Don’t Mess With Mother Nature – Revisited


Update — check out the story on Georgia’s  newest ocean reef — made of chicken cages and an old barge,  near Tybee  tybee island  Island.


The need to value nature much like a potential investor would a startup they were considering investing in is a summary of Mark A. Tercek’s thesis in Nature’s Fortune. For example, what would an accountant show on a spreadsheet as the value of coral and oyster reefs? Reefs act as a buffer, making the outpouring of water from ocean waves less destructive, more manageable. This in turn lessens the likelihood of flooding of buildings, among other benefits.

From restoring fisheries to oyster and coral reefs to floodplains to realizing how our world is affected by climate change, Nature’s Fortune aims to educate readers on the critical need of reducing society’s dependence on grey infrastructure and the cost-effectiveness of replacing this with green infrastructure.

Tercek cites to examples of multi-national companies, fishermen, farmers and others that have partnered with governments and environmental organizations, such as the Nature Conservancy, to reduce their footprint (think harm to or effect on nature), increase the amount of natural capital in the world (think Brazilian rainforests that sequester carbon, oyster and coral reefs that protect our coastlines, and fisheries that produce the shellfish and shrimp we consume) and to make operations greener (effecting a partnership with nature instead of working against it). Two articles that caught my attention in this area are: Mark Jenkins with the National Geographic discusses in the latest issue of Reader’s Digest how making operations greener could work in an unlikely place—Mount Everest and the Economist’s Plastisphere article on the use of discarded plastic bottles by micro ecosystems.

Nature’s Fortune briefly discusses how the increasing human footprint is sowing the seeds of climate change and what this means for society. The age-old saying, “Don’t fool with Mother Nature” remains a good warning. More extensive discussion of climate change and its effects is beyond the scope of Nature’s Fortune. The Teaching Company has a lecture series on climate change for in-depth study and the Economist’s Special Report on Biodiversity in its September 14-20, 2013 issue covers various topics. For an interesting take on climate change in the form of fiction, read Dan Brown’s latest, Inferno and Final Respects by Abdi-Jamil Nurpeisov, among others. For art, see the Economist’s Chilling Article.DSC_0619

Reading Nature’s Fortune was relatively easy as Tercek defined terms, using examples to further explain and clarify his ideas, and linking earlier chapters to his ongoing narrative. More of this type of literature is needed. One area I wished the author would have incorporated into earlier chapters was addressing how to endear future leaders’ (the youth) minds and hearts to the vision laid out in Nature’s Fortune.

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