves.

Sticking our collective heads in the sand will do nothing to solve this problem. I mentioned the rich only because of this problem we are in is due to money. Remember, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.

The Earth will never honestly solved these problems as long as a business must, by law, make a profit. Therefore, we have to work for the benefit of us all and not for money. We can fix these mistakes. We can become an example to others so they will not make the same mistakes.

However, when we pass environmental boundaries, we damage a system that cannot change itself overnight. Like the idea behind a big ship at sea cannot change its course without great effort. We have gone too far like the pendulum. The average climate swings have been from say 3 pm to 9 pm (on the clock), but now the pendulum swing closer from 2 pm to 10 pm, and it will swing farther. We cannot Grab the hand of the clock to stop it or make it slow down. The higher the swing in one direction, the higher the swing in its opposite direction. That is a law of nature — of equal and opposite reactions. Just like matter cannot be created or destroyed, the law of nature says there is an equal and opposite force. Light cannot exist without Darkness.

The point is that we need to not only pay attention to what we are doing. But also to realize the cost of what we are doing. We cannot continue to do the massive damages that we are doing now. I am not talking about the funny farm climate change situation we have placed ourselves. I am talking about the current ways we are systemically destroying everything we touch how we are killing off animals, birds, insects, sea life, plant life, microbial life. Virtually nothing is outside our destructive reach.

We killed more animals through roadkill in the last 20 years than humans have in hunting in the past thousand years. That damage alone is mind blogging. Add to this the amount of death from poisons that animals inject indirectly by merely killing a rat or other creature that dies from poison. The amount of bird deaths from windmills is hundreds of thousands yearly. This death extends to how humans are hunting everything into extinction for money. This death extends to how animals are dying around the world from human toxins or human waste products like plastic, radiation, toxic chemicals.

I have told everyone about the coming ICE Age. It will come. That is another natural law; Ice ages will always follow climate warming. The higher the intensity and the length of time it is warmer, of the Warming period, the faster and colder is the ice age that follows. It will last longer than the warming period. The last warming period was called The Medieval warming period (900-1250). Followed by The Little Ice Age (1250-1850). Notice the overlap. We are at the beginning of such an overlap. The difference is the intensity of heat we have created. The last time it was because we cut down a significant part of Europe's forest. We didn’t have cars then nor anything like the pollution we have now.

Just saying

Any questions? Email

Andy Lopez

Invisible Gardener