Today influenced by a deeply-pitiful fever, I am sympathizing with the earth in the most humanly possible way. I sit here somewhat helpless as a greater organism, completely at the mercy of my tissue, cell, and organelle. Yesterday, my upper respiratory infection turned into Laryngitis. While no doctor has confirmed, the sheer inability to part my lips with a single, audible word is immensely symptomatic. As the clouds of my immune system gleam an unusual hue, I think perhaps for me (not the earth) the greatest part of the storm has passed. Needless to say I am sending fruit to your thought pathway from bed today.
Have you ever sat and thought about the phrase “Under the Weather”? I have and today, because I cannot talk, I am going to write you my thoughts in the hope of provoking a deeply productive conversation with your mind, with your friends, and/or with me and the wordpress community in the comment section below. And I have a lot to say, so bare with me — I promise it will be interesting!
Under the Weather.
Whether the weather (😉) is the sky cast or our immune system we are always under the weather. But for some strange reason we only realize when the sky is falling and our lungs are in reprieve. It occurred to me yesterday, as I coddled myself, hydrating with my homebrewed healing tea, that we spend our entire day abusing our bodies.
Our bodies are resilient when we fill our guts to the brim with processed fats, artificial preservatives, and toxins. We wash our counters with chemicals we cannot pronounce and breathe the carbon-rich smog air. And then, when our immune-system trips and falls, we fill our bodies with drugs that often counteract our natural mechanisms of returning to happy equilibrium. Everyday we are pushing our body so hard away from healthy homeostasis.
We spend our lives ignoring (because we don’t know, or are too scared to know) the things we put into our bodies. The same applies to the earth. We spend everyday disregarding (and some of us rejecting) the impact our consumption has on the earth. Like me, she is at the mercy of a her cells.
So, wake up! The earth is sick.
We and all the organisms of her body are her cells. We all make up the greater organ systems that maintain the atmosphere, her immune-system. The oceans and trees are her liver and lungs filtering the air working to maintain the same happy equilibrium as our bodies. But! Her natural immune-system has been exhausted.
One cell, a very fast and energy expensive cell, has grown out of control as a cancer cell does. It consumes far more than her body can sustain, demand is growing, and the impact is accumulating. Her lungs cannot filter at a capacity high enough to overcome the waste products of her cancer.
Cancer does not start as an evil cell. Cancer starts as a normal healthy cell. All cells consume. And sometimes the function of a cell changes. With that change, the demand of that cell changes. People, as pure humans, are not cancer. However our modern consumption has grown to a level beyond stage one cancer, and the earth is sick.
A little Biology Lesson, because we all need one!! And a History Lesson too…
Once, when I was 5 years old, I became severely ill with a viral form of pneumonia. I maintained high-grade fever levels at and above 104F (40C); I had to undergo surgery to drain my lungs of fluid; and I was hospitalized for two weeks.
When we are sick, like really sick, our immune systems fight back. Sometimes, our immune systems fight to hard and cause severe collateral to our healthy internal cells. Viruses – and other foreign substances like bacteria, fungi, drugs, and toxins- can release and act as pyrogens in our body. Pyrogens are a protein that stimulate the immune response to increase body temperature. There are two types endogenous (native) and exogenous (forgein). Endogenous pyrogens release naturally from the body in response to inflammation, where as exogenous pyrogens are released by little invaders getting too cozy inside of us.
In general, fever is a healthy normal response to cozy-foreign invaders. However, at five years old, the infection in my chest was sending my immune system into overdrive. Fluids collected in my lungs at dangerous volumes preventing proper gas exchange (oxygen in and CO2 out). And, at my dangerous fever levels I began to exhibit a condition called sepsis. Sepsis occurs when the immune response to an infection results in damage and death of native tissues. Due to sepsis and insufficient metabolism, I lost roughly 30% of my body weight. Thankfully! I was treated and today I am here, with you, talking about our sick earth.
Now! Back to Earth 🌏 🌎 🌍. Earth’s immune system reacts to congestion of the atmosphere the same way we respond to inflammation. Fever! Just as our body would never naturally produce a fever high enough to cause sepsis (damage to ones self), the causes of Earth’s fever must be from an unnatural source.
That foreign source is buried CO2. CO2 never meant to enter atmosphere; buried deep within the earth; captured in the peatlands; or stuck under great sheets of ice. The atmosphere has reached levels of carbon far greater than our current climate can withstand. The earth may not die out, but many of her complex and biodiverse organisms (including humans) may not find the same fate. Geologists estimate, the last time the earths atmosphere reached levels this high was between 3 and 5 million years ago in the Pliocene Era!
Recent estimates suggest CO2 levels reached as much as 415 parts per million (ppm) during the Pliocene. With that came global average temperatures that eventually reached 3 or 4 degrees C (5.4-7.2 degrees F) higher than today’s and as much as 10 degrees C (18 degrees F) warmer at the poles. Sea level ranged between five and 40 meters (16 to 131 feet) higher than today. – Rob Monroe “WHAT DOES 400 PPM LOOK LIKE?“
The latest carbon reading on May 2nd, 2017, read 408.2 ppm [The Keeling Curve]. If that doesn’t scare you… it should! It is projected that human created atmospheric change will result in the next great extinction.
SEPSIS = Mass Extinction
The Big 5. There are 5 events in which more than 75% of species extinction occurred. It is widely accepted by geologists that every known mass extinction has occurred from disruption to the atmosphere and ocean chemistry. Sources of atmosphere disruption big enough to cause mass extinction include: algi-blooms, volcanic ash, methane bacterium, and asteroid impact (foreign invaders!!!). Scientists actually believe Ordovician–Silurian Extinction, the first mass-extinction, occurred as a result of too many plants 🌱! The plants created such a large carbon sink that the temperatures dropped drastically dipping into an iceage etraditacting roughly 86% of living organisms [Cosmos]. Talk about the opposite problem we are having right now! This is a perfect example of how all organisms carbon and oxygen wasting are necessary to maintain Earth’s happy homeostasis.
The changes to the atmosphere and animal extinction related to human activity are happening at rates far faster than historically witnessed. Are we next?
In a report released April 2017, according to the United Nations, the coral reef loss suggests the next global extinction event. In October of 2016, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature reported that 38 percent of all species being studied are threatened by extinction [Worldwide Watch].
Where is Earths Torniquete?
Earth needs a doctor. The greatest tragedy and the redeeming quality in modern climate change is we can control carbon emission. We can reverse our change.
So I urge you to be conscientious and love our earth. Think about plastics! Think about chemicals in our pesticides! Think about hormone disrupters in our drugs and food! Think about deforestation! Think about Palm Oil! Think about the 140 million homeless children! Think about taking the bus or a bike! Think about water waste! Think about our Oceans! Think about our Air! Think about the Soil! Think about the Earth!
The Earth is “Under the Weather” and she just wants some rest, love and affection. So, I urge you the next time you are sick to give your body what it is asking for, rest, love, natural homebrewed tea, and restorative yoga. Because, that is what the earth wants and that is what the earth needs. Give time to your body and to the Earth!
We humans are the only answer to climate change. The only solution that ends with happy homeostasis.
And as a final fruit for thought, sickness sucks. But, the thing sickness gives me is the truest appreciation for my days of good health. So from my sick bed, to your heart: be happy and be healthy. As always have a lovely day because you are lovely.