Predicting Our Ecological Future

Our biosphere is a very complicated system of interrelationships. These relationships include the interactions between microorganisms, soil, water, rocks, the atmosphere, the global chemistry and all flora and fauna. Any breakdown or imbalance in the relationship between any of these components is very significant and can lead to extensive ecosystem damage. In fact, the simpler life forms have a greater effect on global changes than the more complex organisms. The higher up on the food chain an organism is, the more fragile it is and the more likely not to succeed. Interestingly, if humans were removed from this equation, the Earth would not experience any particular detrimental impact and in fact, would be better off. In other words, the presence of human beings is not essential to the balance of the Earth’s ecosystems.

We, as yet, have not developed a science or technology that is so sophisticated that we can understand and predict the interactions between many of the Earth’s systems and its complex web of relationships. Thus, we cannot accurately predict the outcomes of our impact on the planet when we disrupt ecosystems and exploit the planet beyond its’ carrying capacity. This lack of knowledge, experience and wisdom is currently hurling us into the unknown and could result in disastrous consequences for the environment and humanity. 

Quick technological fixes will not correct our environmental mistakes. We must view the planet as an organism of utmost sophistication, complexity and diversity. Our lifestyles must take-into account the larger picture of our relationship with the biosphere and its prerequisites as a sustainable organism. We must respect this wonder of creation and forge ahead with humility, and a conscience to do what is appropriate for our habitat, and humanity will be well served in this process as well.


From Naked Ape to Superspecies, David Suzuki and Holly Dressel, Stoddart Publishing Co, 1999, Bugs Are Us, pp. 13-14. Accessed 6 July 2020.

From Naked Ape to Supersecies, David Suzuki and Holly Dressel, Stoddart Publishing Co,1999, Introduction, p. 4. Accessed 6 July 2020.

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