A New Ecological Ethic Based on Contribution

The Earth has greened the planet — why can’t we? Photo by the author.

MORE AND MORE WE ARE BECOMING AWARE of the severity of the ecological crises looming on our horizon. As our collective awareness grows, more and more we want to do something. Alarmed and well meaning, many of us are attempting to ‘help the planet’, to live ‘sustainably’, to ‘protect nature’, or to ‘go-green’.

The Billion Year Old Master of Green

Transcending Net-Zero to Net-Green

This is the ninth essay in the Earthen Ethic series. Here we take a look at the fourth principle of ecological contribution. Art by Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel, German artist and philosopher who coined the term ‘ecology’ — Kunstformen der Natur (1904)

58 MILLION YEARS AGO the Earth entered the Carboniferous period with an atmosphere full of CO2. At the outset of the age, plants had just evolved leaves and stalks. 50 million years later, not only did vast leafy forests cover the planet, the Earth’s atmospheric carbon had been reduced 10 fold.

Towards Sequestration in the Principled Pursuit of Green.

This is the eighth post in the Earthen Ethic series. Here we take a look at the third principle of ecological contribution: Towards Storage. Image from Kunstformen der Natur (1904), by Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel, German artist and philosopher who coined the term ‘ecology’.

Transitioning from for-Profit to for-Earth enterprise

This is the seventh post in the Earthen Ethic series. Here we take a look at the second principle of Green: Indefinite Cycling. ‘Eagle and Salmon No2 — by James Madam, Wet’suwet’en artist.

In the land of the Wetʼsuwetʼen people in Northwestern Canada, the Pacific Salmon’s cycle of abundance is revered. In a lifespan of seven years, these remarkable fish start their lives in small forest creeks. When they are ready, they set out on a thousand kilometer journey to the ocean. On the way, a tiny fry transforms into a magnificent fish that can thrive in the vast waters of the Pacific.

The First principle in the Earth’s Greening of the Biosphere

Art by Ernst Haekel, Kunstformen der Natur (1904), plate 100: Antilopina

The Serengeti volcanic grasslands lie just south of the Tanzanian/Kenyan border and the African equator. This vast area of over 30,000 square kilometers is home to one of the most enduring large mammal ecosystems on the planet.

From the Earth’s billion year process of cultivating the biosphere we can glean the fundamental principles of ecological contribution

This is the fifth installment of an ongoing series developing a new ecological ethics. This week we go far back to the ancient Earth origins of plastic — and lay out the groundwork for the theory..

In the past we have used the example, ways and wisdom of great human teachers as means of discerning good and bad, right and wrong. However practical this has been for making sense of human living, it is insufficient for the ecological discernment we need today. When it comes to making sense of our place in the biosphere, human centered ethics, are de-facto, inadequate.

However, another great teacher awaits our attention — and we have no further to look than our feet.

The Story of a Planet & it’s Plastic

Radiolarians, a type of plankton found in the oceans of the Precambrian and the precusor of our planet’s plastic today. Art by Ernst Haekel (Kunstformen der Natur, 1904)

In a swirl of interstellar dust our solar system and star came together. As cosmic matter collided and coalesced four to five billion years ago, planets began to form around the sun. In a flow of startling unique cosmic confluence, our common home came to be — and to unfold.

Up until two billion years, the Earth was a barren, desolate place. The atmosphere was full of CO2 and the climate was harsh and unstable. Even when life did emerge, only single organisms scurried about.

Russell Maier

Green ethics. Regenerativative Philosophy. Forest Gardener.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store