In the modern world, we have a calendar that moves directly forward. The year 2014 comes after the year 2013. And the month of June comes after the month of May. For us, time is a linear process.
Time as a Cyclical Process
Unlike us, there are certain cultures that believe that time is cyclical. It keeps repeating itself. And there’s a reason why they might think this. After all, the earth keeps going around the sun and the moon keeps going around the earth. The same seasons repeat themselves year after year. So in a way, we’re not actually going forward, we’re going along the same path again.
The Cyclical Rhythms of Nature
Nature also works in a cyclical way, repeating many of the same things over and over. This is something we can all keep in mind and also teach our children in order to avoid environmental pollution. To understand how nature works, we need to have a sense of ecological patterns. We need to understand the role that plants, animals and human beings play in the larger scheme of things.
Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide in Nature
We’re always talking about why plants are really important and how human beings should stop cutting down trees and start planting new ones. But why do we consider plants so important? Do we understand the process of photosynthesis by which plants actually produce oxygen? Human beings breathe in oxygen and use it to burn fuel within the body. This process of burning produces carbon dioxide which is then exhaled and becomes a part of the environment. Plants and animals also breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.
However, plants also take in carbon dioxide and water which they convert into food with the help of sunlight. And in this process, oxygen is produced as a by-product and goes back out into the environment, replenishing our stores. So if it weren’t for plants, we wouldn’t have enough oxygen to breathe.
Herbivores, Carnivores and Omnivores
Plants are not only a source of oxygen but also a source of food for many herbivorous animals and human beings. And herbivorous animals are a source of food for carnivorous animals as well as human beings. Humans have been described as omnivores because we’ll eat anything—plants as well as animals.
The Hydrologic Cycle
One of the best examples of how nature works in circular rhythms can be seen when you trace the movement of water across the globe. 70% of the earth’s surface is water. When the sun hits the oceans, this water evaporates and forms clouds which are blown around and finally produce rain. When the rain falls on land rather than the oceans, it might either evaporate again or seep into the ground to form groundwater. This groundwater eventually makes its way to streams and rivers which carry it back to the ocean, thus completing the hydrologic cycle.
Cycling Back To Help the Environment
For us, the cycle of nature always seems to end with ourselves but this isn’t how nature intended it to be. Rather than moving ahead in a linear way, we have to cycle back to the beginning and start over. We have to give back to the plants and animals which provide oxygen and food for us. We need to take care of our atmosphere so that the hydrologic cycle can continue to bring us water. Only then can we really understand the way the universe works and pass it on as a legacy for our children
Posted by Mark Contorno.
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