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  • May | 2014 | Reconciliation Ecology
    familiar home stretch of smooth bare skin left uncovered on purpose by the contours of her sari Naked primates we are born seeking contact with bare skin Yet as civilized humans we cover up routinely our largest sense organ out of modesty or seduction making that touch of skin even rarer more precious It was the one part of her skin other than on her face and arms that was always available to me that smooth skinned midriff left bare on purpose by even the most demure of Indian women un wrapped by the contours of her sari Later still in my adolescence that bare midriff skin drifted away to more than arm s length for we weren t a touchy feely hugging kind of family I would steal glances drawn in by the allure of bare smooth belly and the promises hidden behind the folds of the saris of the mysterious women all around me out of reach Once familiar source of comfort now turned object of fantasy Keeping me forever in orbit around that smooth patch of skin left uncovered on purpose by the contours of the sari Most of her skin has burned and peeled off they said as I flew back from a more distant orbit remembering yet trying not to think of that smooth skin My bleary eyes wide open unable to bear the sight of the rest of her body kept zeroing in drawn magnetically to a square foot of skin on her belly left untouched still smooth still uncovered just as I remembered The fire having raged all around it even scorching face arms fingers had left that belly untouched as if on purpose Now that is all I want to remember that bare smooth pale familiar patch of skin I first touched ages ago but they haunt me the contours of her sari burned into her flesh Share this Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on Pocket Opens in new window Click to share on StumbleUpon Opens in new window Click to share on Tumblr Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Click to Press This Opens in new window Click to share on Reddit Opens in new window More Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to print Opens in new window Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on May 11 2014 by Madhusudan Katti Feed your reader RSS Posts Subscribe to Blog via Email Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email Join 30 other subscribers Email Address Search for Recent Posts My Hit Single Are Warblers Less Important Than Tigers Pollen TSUNAMI Happy PollinatorWeek Watching Jurassic Park in Ambasamudram On reaching beyond the low

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/reconciliationecology/2014/05/ (2015-09-25)
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  • April | 2014 | Reconciliation Ecology
    to avoid burnout and keep going Simple follow Jane Goodall Here she is in a fascinating inspirational conversation with Sylvia Earle Happy birthday Jane Goodall Share this Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on Pocket Opens in new window Click to share on StumbleUpon Opens in new window Click to share on Tumblr Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Click to Press This Opens in new window Click to share on Reddit Opens in new window More Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to print Opens in new window Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on April 3 2014 by Madhusudan Katti Are you a welfare queen or an entitlement corp A GlobalPOV video by Madhusudan Katti Leave a reply I just discovered The GlobapPOV Project from Berkeley s Blum Center through this video which raises and answers the above question via Ikoe Hiroe on Facebook It presents a brilliantly visualized analysis by Ananya Roy of global poverty welfare and entitlement schemes starting with the US and broadening the POV to countries in the Global South which are also grappling with these issues and coming up with new solutions Watch And watch again And think And share Share this Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on Pocket Opens in new window Click to share on StumbleUpon Opens in new window Click to share on Tumblr Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Click to Press This Opens in new window Click to share on Reddit Opens in new window More Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to print Opens in new window Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on April 2 2014 by Madhusudan Katti Feed your reader RSS Posts Subscribe to Blog via Email Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email Join 30 other subscribers Email Address Search for Recent Posts My Hit Single Are Warblers Less Important Than Tigers Pollen TSUNAMI Happy PollinatorWeek Watching Jurassic Park in Ambasamudram On reaching beyond the low hanging fruit in science education How to live with elephants in the modern wired world Recent Comments My Hit Single Are Warblers Less Important Than Tigers Reconciliation Ecology on Tigers Are Less Important Than Warblers Pollen TSUNAMI Happy PollinatorWeek Reconciliation Ecology on Of wanton plants and prudish immune systems late night thoughts for National Pollinator Week Madhusudan Katti on Watching Jurassic Park in Ambasamudram p51mustang on Watching Jurassic Park in

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/reconciliationecology/2014/04/ (2015-09-25)
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  • March | 2014 | Reconciliation Ecology
