Chapter 1

This chapter explores the symbiotic beauty and miracles of Earth – the land, air, and sea, and the inhabitants of all these. A change anywhere in this world sets in motion a whole series of changes throughout. While the Earth has been constantly changing and evolving since its beginning, too many changes in too little time have disrupted the natural balance. These changes are mostly caused by our collective behavior and our population explosion. Such things as climate change, habitat loss, and pollution are now leading to the greatest loss of both animal and plant species in the planet’s history. The chapter also stresses our very real need to be close to and interact with nature around us; this innate need is almost as great as our need for food, water, and love. The author personalizes this loss which cannot be simply gauged in economic terms. He invokes Gaelic and Eastern thought and poetry along with quotes from John Muir to enable the reader to “feel” the severity of the damage to the natural environment.