In Nature, every animal returns to its home to rest after spending times searching for and feeding on food. The home is not only a place to rest free from the disturbance of the weather and the threat of the predators but also a shelter to raise a family. The dwelling’s construction is simple and made of materials from the surroundings. Since the population of each animal is controlled by Nature’s eco-system, the animal-made world never causes irreparable damage to the Earth’s environment and landscape. This equilibrium and harmony had lasted over a billion year till the emergence of the animal, human species. The man-made world it created has caused permanent destruction to the environment and the wholesale transformation of the Earth’s landscape. Does this mean that Nature’s experiment with the human species has gone out of control and it is facing imminent extinction as what had happened many times in the past billion years.
In the animal world, its population is primarily depending on the food sources. Since Nature imposes a limit on the food’s availability for each animal, its population is under control. Since the human beings have learned to grow its own food, its population has become out of control. To accommodate the ever increasing number of people that has reached 7 billion, houses, condominiums, and skyscrapers spring up almost everywhere threatening the habitats of the rest of the animals. The construction of the dwellings is complex and uses timbers, concretes, and metals that cause whole scale deforestation and excavation of land. Sensing the imminent irreversible damage to the environment, the humans start to implement birth control, replanting trees, and finding more efficient ways to get the resources from the ground.
To feed a population of 7 billion people day in and day out, year in and year out, is a daunting task. It demands:
An agricultural industry that can consistently turning out reliable supply of crops that are under the attacks of insects and fast changing weathers.
To ensure that the crops that grow healthy under all conditions, pesticides are used to ward off the insects, chemical fertilizers are used to supplement the nutrients, and the genetically modified seeds are used to withstand the harsh environment.
Meat and poultry farming complex that can consistently turning out reliable supply of animal products that are perishable and susceptible to diseases.
The farm animals are fed with antibiotics to fight off diseases and chemically enhanced feeds to speed up growth time in confined quarter.
Distribution and logistics networks that can deliver the life sustaining staples to the general public in time and on time.
Distribution centers spring up at strategic places where the edibles from the agricultural industry and farming complex are stored, processed, and ready to be shipped to the nearest consumer markets. All these locations are connected by a web of highways, railroads, and airports turning wilderness teeming with wildlife into a land of concrete and machine and filling the clear blue sky with toxic and choking pollutants.
Realizing the adverse effects of their actions, the humans impose rules and regulations on acceptable gaseous emissions by the industries and transportation vehicles and on the protection of the endangered living species for all new land developments.
With the dwelling and food - two essential elements of survival – no longer a concern, we, the humans are free to pursuit other interests:
Art and Music – We need food to stay alive and we need art and music to become alive. Art brings originality, excitement, and beauty to the otherwise bland man-made world. After a routine and sometimes stressful day, we take refuge in music that lift our spirit, brighten our mood, and rekindle our desire to face another day. Painting, sculpture, gallery, theater, strange looking building, concert hall, piano, violin, and host of other musical instruments, etc. have become prominent features of the man-made world.
Science and Technology – Science enables us to understand how Nature works and we use technology to tap into its hidden resources to build our man-made world. Science discovers Nature’s electron, technology brings us electricity and light bulb that turns night into day. Science discovers Nature’s semi-conductor, technology brings us the PC and Internet that make instant communication around the globe a reality and world news at our finger tips.
Hospital and Medicine – We go to the hospital to get treatment for sickness, illness, or injury. The doctor in to hospital prescribes medicine to help our body to fight off bacteria, virus, and to heal from the wound. No one goes through life in good health all the time and as our population increases to ever larger number, the number of hospital also increases proportionally and becomes more sophisticated to handle the ever increasing health issues. Research and development activities in new medicines have also kept pace to meet the challenges.
Knowledge and Education – Our man-made world is being built in small steps based on our knowledge of Nature and ourselves. This knowledge is being saved in books and now, computers. People are being taught of this knowledge in schools to educate them how the man-made world was built from scratch to its present behemoth and how it can be improved to meet the new demands.
After a relatively short 7000 years, the man-made world has turned the blue Earth into a grey one, a dark planet at night into a glittering one, desert into oasis, forest into waste land, sands into computer, chemicals into weapons of mass destruction, and a life of survival into a journey of discovery, awareness, and emotional roller coaster. The man-made world is built from materials from Nature according to Nature’s physical laws and by someone who are the end product of Nature’s evolutionary process. So, it is natural to conclude that the man-made world is within Nature’s master plan and nothing can happen in the man-made world without Nature’s participation. We are the creator of the man-made world, we decide how the man-made world will become, but Nature determines what the man-made world can be. Our thinking and imagination have met the challenges thrown at us so far; we have not only survived but also prospered in Nature’s harsh and unforgiving world. It is easy for us to assume that, unlike any other animal, we have choices to live our own life and control over our own destiny. But, we know that there are still a lot to learn about how Nature works and we are only scratching the surface as to why Nature works. In the meantime, we are still at the mercy of Nature’s invisible forces that are shaping and leading our man-made world to places beyond our present thinking and imagination.