    new window Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on Pocket Opens in new window Click to share on StumbleUpon Opens in new window Click to share on Tumblr Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Click to Press This Opens in new window Click to share on Reddit Opens in new window More Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to print Opens in new window Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged conflict conservation India reconciliation ecology wildlife on March 23 2014 by Madhusudan Katti It s true whether or not you believe in it That s why it works Neil deGrasse Tyson brings Science to CNN and Colbert Nation by Madhusudan Katti 1 Reply I don t want to turn this blog into a Neil deGrasse Tyson fan site but its hard not to share when he is so damned articulate about issues that concern me deeply about the unnecessary yet ever present culture war in America that is depriving generations of the beauty and wisdom that a scientific perspective can bring Nobody explains this more clearly than Tyson and in ways that should be understandable even to reasonable religious folks I m with him when he says that he doesn t care what you believe I keep telling my students the same thing because you have the freedom to believe whatever you want in this country But you must recognize also that your belief is not going to affect the reality that science allows us to perceive and understand That reality and the science of understanding it it s true whether or not you believe in it Indeed So here are a few more clips from Tyson s appearance on the telly this week in the wake of his new fame as the host of the rebooted Cosmos First an interview on CNN s Reliable Sources where he challenged the journalistic notion of balance which can be quite false and unbalanced when it comes to presenting science in the mainstream media And then he made his 10th appearance on The Colbert Report presumably walking right over from his CNN gig because he s wearing the same outfit Share this Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on Pocket Opens in new window Click to share on StumbleUpon Opens in new window Click to share on Tumblr Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Click to Press This Opens in new window Click to share on Reddit Opens in new window More Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to print Opens in new window Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in culture war media science video on March 11 2014 by Madhusudan Katti Q A with Neil deGrasse Tyson Ann Druyan and Seth MacFarlane after Cosmos premiere by Madhusudan Katti Leave a reply Cosmos A Spacetime Odyssey premiered tonight in the US on Fox National Geographic and affiliated channels and will air in many other countries worldwide over the coming weeks I m told it will air in India on March 16th This reboot of Carl Sagan s Cosmos A Personal Voyage helmed by his heir Neil deGrasse Tyson had its Hollywood and world premiere a few days ago in an event that was followed by a live streamed Question Answer session with a panel that included Tyson Ann Druyan Carl Sagan s widow and collaborator on the earlier show and exec producer of this reboot and Seth MacFarlane Fox s resident juvenile showman who produced the new show If you saw the reboot as I did you might want to follow up with this recording of the live Q A I was sufficiently impressed with the show blown away by the visual effects to recommend it strongly to everyone While the broadcast on the commercial TV networks was predictably interrupted by adverts some of which were going a bit far in trying to blend into the show s mood at least on NatGeo where I first watched it I hope that getting the science in front of a huge audience on these channels especially the Fox audience is well worth the trade off Here s what my third grade science enthusiast daughter had to say when the visually spectacular segment where Tyson walked us through a cosmic calendar from the Big Bang to current human history was interrupted by a commercial break Just as neiltyson says we must change scales 4 human history in Cosmos cut to commercials my 8yo shouts we don t care for this stuff Madhusudan Katti leafwarbler March 10 2014 I hate these commercial breaks but think the younger generation is savvy enough to get past them and focus on the substance of the show I m sure we ll be getting the entire show in a box set when that becomes available later on Meanwhile we ll watch the live episodes record them and re watch them skipping commercials Did you see the show What did you think Share this Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to share on 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    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/reconciliationecology/2014/03/ (2015-09-25)
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  • February | 2014 | Reconciliation Ecology
