Life itself is art. The realization that every single living and non-living component around us is connected adds meaning to life and demonstrates that nature is indeed the worlds best artist. In art, if beauty and emotion are the end, then the natural world has perfected them. Let’s explore a few aspects of nature that demonstrates this artistic beauty. In environmental science, there are three main principles known to govern the environmemts sustainability. These principles are solar energy, biological diversity, and chemical/nutrient recycling. What exactly is the artistic harmony the environment contains?
Solar Energy: This principle is where life itself begins. Without it, our form of life would cease to exist. Is this not beautiful? The suns warms the planet, and is the source of energy for plants and phytoplankton; the start of the food chain on land and in the ocean. Without this energy, all primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary species would be null. The sun is also the source of wind and flowing water; the reasons the planet experiences weather. How poetic is it that the star our planet revolves around has this big of an impact on our mere existence? Solar energy is unequivocally art. The ways in which it shapes and defines our world is this art. It has created all the life that has ever been and ever will be on this planet. Every mountain, valley, river, ocean and canyon is a result of this solar energy. Knowing that art is about beauty and emotion, I can not see how life gets more artistic than knowing this.
Biological Diversity: This principle involves all off the life made possible by solar energy. Nature is made to be diverse. From this reason, nature is able to sustain life. Ecosystems that contain low levels of diversity are unable to support life. Biological diversity, the presence of a multitude of species, allows living systems to live and grow and this strengthens the Earth’s biosphere. The planets need for this diversity is art. In artistic pieces, many different components come together to form the whole. The same is true for the biosphere of our planet. Each microbe, plant and animal contribute to biological diversity. It is quite enlightening to see all of the different creatures on Earth knowing that I am not any different from them. We are essentially equal organisms; the precense of each being carrying equal importance. We are not separate from the earth, but rather in tandem with it. This is the beauty of biological diversity. It is the reason why us humans need to understand this art if we hope to reverse earth’s sixth mass extinction, which we have started.
Chemical Recycling: The principle that we are all of made the same recycled nutrients is wondrous. The environment provides life with nutrients and when this life ultimately dies, the nutrients return to the earth. It is amazing to know that my chemicals will eventually live on in the environment even when my body is gone. The reuse of Earth’s nutrients is art. With everything on the planet being internconnected, life needs this art to flourish. Ending waste is essential because this removes chemicals from the cycle and ultimately hurts nature.
The beauty in each of these aspects is art in action. Instead of a simple painting or a sculpture, this art plays out in real time, over many millennia. Humans are lucky enough to briefly experience and comprehend just how lovely this art truly is. Now, more than ever before, humanity take these principles for granted. We undermine natures artistic rules by creating temporary pleasures for our species own harmful demands. We do not take advantage of earths clean solar energy, and we continue to increase warming of the planet. Earth has plunged into its 6th mass extinction event, and humans are the culprit. Species are dying off 100 times faster than normal. We use resources until they are depleted and permanently remove nutrients from the system. It seems as though all is lost.. But this is not the case. Hope is still alive. Humans are aware of the problems, and more importantly we know the solutions. The ingenuity we possess gives us the opportunity to change course and ensure that the same principles the guide nature will shape the way our society operates.