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The Caring Human is in Danger of Extinction

Indigenous child hugging a tree

As an ecologist working several decades in various environmental sectors, I will say that I have come to learn that ecological illiteracy is not an accident, it could be considered as a successful form of social engineering that is very convenient for the current greed driven oligarchy.
We were not born ecologically illiterate, a child has a natural sense of awe and curiosity for nature and wildlife, a child instinctively knows to be kind and with great social role models, a child will care for animals and the environment and often a toddler marvels at every blade of grass and insect it encounters.
When a child is shown or taught cruelty is when they might starts to mimic adults by trauma triggers for not respecting fellow creatures or environment.
Biophilia is an instinct we were born with, an inner sense of feeling good and being uplifted by nature. However, systematic deprogramming in  humans has turned us into good capitalists and consumers, but appalling environmental protectors, the lack of ecological literacy in school makes us ignorant of nature and how natural systems work, and a lack of understanding how we are affected by or influencing key ecosystems on the Earth, solely by our lifestyle choices.
Society has conditioned people to become so distant from or even scared of nature to being repulsed by it, to the point that many people can be called biophobic, afraid of nature. Society has done this by our over reliance on technology and through the absence of environmental education, (we are mostly taught through religion and culture that we are superior to and separate from nature).
As a result of humanity’s ecological ignorance and belief that we are separate from nature, the ecosystems of our planet show severe signs of devastating impact; from oceans being contaminated with radioactive waste, sewerage, and oxygen depleted zones. Another example of ecological illiteracy is that many people refer to the forests as ‘the lungs of the planet‘, it is actually the world’s oceans and their marine algal and microbial communities that are the lungs of the Earth, producing 80 percent of the world’s oxygen, and the ocean is a keystone ecosystem to stabilizing climate and maintaining good oxygen levels. Yet, the oceans are heavily polluted with plastic and toxic effluence, contaminating major global food chains and we continue to over-exploit over 85 percent of the world’s fish stocks.
There may be no rainforests left in twenty years’ time or enough fish in the ocean in ten years’ time, it has already been noted that future generations will not be able to fish as we do today, in just twenty years from now. Some scientists say over half the world will have a water crisis in fifteen years from now, although there are some great eco solutions out there that could prevent this.  Bees, which are our most important crop pollinators, are fast disappearing due to toxic chemicals from aerosols being sprayed into the atmosphere and pesticides being used in industrial scale farming, yet we have new pioneers who have invented organic and eco friendly pesticides based on mycelium.  The rate of deforestation and ocean pollution is destroying our major keystone ecosystems and their ability to maintain stable weather systems.


Just imagine if things were entirely different, if we all were ecologically literate and aware of the consequences of our daily actions on key ecosystems and on other species and the violence we cause Earth and if we were aware of some of the amazing ecological solutions out there that could solve some of these problems. We would be far more respectful to nature and the greed driven corporate power system as it is, would cease to be destructive to the environment, pollution would no longer be profitable, instead environmental investment would be more beneficial as well us seeing an expansion of employment in an ecological capitalism that thrives through pioneering sustainable technologies in industry and ecological economies.
We would have a more people empowering community orientated management of natural resources, (rather than centralized government management of natural resources), that prioritized nature and all kinds of sustainable technologies in operation in society, and growing billion dollar investments into more ecologically sustainable technologies.
We would also have an ecologically based economy, one which invests in the bank of Nature or Natural Capital as it is referred to by ecological economists,  where nature is given a significant financial value for its invisible goods and services, (a simple example are bees pollinating crops, clean water production via mountain aquifers and geological ecosystems and oxygen production from trees in forest ecosystems). Investment in Natural Capital would protect major natural resources from exploitation and destruction by super corporations, especially oil, gas and mineral companies.
One of the benefits from a Natural Capital based economy is that it would wipe off each country’s Gross National Debt, for example The World Resource Institute (WRI) estimated the value of ecosystem goods and services to be US $33 trillion dollars a year, nearly twice the value of the global gross national product (GNP) of US $18 trillion some years ago. The USA was in debt by 17 trillion dollars, some years ago, now it is around $26.13 trillion in 2022, therefore, if the US transitioned to an economy based on investment in nature and natural capital, it would help take care of this debt, with putting value on natural capital.
Global debt is currently a powerful driving force of control and ecological destruction (ecocide), an example is that many Latin American countries are in debt to China and therefore China is one of the major driving forces through debt pressures, to rapidly exploiting the Amazon rainforest for oil, hydroelectric power and minerals, it also started construction of a 5,000 km railway from Chile to Brazil, which would plough through previously protected rainforest and undisturbed indigenous tribes, a railway to remote areas of the Amazon rainforest will only further increase large scale destruction of precious biodiversity worth more left untouched and protected.
We would also have stringent international laws in place protecting the Earth from corporate exploits and Ecocide. Imagine every country, not just a few countries, would by now have given Nature the same rights as a human being or a corporate fiction in the court of law, presently corporations have more rights than Nature, and more frequently corporations are beginning to have more rights than people, in this so called modern civilization.
As it presently stands, many governments profit immensely from destroying the environment and not having 7 billion people to stop them from doing so, is convenient due to our ecological illiteracy and the social engineered lack of care, and media distraction from the destruction of our Earth.
Presently, ourselves and world governments can no longer afford to be ecologically illiterate, this is driving an environmental crisis that has gone beyond critical tipping point where up to 150 species of animals and plants are disappearing daily and key ecosystems are being destroyed beyond recovery if we do not stop and make major changes now.
Ecological ignorance is good for business, yet business can only last so long while the environment is falling apart around us, everything we do relies on ecology and ecosystems, and we cannot continue to ignore this fact. Ecological illiteracy in government and society is one of the worst things that has happened to Earth and to us, for humanity to become so disconnected to ignorantly treat nature as separate from itself. The Caring Human is in Danger of Extinction.

by Carlita Shaw

The Silent Ecocide- the environmental crisis is a crisis of human consciousness

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, An Ecological Perspective

Available on in Paperback

The Silent Ecocide – Amazon UK

Email Carlita at evolvetoecology at

Carlita is an environmental scientist, teacher and writer, currently living in South America.

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