    been a big first step in getting our work through peer review and into publication so the rest of the world you can read and see what we have discovered It is gratifying to see that there is broad interest in our results The BBC News posted a report covering our paper even before the paper was available online and the BBC World Service will shortly be interviewing Mark Goddard one of the coauthors Meanwhile the Australian Broadcasting Corporation s program The World Today spoke to coauthor Nick Williams earlier today and you can hear his interview online in the show s podcast US media hasn t quite woken up yet so let s see how much interest there is on these shores I will be writing more about this research and explaining our findings in greater detail in a blog post or two over the coming few days as and when I find time to finish writing the posts in between classes and committee meetings For now let me share this press release I helped put together for NCEAS Julie Cohen 805 893 7220 julie cohen ucsb edu Pat Leonard 607 254 2137 pel27 cornell edu February 12 2014 Cities Support More Native Biodiversity Than Previously Thought Researchers at UCSB s NCEAS compile the largest global dataset of urban birds and plants which shows world s cities retain a unique natural palette Santa Barbara Calif The rapid conversion of natural lands to cement dominated urban centers is causing great losses in biodiversity Yet according to a new study involving 147 cities worldwide surprisingly high numbers of plant and animal species persist and even flourish in urban environments to the tune of hundreds of bird species and thousands of plant species in a single city Contrary to conventional wisdom that cities are a wasteland for biodiversity the study found that while a few species such as pigeons and annual meadow grass are shared across cities overall the mix of species in cities reflects the unique biotic heritage of their geographic location The findings of the study conducted by a working group at UC Santa Barbara s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis NCEAS and funded by the National Science Foundation were published today in the Proceedings B a journal of the Royal Society of Biological Sciences While urbanization has caused cities to lose large numbers of plants and animals the good news is that cities still retain endemic native species which opens the door for new policies on regional and global biodiversity conservation said lead author and NCEAS working group member Myla F J Aronson a research scientist in the Department of Ecology Evolution and Natural Resources at Rutgers The State University of New Jersey The study highlights the value of green space in cities which have become important refuges for native species and migrating wildlife This phenomenon has been named the Central Park Effect because of the surprisingly large number of species found in New York s Central Park a relatively small island of green within a metropolis Unlike previous urban biodiversity research this study looks beyond the local impacts of urbanization and considers overall impacts on global biodiversity The research team created the largest global dataset to date of two diverse taxa in cities birds 54 cities and plants 110 cities Findings show that many plant and animal species including threatened and endangered species can flourish in cities even as others decline or disappear entirely Cities with more natural habitats support more bird and plant species and experience less loss in species as the city grows Overall cities supported far fewer species about 92 percent less for birds and 75 percent less for native plants than expected for similar areas of undeveloped land We do pay a steep price in biodiversity as urbanization expands said coauthor Frank La Sorte a research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology But even though areas that have been urbanized have far fewer species we found that those areas retain a unique regional flavor That uniqueness is something that people can take pride in retaining and rebuilding Conserving green spaces restoring native plant species and adding biodiversity friendly habitats within urban landscapes could in turn support more bird and plant species It is true that cities have already lost a substantial proportion of their region s biodiversity said Madhusudan Katti a faculty member in the Department of Biology at California State University Fresno This can be a cup half full or half empty scenario If we act now and rethink the design of our urban landscapes cities can play a major role in conserving the remaining native plant and animal species and help bring back more of them The human experience is increasingly defined within an urban context the authors noted They maintain it is still possible for a connection to the natural world to persist in an urban setting but it will require planning conservation and education Given that the majority of people now live in cities this group s synthesis of data on plant and urban plant and animal diversity should be of broad interest to ecologists as well as urban and landscape planners said Frank Davis NCEAS director Note to editors Frank Davis is available at frank davis nceas ucsb edu or at 805 892 2502 Downloadable images are available at http www news ucsb edu node 013947 cities support more native biodiversity previously thought Of course feel free to also contact me if you have questions about the paper or our ongoing research into global urban biodiversity patterns and if you need a reprint pdf of the paper I would love to hear your thoughts on this work Share this Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on Pocket Opens in new window Click to

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/reconciliationecology/2014/02/ (2015-09-25)
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  • January | 2014 | Reconciliation Ecology
