Dear ERTHAWARE Compatriots,
The response to our holiday living-ornament pictures celebrating the mushrooms we photographed in the Buckhorn Wilderness Area late October was so enthusiastic I thought I would end 2010 by sending you 6 more pictures taken the same day. These 12 pictures (the 12 days of Christmas) are a fraction of what is out there if we have eyes to see. And I’m just a beginner and want to learn more.
I emphasize again — the thousands of fungi species (many yet to be studied, many lost through the destruction of natural habitat)are an essential part of the quartet team that creates and renews soil on this planet. Erosion, bugs, bacteria are major players, and fungi are accelerators of the break-down of organic material in the all important carbon/oxygen cycle on this planet. The enriched nutrients that this quartet creates and maintains are the foundation for the global green-belt that produces food-energy upon which all terrestrial animals depend. More than that, this global green-belt is one of the essential lungs that exhales oxygen into the atmosphere while they inhale carbon dioxide (the other essential lung being the photosynthesizing phytoplankton in the oceans). Furthermore, this soil based green-world also plays an important role in managing the fresh water hydrological cycle so essential for life.
This is a marvelous, beautiful and integrated system, indeed a planetary organ as real and vital to this planet as the health of our own digestive system, pulmonary/lung capacity, and essential water processing. Just as the organs in our human body must be properly integrated and interdependent in order for us to function in health, so also the planetary organs must function globally.
This rich fungi-world is not some strange, isolated natural curiosity of inconsequential importance to be used or abused at the whim of an uninformed human value system inherited from the past. These global natural organs that work in systemic integration with other global systems are vital for healthful life on this little planet. Thus they transcend all political, nationalistic, ethnic, economic, religious and cultural boundaries.
This expanded scientific biocentrism without borders upon which all creatures depend for sustainable life, we have just begun to understand in the last century. It is a new day! a revolutionary day! a day of wondrous opportunity! Just as in medical science we are learning how the various organ components of the human body work in magnificent inter-relationship, so we are beginning to understand that the living biome on the surface of this planet is also made up of integrated systems that make this home-planet teeming with life and gloriously habitable. This reality is beginning to set the agenda of assessing how we live, and it will become increasingly important throughout the 21st and 22nd centuries. This is not a time for fear or anger or neurotic retreat. Certainly, the familiar engines of societies will be tested by this new understanding, and the tendency will be to resist change and verbally assassinate the messengers. Rather it is a time for celebration, for reason-based education, peer-reviewed science and for adventures of constructive experimentation and change. Our enemy is indulged self-satisfied resistance and complacent ignorance. It is a time for bold vision and hope!