Highlighted recently and in many previous reports, the negligent or intentional poisoning of wildlife with agricultural pesticides continues unchecked. These reported cases are only the tip of the iceberg and indicate that immense damage is occurring through uncontrolled ‘seepage’ of chemicals into our natural systems.
In various ways, vegetation is increasingly destroyed and soil-cover removed. Increased run-off is silting dams and destroying our rivers. Many fish species have vanished due to diminished water flow. Despite the increased spread of electrical power, wood burning continues unabated. Many destructive veld fires add to the smoke trapped under the inversion level in our winter skies. The continued supply of items in ‘no-deposit’, and excessive, packaging encourages the ‘throw-away’ culture that smothers our natural, tourist areas in commercial litter.
Most people have very good reasons for their actions, from their particular point of view. Some recently observed actions appear to totally contradict each other and indicate a community pulling against each other. There is obviously a lack of communication. In one example - within the same area, a well intentioned attempt has been made to completely protect a certain tree from damage, while close by about 10 trees of equally protected status have been destroyed.
They are all in close proximity to a main road and may have been cut for good reason but other non-protected species in the same location have been left standing. In the first case, the tourism potential for photography of an interesting species has been destroyed. In the second case the unsightly stumps have not decreased any possible traffic hazard.
There is a great need to understand the importance and maintenance of systems that support communities rather than the sentimental protection of individuals of a species. Desecration of natural vistas, whether viewed from above or below, continues unchecked through bush clearing or other ‘development’, despite sound legislation to control these activities. There is a distinct lack of policing, accountability and co-ordination.
This is where the K2C Biosphere structure can play an important role - as a coordinating and communication umbrella for all the numerous research and social activities in the area. The structure also needs ‘teeth’ to be able to enforce the environmental legislation. In this respect I believe that measures have been taken for the construction and fitting of effective dentures. The organisation must steer clear of any form of lucrative ‘green-washing’ which is so common in South Africa these days. The community needs to see and benefit from environmentally sound action.
It is good that we teach our children about nature - but all the knowledge in the world will not stop the deterioration as long as attitudes remain the same. There is nothing wrong with nature that it can not correct on its own - the problem lies in the attitude - the soul - of humanity.
Our children - and many of their parents - require sound spiritual guidance more than the knowledge and methodology’ things that we pass off as ‘education’. What is the use of a clever professor with many belongings, who is environmentally blind? Like a drunk or a drug addict in an expensive car - he has no future and is a danger to those around him.
As James says in the New Testament - ‘ Faith without action is dead’.