    perpetrators of injustices against his people Perhaps even more remarkably his people followed his leadership and accepted the path of reconciliation to bring South Africa into the community of nations as a new kind of democracy and a leader in the so called Dark Continent Others have since set up their own Truth and Reconciliation commissions to deal with crimes and injustices in their countries While this process of seeking truth and reconciling formerly antagonistic parties shows remarkable promise to transform human society can we extend the power of reconciliation to heal humanity s deepening rift with Nature Ever since the industrial revolution our relationship with Nature is marked by our increasing exploitation of resources in the interests of profit and prosperity for some members of our species We have transformed the Earth s very surface ushering in a new geological era the Anthropocene and have pushed many other living beings to the brink of extinction if not right over that cliff Earth s biodiversity has endured at least 5 other mass extinction events in its history when various natural forces from volcanoes to meteors wiped out over 90 of the species We the industrial engine of the ongoing 6th mass extinction are the first such planetary force to have a moral conscience capable of being troubled by what we wreak Even as we justify our actions in the name of economic growth or progress our morality tells us that something is deeply wrong when they result in the ravaging of the planet and the devastation of so much life How can we reconcile our destructive acts with any morality that teaches us to respect life and to be good stewards of the land for future generations Can we expand Mandela s vision of reconciliation to offer ourselves a shot at redemption from Nature just like he offered his oppressors Unlike him Nature is amoral and lacks any conscience to offer us a path at redemption It is up to us therefore to recognize the consequences of our actions admit our culpability indeed guilt in destroying Nature and seek forgiveness through actions which repair the damage we have done if we are to ride out this Anthropocene extinction crisis with our civilization intact Mandela once said If you want to make peace with your enemy you have to work with your enemy Then he becomes your partner Nature of course is not our enemy although we ve been acting like all of Earth is enemy territory we must conquer In 2003 speaking at the IUCN s World Parks Congress in South Africa Mandela also said A sustainable future for humankind depends on a caring partnership with nature as much as anything else Can we make peace with the Earth start working with Nature and transform ourselves into her partner Even as many former supporters of apartheid and critics of Mandela turned around to celebrate his life last month can we turn ourselves around as a civilization to reconcile and rebuild our relationship with Nature That would be the deepest most meaningful way to expand Mandela s legacy Share this Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on Pocket Opens in new window Click to share on StumbleUpon Opens in new window Click to share on Tumblr Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Click to Press This Opens in new window Click to share on Reddit Opens in new window More Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to print Opens in new window Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged ethics Fresno KVPR radio reconciliation ecology on January 21 2014 by Madhusudan Katti New beginnings at 22 by Madhusudan Katti 3 Replies Its been an interesting sort of day another one where I try to overcome my own writing block and find inspiration from a perhaps unlikely quarter Well maybe not so unlikely after all it is a story 22 years in the making I started the day rather late in the morning with these words shared on my Facebook timeline Twenty two ellipses we have travelled around the sun together on this pale blue dot Our new year always begins on January 2nd ever since that cold Kolkata day when I donned that denim jacket to sign on the dotted line with Kaberi her lips still pursed quizzically Through thick and thin we have traveled together since and I didn t even notice that last year our marriage hit the legal drinking age So let me raise an extra glass to you now Kaberi and to us A short while later our two daughters 8 and 13 had us both sit down on the couch and presented us with this painting they had labored over the previous night With these words on the back Woah indeed And definitely something worth celebrating given these remarkable children we have grown how I do not quite know Its been a low sort of holiday break for us all perhaps our bodies and minds telling us they needed a break after the intense year 2013 we have all had in our family immediate and extended back in India I ve shared some of what we did in previous posts and elsewhere online hinted at some of the darkness that shadowed our sabbatical in India and may yet write more about them if I can get my writing mojo flowing again With both girls recovering from cold infections and our bodies exhausted from finally setting up our new home over the holidays we couldn t even get ourselves up to do the thing we often try to do on our anniversaries go for a hike Heck I haven t even had the energy or motivation to make

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/reconciliationecology/2014/01/ (2015-09-25)
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  • December | 2013 | Reconciliation Ecology
