We’ve seen previously how one of the definitions of Dharma is ‘the stabilization force’ or ‘balancing factor’. This weekend, I watched a documentary featuring none other than Sir David Attenborough, the 93-year-young foremost nature conservancy expert in the world. Freshly released on Netflix, the film is titled A Life on Our Planet. And boy was it an eye opener. The scenes are a mix of joy (unimaginable biodiversity), tragedy (this biodiversity is dying, or rather we humans are killing it), and hope (of restoring this balance).
Here are a few painful and mind numbingly hard-hitting facts recounted in this documentary:
- We cut down over 15 billion trees a year.
- In all, we have cut 3 trillion trees. This is half of all the trees on the planet.
- 90% of all large fish in the sea are gone, due to overfishing.
- As a consequence, a significant part of the marine ecosystem is dead.
- This has impacted the oceans ability to absorb carbon dioxide, which has led to warmer climates, and erratic seasons.
- In each of the past 5 mega extinctions, it took volcanic eruptions 1 million years to increase the temperature. Thanks to our industrialization, we have increased the temperature in under just 200 years.
- Of all the mammals on earth, all humans together weigh 56%. The food humans eat (cattle reared for meat etc.) makes up 40%. Just 4% – are all the other mammals put together – from mouse to blue whale.
Mother Earth has given us everything for free. But if we do not know how to receive graciously, She will not hesitate to rebalance the power. We must do our very best – living mindfully, both collectively and individually, in order to save the planet and ourselves. Otherwise, an unmitigated disaster is on hand.