The Gaia hypothesis emphasises Nature’s tendency to move toward balance and harmony. An example of Gaian harmony that is so obvious we often don’t see it, is the entangled relationship between plants and animals. Plants require carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and excrete oxygen as a waste product, whereas mammals breathe in oxygen for respiration and excrete carbon dioxide as a waste product. One couldn’t survive without the other.
We humans, like every other organism in the biosphere, are here to support balance, to buffer it, to sustain it, and to encourage harmony.
Rachel Carson in her seminal 1962 book, Silent Spring, wrote, “The balance of Nature is…a complex, precise, and highly integrated system of relationships between living things which cannot be safely ignored any more than the law of gravity can be defied with impunity by a man perched on the edge of a cliff. The balance of Nature is not a status quo; it is fluid, ever-shifting, in a constant state of adjustment. Man too is part of this balance. Sometimes the balance is in his favour; sometimes – and all too often through his activities – it is shifted to his disadvantage.”