    think about and many stories to be told from this zone of conflict overlap and potential reconciliation between humans and tigers and leopards and elephants and but for now it is good to have at least one dramatic visual story being told in its proper context Share this Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on Pocket Opens in new window Click to share on StumbleUpon Opens in new window Click to share on Tumblr Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Click to Press This Opens in new window Click to share on Reddit Opens in new window More Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to print Opens in new window Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged conflict India mammal video wildlife on December 27 2013 by Madhusudan Katti Flying Lion Charging Buffalo by Madhusudan Katti Leave a reply Nature not quite red in tooth and claw but more of a well placed horn beating said claw and sending it flying 5 meters into the air What a remarkable scene captured by a 16 yo boy and his dad on safari This is why lions are not really kings of the jungle Share this Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on Pocket Opens in new window Click to share on StumbleUpon Opens in new window Click to share on Tumblr Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Click to Press This Opens in new window Click to share on Reddit Opens in new window More Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to print Opens in new window Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on December 16 2013 by Madhusudan Katti A short video introduction to the Anthropocene by Madhusudan Katti Leave a reply I ll be in Chicago for a couple of days this week to speak in the seminar series at the Field Museum there I ve promised to talk about Biodiversity in the concrete jungles of the Anthropocene global patterns local processes in urban ecology and have been preparing my presentation based on the work I ve been doing on urban biodiversity here in California and on a global scale Since we do seem to be in the Anthropocene for good or ill it is high time we come to grips with our ecological anxieties vis a vis the human element in nature and get more proactive in managing the earth s environment for our own benefit and for other species So

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/reconciliationecology/2013/12/ (2015-09-25)
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  • November | 2013 | Reconciliation Ecology
    even as the beacon of science and technology burned bright and is now doing its best to douse the light in the name of freedom It is no accident it may indeed be part of America s self contradictory DNA that the land that attracted and nourished and became home to the largest number of Nobel Laureates in the sciences also has the highest proportion of people among developed nations who don t accept the facts of biological evolution That the nation with the largest number of climate scientists and the most comprehensive coverage of weather on television with whole channels dedicated to it is also home to the greatest number of climate change and global warming denialists It is no accident therefore that America has slipped from its position of the world s leader even as its beacon has been doused and starved of the public funding which kept it burning brightly for so many decades That other nations are picking up on this and beginning to surge ahead by following America s earlier lead in investing in higher education and science and technology to fuel social and economic progress That my own native country India has just sent an unmanned probe rather cheaply and efficiently to Mars at a time when even Neil de Grasse Tyson must keep lamenting at every opportunity the death by a thousand budget cuts being administered to NASA that jewel in America s scientific crown As he asked How much would you pay for the universe India s cheap rocket carrying its exciting mission to Mars and a bid to claim the baton of space exploration seemingly dropped by the US after decades of leadership It is not too late for America to regain that lead to relight the beacon by renewing its commitment to invest in the public goods that made this country great To rediscover its own heritage of how government is a force for good when allowed nay made to invest in the public goods that brought the greatest prosperity for the greatest number of people That one hopes is one of the lessons to be learnt from the recent government shutdown which hit particularly hard the enterprise of science in this once and hopefully again beacon of enlightenment for the world It sure is a peculiar time to be a scientist in America but it doesn t have to remain so Share this Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Click to share on Pocket Opens in new window Click to share on StumbleUpon Opens in new window Click to share on Tumblr Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Click to Press This Opens in new window Click to share on Reddit Opens in new window More Click to share on LinkedIn Opens

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/reconciliationecology/2013/11/ (2015-09-25)
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  • September | 2013 | Reconciliation Ecology
