We think it is all about us. The world is our oyster. We developed the current global economic structure in which the costs of environmental damage, labour exploitation, and socio-political disruption are ignored, or perhaps even celebrated, as the price of doing business. Our philosophy stumbles over the word ‘equal’ because it maintains that we have dominion over all that is nature. We struggle to imagine that others might know something we don’t, or that fish and trees have languages of their own. If such understanding was possible for us, life on earth would not becoming to an end.
Research in British Columbia has found evidence of nitrogen from fish in tree rings. The salmon that swim in the local rivers provide food for predators, such as bears and eagles, who leave the remains of the salmon lying around on the floor of the forest where it decomposes allowing the trees to absorb the nitrogen embedded in the bones of the salmon. In some cases, up to three-quarters of a tree’s nitrogen is from salmon. This implies that interfering in the life cycle of the salmon, for instance by commercial fishing, will impact on its predators, the forest and everything that is dependent on or interacts with the trees. The complex nature of these interconnections have been apparent to the aboriginal peoples of the world for a very long time [see ‘Blinded by reductionism‘ on August 24th, 2022]. To quote Suzanne Simard, ‘Mistreatment of one species is mistreatment of all. The rest of the planet has been waiting patiently for us to figure that out’.
A couple of weeks ago (‘Only the name of the airport changes’ on June 12th, 2019) I wrote about the stretching and compression of time while I waited for my much delayed flight to Reno. I mentioned Aristotle’s view of time as the measurement of change; however, Newton believed that time passes even when nothing changes. Einstein resolved the conundrum, represented by these different views, using the concept of a space-time domain forming a gravitational field containing waves. My title is a quote from Carlo Rovelli’s book, ‘The Order of Time‘. And, according to Rovelli, ‘mass slows down time around itself’, which I think will cause waves in the space-time domain . Conservation of energy implies that the movement of an object will tend towards space where time passes more slowly, i.e. in the vicinity of large masses. Hence, things fall downwards because time runs more slowly close to the Earth. This implies that time passes more slowly at the airport than on the plane in flight; but, of course, the differences are too small for us to measure or perceive.