OVERVIEW Article from Homepage 10 August 2010 to 24 September 2010: Introduction to site & the wealth of the world
What's all this talk about Biodiversity? Why is 2010 International Year of Biodiversity? Why should anyone care?
Biodiversity is one of those important things which doesn’t seem urgent until it’s too late.
Biodiversity is what Sustainability is out to protect. Biodiversity is the sum of all life on the planet.
To start understanding life, biologists sort all we know into groups called kingdoms. The new stories about the kingdoms are changing human society right around the world.
Are YOU up to speed? Do you know what everyone is talking about?
The wealth of the world is in the kingdoms of life
Jingi walla! Welcome! I’m Mary Gardner, a biologist and writer, who lives in Byron Bay, Australia. I want to help you see for yourself, right where you live, the wealth of the world.
From this site, we want to reach 5 million people with the news about the kingdoms of life. That number is only 10% of a typical day's traffic in tweets. With your help, it's all possible. Please start by signing up to our mailing list.
TANGLE OF LIFE online begins its rolling launch on the 10th of August. Every week, for six weeks, a new section of the website will be opened. You'll find lots of information and ideas, photos and links. And you'll learn to create your own Great Wealth Display.
Each week, you'll also find that there is a "message that's worth repeating". Please help by sending that message along as a tweet, an email, a facebook alert, whatever way you can. The more people that can see the wealth of the world for what it truly is, the better for life everywhere.
Will you join us? Great! Let’s start with finding this wealth! Read on!
Where is this wealth?
There is wealth and power all around you. You were born into it. You are an integral part of it. You are a vital member of one kingdom, the animal kingdom. But you, as Homo sapiens, are not alone!
You rely on the Kingdom of Bacteria, unicell beings that coordinate their lives as colonies. As the microbiologist Barbara Bassler, is always saying, you are a composite of a trillion cells. “You” also are the thirteen trillion bacteria cells that live inside you and on you. Your health, your very existence is tied up with the welfare of the populations within your mouth, nose, throat, gut, lungs – every part of you.
Protoctists (pronounced "pro TOCK tists")
You are also intricately involved with the Kingdom of Protoctists. It's likely that you have never even heard of these before. Many, but not all, of these beings are unicells. Each one of them is about ten times bigger than a single bacterium. And like bacteria, the ones that are living in you might have some effect on you. They may either harm or benefit you.
You also harbour and maintain members of the Kingdom of Fungi. You may only notice these when the fungi take advantage of conditions for rapid growth. Then they appear as athlete’s foot, ringworm or another skin condition. The fungi living internally, such as candida, are part of your digestion process. They’re only more noticeable if they also take advantage of special conditions for a growth phase.
Not to be left out, small members of the Animal Kingdom, the worms, lice and mites are also part of your personal human community.
Archaea (pronounced "ar KEE a")
On top of all this, in the past decade, new discoveries find yet another completely distinct type of unicells in your gut. These are even more mysterious than the Protoctists. These newly identified unicells produce methane. They belong to the Archaea.
To stay alive, and maintain all the members of your "community", you rely on members of the plant kingdom as well as the animal kingdom. These are your sources of food, clothing and shelter. You also rely on other humans for every aspect of your well being and livelihood. The reason for all this interrelationship and cooperation can be found in history. Biological, evolutionary history. If you know how to look, anywhere you investigate, you’ll see members of all the kingdoms. They are inextricably linked in a tangle of life.
You in context: it's a very big picture
"Life", we are told, "is in great trouble." You've probably heard this so much you just want to scream. Many people say the problem is us. Leaders as knowledgeable as Sir David Attenborough are saying the earth would be better off without humans.
Although I know of the poverty, the pollution, the extinctions and the destruction we create, I still disagree with those who imagine the world would be a better place without people. A profound part of life on earth is consciousness, something we all share but hardly can explain. We aren’t even sure how to recognize the extent of own consciousness. We know even less about consciousness outside of ourselves, right throughout all the kingdoms.
Whatever consciousness, it is part of this earth. We can just barely trace its past history and its evolution, let alone imagine its future. It is part of a fierce and unyielding process. And it includes us.
It's worth repeating to everyone else: The wealth of the world is in the kingdoms of life
Please send a tweet, an email or a facebook alert with this message to everyone you know. Let's reach 5 million people.
NOW YOU TELL US
Please add your comments: How do YOU feel knowing about all this wealth can help?