RDA 13b. Biosphere and biodiversity

From Regenerative Knowledge Commons


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Pattern page for RDA 13b. Biosphere and biodiversity pattern
--WORK IN PROGRESS--

SDG 13's, 'take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts', is as superficial and devoid of true consideration to the complexities and immensities of climate catastrophe we face today.

SDG shortcoming

[this section is a repeat of RDA 13]

Let's take a closer look at some of the phrasing.

This SDG calls for 'urgent action.' But, what kind of action? Immediately cease all Human activity that is a known primary source of greenhouse gases? That would be highly advisable and definitely urgent. Short of this, any number of perhaps well-meaning, but thoughtless urgent actions, may very likely have even more serious unpredictable and unintended consequences.

This SDG suggest we should 'combat climate change and it's impacts.' This arrogantly implies that we should or even could use force to bend the planets Life support systems back into place. The phrase 'it's impacts', is an outright denial of responsibility for the unparalleled impacts we Humans, as a species, continue to have on our planetary systems.

By far, the most glaring shortcoming of this SDG, is that it neglects to address head on the sets of intertwined planetary systems or spheres, whose health is integral to continuation of complex Life on the planet. The most critical and of most immediate concern are: a) atmosphere and climate, b) biosphere and biodiversity, and c) lithosphere and carbon cycle. Therefore, we've dedicated three new RDAs (13a, 13b and 13c respectively) to address the care of these spheres and the urgent developmental work needed for a radically different mode of Human presence on the planet.

Context

Earth's biosphere is now entering a phase labeled by some, the Sixth, or Holocene extinction. This is world-wide mass extermination of species, Earth's biodiversity, is being brought about mainly through the dominant influence of Human industrial activity and its decimations of wild ecosystems.

Although global in nature, this Human industrial activity is concentrated in dense Human settlements that, in their current form, require continual extraction from wild ecosystems, energy-intensive movement over long distances and heavy processing, that produce and then returns vast quantities of substances toxic to Life--meaning, that they cannot be re-integrated into living processes without causing severe damage--to the biosphere, atmosphere and lithosphere.

In short, Humans are the only species that has attempted to remove itself from the biosphere. In doing so, we have organized our own, seemingly separate sphere: the anthroposphere. Seemingly, because it is now glaringly clear that it has brought severe unintended consequences to all of Earth's spheres, especially our own.

Indeed, this pathology of separation from the rest of the living world, continues to haunt, plague and challenge us in all sorts of existential ways.

Living systems

Life has evolved on Earth over a period of 4.6 billion years. Life's evolution, has not been continuous. It has faced many critical thresholds, suffered tremendous losses of species, and yet somehow emerged into periods of even greater fluorescence of biodiversity.

The current version of Earth's biosphere that Humans have developed in as a species, is by far the richest in terms of the unfathomable proliferation of species diversity. This biodiversity, the wildly diverse Life forms--each species, each individual being, uniquely endowed with their own essence, role (vocation) and potential-- and yet, each simultaneously a universal expression of Life's aliveness.

These beings co-evolved in intimate fields of relations with each other and with the uniqueness of each place. These relations--the sum total of interactions, both antagonistic and complimentary--between living beings, each of which work in their own way (ecological niche) to embody and exchange available energies within the field of relations, is what constitutes the notion of wild ecosystems.

Biosphere and biodiversity

This current version of the biosphere, and Humanity within it, together face a critical threshold.

RDA 13b is dedicated the care of our biosphere, and indirectly, to biodiversity it generates. Although we can create conditions so that ecosystems regenerate themselves from existing fragments, there is little anyone can do to regenerate the biosphere directly, nor to restore species that have been lost. Indeed, there are a great many things we should cease doing.

The premise here, and throughout the RDAs, is that there exists a latent potential for Humanity as a species, to build the collective will and capacity to undergo overwhelmingly immense set of transformations (see RDA 13. Great warming ) that must necessarily result in a comprehensive reorganization of the anthroposphere--the layer of global Human activity, which as is currently configured, does not embed and interact regeneratively, with rest of Earth's spheres, and, is at the root of the biodiversity crisis. This is a tall order. And, if it is true that the capacity for caring for biodiversity is primarily an aspect of relationship, then we begin with the question: How do we care for each other, all beings, in the places where we live? Indeed, how do we care for the places themselves? From here, we can begin to heal the rift between us and the the living web, between Human ecosystems and wild ecosystems .

A useful living systems framework that can serve to organize our thinking here is 3 lines of work, which offers an approach to simultaneously develop our selves at three distinct, but inseparable levels, the first is our personal development, our work on our inner dimension we applied in RDA 13a. The second line, which works through fields of relations, we will apply here.

Second line work:

The premise behind second line work, is that there can be no 'self' without 'other.' The aphorism, 'no (Hu)man is an island,' holds true because we are all deeply embedded within an intricate web of relations--Human and more-than-Human--no matter how seemingly distant or fragmented. We simply cannot do the first line work of self-actualization without attending to and cultivating a field, what Christopher Alexander refers to as a thickness of relation around us. To the degree that we are tending to such a thickness of relation, we can grow the capacity to develop ourselves as nested wholes--our individual self, within a still larger self--body of relations. This entails developing a network of friends-in-the-work, others who have the will to engage in caring for each building each others, as well as, their own caring capacity.

More concretely, we can activate our caring for the biosphere in at least two ways: by participating in communities of place and/or communities of practice; by doing so consciously, you will be participating in transformative ecosystems. In actively caring for place, the aim is to find alignment with that place, with its unique essence, and how that essence can continue to develop greater degree of aliveness. By working in a field, we can collectively assess is the purpose of that place in the larger bioregion that it serves--the vocation of place--and from here we can derive each of our own vocation--precisely how we are being called to care for that place.

vocation & livelihoods --> communities of practice

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