Naturally evolved ecosystems are marvels that make Earth habitable, yet sadly they and all life are threatened
Ultimately, all humanity and all life have is the biosphere, the thin
layer of life just above and below Earth's surface, composed of
ancient, miraculously evolved natural ecosystems. The natural Earth is a
marvel – a complex coupling of species within ecosystems, whereby life
Ecology is far more than the study of life and its environment. The
word is used here as a synonym for ecosystems – the vibrant connections
that emerge between species across scales, which cumulatively make life
on Earth possible.
Nature is far, far more than pretty plants and animals. Ecosystems
make Earth habitable, providing water, food, air, shelter, and more –
everything that we need and desire to live well. In naturally evolved
ecosystems, from genes to individual organisms and species, to
ecosystems and everything else in between, each living being present
fulfills a niche which sustains itself, its neighbors, and the whole.
All species uniquely express evolutionary brilliance and have a
purpose, a reason for being, a right to exist, and are necessary to
maintain life's full potential. From the lowly worm to soaring eagles,
to the human race – all naturally evolved life has value and relies upon
all the rest. Even seemingly noxious disease organisms and man-eating
predators have a role to play in maintaining ecological balance.
The Earth as a whole is a living organism, similar biologically to a
cell, plant, animal, or ecosystem. Yet sadly, she is being murdered by
industrial human growth at the expense of ecosystems. Past certain
planetary boundary conditions, like any life, Earth can die.
Without large intact ecosystems, Earth becomes uninhabitable.