sweeping the world. Whether we believe the whole thing to be fake or not, we will have heard of it. This pandemic threatens the human race.
Interesting word – pandemic. Meaning all people, the word did not become identified with disease until the middle of the 19th century.
Whilst all this is going on there is another pandemic that we should be a whole lot more concerned about. This one concerns Pan – the ancient god of the wild, nature, rustic music, and shepherds. Interestingly, there is a, not rigorously proven, link between pan (meaning all) and Pan (the deity). Being associated with nature, Pan is identified with everything – all.
However, I digress.
The pandemic associated with Pan is a pandemic relating to nature – to everything. We are running out of it. Running out of what?
Nature. We are losing more and more species as the minutes go by. In the time it takes me to write this blog we will probably lose around a dozen species. The rate at which species upon Earth are going extinct is estimated at anywhere from 100 to 10,000 times the natural extinction rate.
Some experts predict that there is only twenty-six more years worth of seafood in the oceans. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) expect all rainforests to be gone by 2100. (Does anyone remember the last turn of the century? Well, the next one, in 2100, is only 78 years away!)
That means something “unnatural” is happening.
It doesn’t take much research or thinking to realise that it is us that contribute the “unnatural” element.
Not only are we eliminating the alive features of nature, but we are also decimating the un-alive features.1 Each year we extract 90 billion tons of fossil fuels, minerals, and metals from the Earth. That’s enough for eleven tons for every person on the planet. Those of us in the rich nations do so at a much higher rate – between 20 and 30 tons each!
Since 1970 (in just 50 years) the amount of material we have dug up, pumped up, or blown up has more than tripled.
And in the rich, industrialised nations, two-thirds of this material has been for private consumption.
Yes, we are in the middle (or perhaps, the fateful end game) of a grand Pan-demic. It is a pandemic which has been proceeding since at least the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
What is even further horrifying is that if we do not recognise this Pan-demic, then the likelihood of more pandemics (such as the one we are presently experiencing) will only increase.
For we are pan (all) part of Pan (nature.)
1. The terms alive and un-alive should not be read too literally. I am simply using them as a way to distinguish aspects of the same all-encompassing Mother Earth. I acknowledge that many people (me included) view all aspects of nature as alive.