In 2018 we were hit by two particularly destructive typhoons, which took away much of the sand from our beach.
All this year it has slowly been replaced with the natural rise and fall of the lake’s water level and movement of the waves. Recently though we had high rainfall associated with the huge typhoon Hagibis.
This led to the creation of a sand bar and lagoon all along our beach which today I’ve been trying to drain. My manpower and shovel I realized are no match for the enormous power of the waves that constantly rebuild any break in the sandbar I tried to make. And what’s more, with the sunny weather these waves were barely bigger than ripples.
All the physical effort expended for very little gain (see photos) got me thinking how futile it is to go against nature – draining land that should be flooded, creating pasture on areas which were rich forest ecosystems, re-routing rivers etc. And of course the scale of such anthropic destruction, has only been allowed with the brute force bequeathed to us by fossil fuel.
Nature’s systems are cyclical. Everything is reused, replenished, recycled. From the largest systems – continental drift, volcanic eruptions, storms – to the smallest decomposing micro-organism.
All are important for replenishment and renewal. Unfortunately, there is only one system which works against the basic principle of taking and giving back – our economic system.
Currently it is ‘taking’ to such an extent that it’s breaching many of the earth’s natural boundaries -climate, nitrogen, biodiversity for example (see table). Unlike natural systems which are essentially cyclical, our economic system is a linear system of extraction, production, consumption, and disposal.
At the moment it is utilizing the equivalent of 1.7 earth’s worth of natural capital (Ecological Footprint.org) . Of course this can’t continue without tipping many natural systems towards irreversible collapse.