    to share on Tumblr Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Click to Press This Opens in new window Click to share on Reddit Opens in new window More Click to share on LinkedIn Opens in new window Click to print Opens in new window Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged agriculture food on September 15 2013 by Madhusudan Katti On the perils of drawing permanent lines on a fluid canvas or demarcating landscapes on a dynamic planet by Madhusudan Katti Leave a reply My new contribution to the series The Moral Is see my previous essays in the archives on Valley Public Radio was broadcast during Valley Edition earlier today The full transcript as well as audio of me reading it is available in the archives Here I share a somewhat longer version of my essay where I ponder the predicament our species finds itself in having gone extremely territorial in its conquest of the planet s resources A hummingbird defends its territory with a barbed wire fence Territoriality is the bane of human existence We human beings are an aggressively territorial lot willing to defend what territory we claim to be ours against all comers using whatever means we can devise By no means the only species to be strongly territorial we surely are the most extreme in our territoriality Many animal species like to mark out and defend territories to ensure access to crucial resources such as food water shelter nesting sites and mates Many will defend their territories aggressively even risking injury or death to stave off challengers You can see this every day all around us in the sweet song of birds in our gardens which are usually males proclaiming dominion over the garden and in the way our dogs mark their territories at every fence and lamp post we happen to walk them by Even plants show subtle territoriality engaging in covert chemical warfare underground to prevent other plants from growing under their canopies and sucking away their supply of water and nutrients Yet hardly any other species takes territoriality as far as we have done Most species reserve their hostilities towards members of their own species and maybe a few other direct competitors Even when they physically or chemically mark the boundaries of their territories these demarcations are hardly permanent Scent marking scratches in tree barks vocal proclamations these are what reinforce the shadow lines by which most animals carve out the world s resources for their exclusive use And of course these boundary lines are just as ephemeral as the lives of the individuals and sometimes families marking them Each individual may develop a strong sense of place even an emotional attachment to some piece of land or coral reef or tree or rock but only rarely do they pass this on to their progeny who often tend to disperse away into new areas to seek their own fortunes set up their own new territories Boundaries may be defended fiercely but they remain fluid and diffuse and are ever changing especially as the geographic ranges of species wax and wane and change on our dynamically changing planet Human beings have taken territoriality to whole new levels We have not only sought to make our territories permanent building fences and walls to keep intruders out but even enshrined territoriality into elaborate systems of laws regulating ownership and inheritance Unlike in any other species we exhibit territoriality across a whole hierarchy of social levels from individual and family homes to clan and tribal domains to kingdoms and empires to modern nation states and coalitions among them We have demarcated the Earth s entire surface in cartesian lines scaling up and down these territorial hierarchies We even carve out and defend boundaries in the ocean and the air and the very skies Uniquely we also seek to control every element that occurs within our domains extending our territoriality against every other species on the planet Whether it is ants or cockroaches in our kitchens geckos in our living rooms squirrels and monkeys in our gardens or invasive species we label as aliens within our national boundaries our pan territoriality puts us at constant war against a whole host of species merely trying to eke out a living in the interstices of our rigidly demarcated landscapes Unfortunately our extreme territoriality flies in the face of a dynamic planet on whose surface hardly anything has ever stayed put in one place for ever not even the very continents over which we continue to wage epic and devastating wars for resources A key to evolutionary success on such a dynamic planet is a species ability to adapt to the changing landscape and a fluidity of movement to match the ever changing zones of suitable climate and geology Yet we have painted ourselves into cartesian prisons investing so much in defending pieces of land and volumes of water that may not remain the same for long Rising sea levels threaten cities that we thought we were building for eternity Sandstorms herald the march of the deserts as climate zones shift and glaciers and polar ice sheets melt drastically changing the shape of the lands with no little help from our own industry And every other species tries to pick up and move along with these changes extending its range towards the poles or to the brink of extinction as suitable habitats disappear permanently Yet we continue to cling to our cities and homes unable to move like deer frozen in the headlights of climate change We are setting ourselves up for inevitable disaster like a child building elaborate sand castles below the high tide line on a beach or an obsessive compulsive painter desperately trying to draw permanent lines on a liquid canvas Much of human history can be told as a series of tales about individuals and groups of people fighting each other over pieces of

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/reconciliationecology/2013/09/ (2015-09-25)
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