by Steve Jake
It's about the value & significance of preserving natural resources & heritage of nature.
If the bee gets extinct, man will live for only four more years!
This famous quote by Sir Albert Einstein "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left", makes us ponder deep about the intricacies of nature, and makes us realize the perfection and craftsmanship by which Almighty GOD has created the world and how all the entities co-exist in nature in perfect harmony. We don't just exist in this world but we co-exist. Just like all the cells and organs of the human body constitute the full being, all the living organisms, flora and fauna together constitute what can be called as life on this planet.
The gist of Einstein's famous quote is that if there are no bees there would be no pollination, and hence no fruits or crops to sustain life. Pollination is brought forth mainly by several types of bees and only a minor percentage happens by wind, and other small birds like Humming bird. Hence bees play a major role in the existence of other species.
When we look deep into nature, it is clearly evident how all the elements of nature - plants, animals, the environment, water bodies, etc are all mutually dependent and exists in harmony, in such a way that any disruption in nature's balance will cause severe repercussions and dire consequences. Nature always tries to regain its balanced state, no matter what all natural catastrophes happen or what all imbalance occurs.
For instance let's take into consideration a scene that's at the top of my mind, just to get a picture on the real meaning of co-existence in nature. Consider a hilly terrain with green pastures and meadows and trees aligned all around, and with animals like cows and goats grazing on the grass and a river flowing near by. The trees, grass & the greenery around absorb water & minerals from the soil, and it holds the soil firmly by it's roots. The grass and the leaves are food for the animals while their droppings have minerals and nutrients required for the plants. Thereby all these elements are co-existing. Any imbalance in this harmony will have some ill effects. There are instances where severe deforestation on hilly slopes have resulted in landslides and avalanches.
When we look into the wild, in jungles, we can clearly see this harmony and balance. Animals emit carbon dioxide which are absorbed by plants and trees and they in turn emit oxygen. So is food and nutrients, which are mutually provided by plants and animals. If we travel to a jungle and spend a day there we will feel more energized during the day than being in cities, due to the oxygen rich environment.
A balance is maintained by nature among the creatures at several levels of the food chain as well. Even though there exists wild beasts and carnivorous creatures which devours other herbivores in the jungle, we can see that the number of off springs of the herbivores always outnumber the off springs of carnivores thereby maintaining a stable environment. Always the ratio between the carnivores and herbivores are in such a way that perfect balance in maintained in nature.
Any change in the harmony of nature, or laws of physics would have other dire consequences. The universe is so crafted and all the entities and elements of the universe finely tuned that a small deviation in the laws of physics or a disruption in the pattern would have appalling effects.
For example, unlike all elements which contracts while cooled, water expands on cooling. If water doesn't expand when it is frozen and forms ice, it's density would have been too high, and wouldn't float on liquid water. The ice formed wouldn't floating on top of water. During winter, when lakes and rivers are frozen, liquid water exists beneath the sheet of ice, thus marine creatures can survive the harsh winter. Moreover salt in seawater, lowers the freezing point of water, thereby seas and oceans won't get frozen easily even if mercury dips to zero degree celsius. The anomalous property of water to expand on cooling and the saline sea water has great significance for the sustenance of marine life. Major part of life exists under the sea, and an impact to marine life will indirectly affect all other forms of life as well.
Here is another example. If sound could travel through vacuum or if air existed in outer space instead of vacuum, then the whole universe couldn’t have come to existence as energy from the stars would dissipate in the form of sound energy, (besides electromagnetic radiation), and the enormous sound waves created due to the nuclear fusion explosion in the stars would rip apart the orbits of the planets, and shatter the planets and none of them would ever exist.
Suppose if you were given the power to change the universe, and if you try to tweak a small iota of the structure, pattern, properties or the way it works, it will lead to a collapse of the entire system. Each entity is dependent on other, and no entity can survive or thrive on its own, but together all survives and flourishes.
The extinction of an animal at the bottom of the food chain, can result in the extinction of several creatures or plants. For example, there was a bird called "Dodo" which was native to the African continent. European explorers during their journey to Africa and India, and during their colonial period, used to hunt down the Dodo bird for its delicious meat. Due to excessive poaching, the bird got extinct. Meanwhile, another tree called “Tambalacoque” or dodo tree is now at the verge of extinction. This tree sprouts from the seed in its fruit, which has a very hard endocarp. This fruit was consumed by Dodo bird and from the seeds in the droppings of the bird, the tree used to sprout. Due to the hard endocarp of the fruit, the seeds cannot sprout other than from the bird droppings. The extinction of Dodo, has resulted in the decline of Tambalacoque tree.
Similarly the impact of extinction of several crucial creatures, can ripple across the food chain causing several extinctions and also other consequences to the environment and life.
Nature has a peculiar way of re-establishing the balance when there is any disruption to nature's normal course. At times of volcanic eruptions and other natural catastrophes, the way life flourishes there and how it comes back to normalcy is a matter of great awe and astonishment for researchers. Researchers and scientists still do not have concrete proofs and explanation on how life begins at newly formed islands, which are isolated from the outer world.
Man has always tried to destabilize the balance of nature which has resulted in several consequences. Most of the ill effects in nature is as a result of human actions with little regard in preserving the natural habitat and the rich heritage of nature. Hence today man is facing several of its aftermaths.
We live in an advanced and sophisticated world. Lot of advancement and development has happened in the recent years. Unlike olden days the mortality rate has decreased considerably due to advancement in medical field. Deadly diseases and viruses are nature's way of curbing human population and a way of re-establishing the balance of nature. As several new vaccines were created by man to get immunity from several diseases and as man has eradicated several diseases like smallpox and plague, and as man learnt to "deal with” several diseases newer and much complicated ones were formed by nature. For instance, deadly disease like AIDS wherein the entire immunity system is damaged, thereby no medication can be of any effect, is one of the cruel ways of nature in establishing the balance.
In the last 10 years, technological developments have sky rocketed. Non-degradable waste like plastics and polythene, the toxic gases that are let to the atmosphere, air and water being polluted, the CFCs from air conditioners, are all affecting mankind, environment, and all species alike. In our day to day routine life, we come across lots of carcinogenic substances. Polluted air, contaminated food, toxic emissions from air conditioners, food in plastic containers which are hazardous, cellphone and WiFi radiations, and other harmful substances like fizzy drinks, antiperspirant sprays, etc are some of the carcinogenic and toxic things we are exposed to, daily. Cancers and tumors are on the rise since the technological boom began. The causes of cancers are zeroed upon changes in lifestyle and technological developments. For instance, one of the main reasons for breast cancer is found out to be the extensive use of anti-perspirant sprays.
Cellphone radiations and WiFi signals are a huge threat both to mankind and nature. The number of sparrows and bees have declined to appalling levels as these radiations are on the rise in the environment. The decline of bees is a grave concern which has to be addressed at all cost.
Human intelligence is limitless and man has reached great heights through technological developments. However man's brains are not fully appreciated by nature and the outbreak of the latest virus "Zika Virus" targeted at man's brain, is one of the crude ways of nature in addressing this issue, by shrinking the brain of newborns.
The impact of human activities to our planet and the threat to the habitat is a very serious one. The decline of natural habitat is happening at an alarming rate. Mass extinction is the final destination where we are headed to, and the bitter and pitiful truth is that we have already boarded the train to that final destination!