Nature and Human Nature
Humans benefit from nature. However, nature has been greatly wounded as a consequence of human beings' pursuit of quick cash. Researchers estimate that humanity loses about $250 billion through the loss of the habitat that is destroyed in a single year. The cash return from conserving nature is far higher than gains made from developing them and scientists put the benefit-cost ratio at more than 100 to 1 in favor of conservation .
The new analysis places a value on the goods and services that nature provides, just like businesses provide goods and services to consumers. For example, the ability of a forest to regulate climate by absorbing greenhouse gases, filtering water and trapping nutrients are services provided by nature.
However, nature is not the only factor that plays an important role in the well-being of mankind. The other factor governs nature and has been completely overlooked -- that is human nature. The destruction of nature will bring about natural catastrophes. So what will happen if Human Nature is betrayed or trampled upon? As individuals, we may keep a seemingly stable job by self-protection through building personal relationships. As corporations, we may gain quick profits by keeping our mouths shut and eyes closed to the actions devoid of human nature and focus on the profit of business. As political leaders, we may temporarily gain political powers by sustaining political relationships with leaders who abuse human rights. Through the separation in space, time, mind and heart, we are trying to maintain a seemingly intact world. However, what is left when we call out, "United we stand!"
Then, what is the fundamental characteristic of Human Nature?
In 1992, one voice called out: "Truth-Compassion-Forbearance". Then more than 100 million voices join in. But many of them are being suppressed, and the leader of a great nation is trying everything he can to suffocate the voices. Isn't Truth the only vehicle for healthy relationships, Compassion sustenance to human society, and Forbearance the force that physically and psychologically enlarges the living space of our crowded world?
Both nature and human nature are the most precious resources of our human world. The value of nature's habitats may be measurable and cashable, but there are no market values for human nature. When nature is abused, human beings will be penalized with natural disasters. However, the consequences resulting from the betrayal of human nature could be easily overlooked and seen through natural catastrophes. Recently, heavy rains across central and Eastern Europe have created floods not seen for centuries. It was told that the damage in Dresden would total more than 100 million euros. Dresden is the city where the Chinese dictator visited in April and where local policemen were forced to suffocate the voice of practitioners of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.
People are hearing a message that human values are being greatly eroded in China, but it takes a while for a titanic nation to be sunk. Currently, almost one third of this vast country's land mass is desert or is in the process of becoming one, according to official statistics. In Beijing, dust storms have been the worst for a decade and more than 50,000 tons of dust accumulated in the city in March and April of this year 3. Again in this year, flood has ravaged one half of the country and locusts plagued the other half. Now, nearly one million people are struggling to battle the biggest flood of Lake Dongting in decades 4. A total 8.4 million people have been affected by the flood, 600,000 people evacuated, 27,000 homes destroyed, and billions lost directly due to the flood. Again in China, AIDS has been spreading at an alarming rate. A report issued by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in June gave estimates for 2001 of up to 1.5 million and warned that the number of people infected could reach 10 million by 2010 5. The world's human values have been massively desecrated since China has started to suppress practitioners of Falun Dafa, who practice the ultimate in human virtues, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. If you don't understand why Jiang and his cronies are doing their worst to challenge the best human nature, please take a look at another case. Recently, a prominent Chinese AIDS activist, Dr. Wan Yanhai, was arrested secretly in China because he was too truthful about the AIDS catastrophe in this country. Facing the risk of an AIDS crisis, it can be very hard to imagine that any forward-looking government would not welcome the efforts of such activists.
Jiang Zemin's abuse of human virtues is an extension of the abuse of nature in China for political gain. Currently, he is trying to seduce some countries with political or monetary gains and threatening some countries with his power to expand the destruction of human nature worldwide.
Yes, we need to conserve nature. However, we need to conserve human nature even more. Some unscrupulous companies have been eliminated through bad accounting. Many people have been doing exactly the same things on the scale of human nature, destroying the best in human nature and virtue.
The value of natural habitats may be used temporarily for profit; however, human nature is priceless. We may cash and sell everything, but human nature is sacred and should never be cashed or exchanged.
1. Pimm SL, Ayres M, Balmford A, Branch G, Brandon K, Brooks T, Bustamante R, Costanza R, Cowling R, Curran LM and others. ENVIRONMENT: Can We Defy Nature's End? Science 2001;293(5538):2207-2208.
2. Balmford A, Bruner A, Cooper P, Costanza R, Farber S, Green RE, Jenkins M, Jefferiss P, Jessamy V, Madden J and others. Economic Reasons for Conserving Wild Nature. Science 2002;297(5583):950-953.
5. Cyranoski D. Arrest of AIDS activist underlines China's impending HIV crisis. Nature 2002;419:99.