Scaled ecosystems and free flow of information
Elias Hakalehto, PhD, Adj. Prof.
CEO, Finnoflag Oy
Vice President, International Society of Environmental Indicators
Lifetime Fellow Member, International Society of Development and Sustainability (Japan)
(Published on the 26th of August 2022)
Our human understanding is associated with our senses, education, experience, and, not least, the scale of perception. Yet, the universe and life in all its forms extend well beyond our boundaries. The laws and virtues of Nature are omnipresent, anyhow.
Do the elements of truth or beauty get expressed on all levels? - If the small scale is in good order, this gets reflected in the vastness of the view. For example, oceans or rainfalls consist of droplets. The same is true with our body fluids or industrial process broths.
What is the mechanism to get malfunctions or faults of the system corrected effectively? Yes, you are right; it is truthful information in the first place. The police officers trained to recognize false money learn to know the actual coins and notes exceptionally well, not the variants of forgery. Then it is easy for them to see what is not correct.
In a natural or political ecosystem, the information is at least in the forms of:
B. repairing genetic factors, epigenetics, or relevant enzymatic actions
C. molecular interactions
D. microscopic communities
E. large-scale organisms, such as plants or animals, and their interactions
F. communication between individuals
G. social organization, messages, law and order
H. foreign politics between countries
I. regulation by the media
It is justified to find allegories between different levels. On the microscopic biological levels, things happen and are regulated interactively. The same takes place in human societies. In them, this causes discussions and debates about the right kind of human interference on the societal level. For example, what influences the environment if we restrict the wolves around inhabited areas? The number of deers may increase too much, cause harm to agriculture, forestry, natural habitats, and traffic problems, or lead to more bugs or diseases. Many of the latter may be zoonotic ones which could shuttle between humans and animals. At worst, they could turn to pandemics.
In Nature, however, all are interdependent. That is because of the free flow of information that ensures the functions of the ecosystems. Otherwise, the surroundings and all creatures in them may be destroyed. For example, some jellyfish populations have grown out of proportion in the coastal waters of Northern Australia. This is due to human pollution, increasing the BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand). Many species disappear, therefore. Besides the low Oxygen levels tolerating jellyfish species, the anaerobic bacteria also flourish unlimitedly. Their metabolism or fermentation reactions lower the pH, which further causes stagnation of the "economy of Nature".
Usually, the temporary stress could be compensated, and the system strives for balance. But if human pollution continues on and on, the structure of information and balance thereof will collapse. The repair mechanisms will eventually get destroyed. In microbiology, this is called dysbiosis. In societies, this state of affairs needs to be avoided. And it happens the best by the freedom of individual opinion and press.
In human societies, the system's beauty depends on correct feedback from the grassroots level and corrective moves based on that information. Free and versatile media form the foundation of this repair mechanism. If it's destructed, distorted, or manipulated, this leads to totalitarianism and collapse.
In our world of allegories, ecological justice and the survival of free societies or the human lives on this planet are not allusions only. The links are revealed in front of us daily. It is a basic fact that freedom and truthful information flow are prerequisites for planetary survival. This truth is embracing us more than ever on both natural and human scales.