Until the industrial age this balance was kept fairly well, with only a few natural hiccups, such as the little ice age when people were skating on the Thames river in London. However, since the age of the industrial revolution, pollution has been damaging our ecology, and greenhouse gases have been causing holes in our ozone layer, and increasing temperatures over the past one hundred years.
Dallas, Texas, this year, barely missed setting a record by going, I believe it was 38 days in a row, with 100 degree temperatures. Many other cities in nearby states had similar experiences this year. And with heat comes drought. Texas had several terrible forest fires earlier this year fueled by this drought. The midwest was devastated earlier this year also with tornado after tornado. I remember CNN reporting that one town was almost totally destroyed by cyclonic activity. The death toll to humans, and animals, was very high this year .
In a ten year study 2000 - 2009, the largest temperature rise , compared to 1951 - 1980, was recorded in the Arctic and Anarctic regions. The greenhouse gases that fuel global warming, are being increased in recent years by the industrialization of China and India, as well as other developing nations. From satellites in space we have seen that the Greenland ice sheets are receding at record rates. What will this mean for island nations in the future, and the coastlines of our continents ? What will happen to Venice or Holland, where a rise in the water level would be devastating ! There is some controversy about the tide gauges, and what they are actually showing, but the use of satellite altimetry, has estimated an increase of 2.9 - 3.4 mm per year for the years 1993 - 2010.
Environmental pollution is not the only thing that humans have done that is harmful to Mothers' Nature and Earth. The accidental introduction of species into foreign environments has had devastating effects over the years. From the earliest times when black rats caught a ride on merchant ships to foreign ports, and spread their fleas from town to town, causing the dreaded black death, mankind has accidently changed the ecological balance in each region. Some examples of this are : Alligator weed, which was introduced into Florida from South America, and which was clogging the waterways. ( They seem to have finally gotten that under control at great expense ) The Great Lakes have had a host of problems with the New Zealand Mud Snail, and the Zebra and Quagga mussels. The Emerald Ash Borer Beetle has been devastating to our beloved ash trees here in the northeast and in New England. Finally, and most recently the Marmorette Brown Stink Bug, from Asia, has infested the northeast and quickly spread south, and west. Stink bugs caused damage to crops in 33 states, and caused 37 million dollars in damage in Maryland, Pennsylvannia, Virginia, and West Virginia alone. With sucking mouthparts they suck the juices out of fruit damaging it and making it unsaleable. They were first reported in Allentown, Pa. in 1998.
Mankind does not do everything harmful by accident either ! One of the most hideous of our transgressions against Mothers' Nature and Earth, is the destruction of our rainforests in Africa and South America. This in many areas has led to the total collapse of the eco - system ( that delicate balance), and has led to the extinction of many species of animals, insects and plants. These human caused extinctions have even been given a name, The Holocene Extinctions ( beg. 10,000 B.C.E.). 875 extinctions have been recorded just from the period 1500 - 2009 by the International Union for Conservation and Natural resources. One of the most famous, of these now extinct species, is the Dodo bird. And now it looks like the Polar Bear could also be added to that list in the future. ( At least in the wild if the ice sheets that they depend on to hunt disappear )
It is time for humankind to stop trying to shape Great Mother Earth, and Great Mother Nature to meet our needs , and to start joining in the natural rhythm that is the dance of these wonderful life giving and sustaining Goddesses. We need to live within the boundaries of the natural world, and stop pushing these boundaries until the equillibrium is lost, and the dance ends with our downfall as a species. We also need to look into technology that can hopefully reverse the damage that we have already done. Though nuclear accidents, and oil spills, have very long term effects on our enviroment, we need to develop new and better ways to deal with them, and in the future discontinue their use altogether. Mother Nature and Mother Earth are very resilient Goddesses, and can filter out much of the damage that we force on Them, but even as great as they are, They have Their limits too ! The problem is we need to start now, and I do not see a great urgency in the actions of governments these days, especially with the world economy being what it is . We must however try ! For our Gods, Goddesses, Ancestors, Heroes, and most of all for ourselves, we must change they way we live and interact with our natural world. Our very lives depend on it !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !