By Leslie Paul Thiele
We are living at the present time in an international internet of interdependence, hooked up technologically, economically, politically, and socially. due to those increasing and deepening interdependencies, it has develop into very unlikely absolutely to control--or foretell--the results of our activities. the area is rife with accidental effects. Wall Street's reckless funding in poisonous resources lately produced large defaults and an international fiscal recession. Our attachment to fossil strength is generating a weather default. the 1st legislation of human ecology--which proclaims that we can by no means do in basic terms one thing--is a fact we forget about at our peril. In Indra's internet and the Midas contact, Leslie Paul Thiele explores the influence of interdependence and unintentional effects on our pursuit of sustainability. regrettably, strong intentions offer no antidote to the legislations of accidental effects, and proffered remedies usually turn out worse than the sickness. Biofuels built for the aim of lowering carbon emissions, for instance, have had the accidental influence of slicing off meals provides to the needy and destroying rain forests. The problem we are facing is to be inventive and adaptive in our pursuit of sustainability. yet we won't easily invent our method out of our ecological and financial trouble. really, we needs to essentially remodel our styles of pondering and behaviour. Thiele bargains the highbrow and ethical foundations for this variation, drawing from ecology, ethics, expertise, economics, politics, psychology, physics, and metaphysics. understanding of our interconnectedness, he writes, stimulates creativity and group; it's a profound accountability and a blessing past degree.
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Additional info for Indra's Net and the Midas Touch: Living Sustainably in a Connected World
Once the island was fully in the snake’s grasp, many species of birds, bats, and lizards fell victim. ”25 The toll is high indeed. 26 When birds became too sparse to sustain the appetite of the invader, it turned to reptiles. As a result, ﬁve species of native lizards have become extinct, in part owing to direct predation by the snakes and in part owing to the disappearance of birds that were crucial components of the lizards’ diets. Many small mammals also suffered. Island shrews, for instance, are now rare.
29 In retrospect, the connections become clear, and tracing them out makes for fascinating, though tragic, stories. The problem is that unintended consequences are mostly unanticipated. No one predicted the disappearance of moose from Vermont in the nineteenth century owing to the overharvesting of beavers. The moose, however, were dependent for their summer foraging on the vegetation growing in beaver ponds. With no beavers, there were no beaver ponds, no summer moose food, and no moose. Similarly, no one predicted the decline of songbird populations in the United States as a result of the extermination of cougars and wolves.
The jewels of Indra’s net are not enduring substances. Rather, each jewel is manifested only as a reﬂection of all the other jewels. 9 The story of Indra’s net is meant to illustrate the interdependence and interpenetration of phenomena. All the strands of the net are connected. Loosen one, and all are loosened. Sever one, and the whole is weakened. This is the meaning of interdependence. Like the ﬁlaments of Indra’s cosmic net, the jewels hanging from its vertices are all interconnected. In turn, they also mirror each other.