Posted by: Dr Churchill | September 17, 2012

Value of Life

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set the value of a life at $9.1 million last year in proposing tighter restrictions on air pollution. The agency used numbers as low as $6.8 million during the George W. Bush administration.
But what about the value of Life elsewhere on this planet?
As all things human, this is no exception. Value of Life is pretty unequal. Admittedly American lives are expensive especially when lost due to corporate malfeasance or negligence…
Yet this is not the case for the Third World peoples. Just look at collateral damage innocent civilians and children killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars the Cjeney-Bush administration started. Because for children and adults “culled” in these areas from military gunfire, air strikes, and “human error” — the value of life is a few hundred dollars at most.
Yet there is far worse… where the lives are worth nothing. Nothing Lives are those lost to climate change caused famine, disease and displacement. This is the sad reality of life.
And for the millions of lives lost when the warming planet neglects to give the fruit of agriculture to those least responsible and most vulnerable — their value is zero. Because this is what the “civilized” people have decreed. And because these people are primitives. Peoples lost due to famine, conflict, and climate refugee strife are expendable – so nobody’s responsible. Their lives are worth shit, because they don’t have the benfit and protection of a strong passport and we can easily claim it’s nobody’s fault — even though we know all too well that our fossil fueled economy is at fault. Our rising CO2 emissions choke the Life out of these people, yet we don’t see the connection and we can’t accept blame. Ergo No Value placed on their lives.
Apparently, it’s all chance…
The accident of DNA, the place you are born and the national origin of one’s parents often determine the price of the body when the spirit departs…

Yet what of the true Value of Life?
It is my belief, that Government Agencies, the Military, Economists and Accountants surely know the price of Life but have no idea about the value of it…

And with Climate Change, a fast warming planet, the melting ice sheets, and the rising seas, we stand to lose all of our great coastal cities… So what is the value of Life then?
No accounting for that, because somehow, I feel that there would be no Government Agencies to bother with such questions then…

But what of the value of Life more primitive Life forms today?

What about other species?

Each year we lose somewhere between 26,000 and 100,000 {that is thousands} of species erased from the blackboard of this Earth’s Ecosystems. It is a vast number. Especially if you calculate the individual members of those lost species. When doing the arithmetic, that number comes into many billions of lives lost in total. Yet these are species of Life that have mostly never been included in the Taxonomy of species, and that remain unexplored and unseen by our scientists. Elusive yet fully functional species that are collateral damage in our war against natuure and the environment. And since most of these species reside on this Earth, and not necessarily in the ocean depths, in the rain forests, or in other less visible areas of the planet, this is especially bothersome.
And we lose these species each and every day unseen and without a wimper. No pomp and circumstance. Not even a cry over spilled milk or a newspaper furore like when they showed Kate Middleton’s breast nipples. These species go out unsung.
Yet these are integral species of Life removed from this Earth due to human activity. Our activities, our econommic exploitation of resources and our greenhouse gas effect results in loss of habitat and a warming climate, that they cannot handle. Once we’ve broken the harmony and ttipped the scales of this precarious Goldilocks balance of this Earth, the deadly effect we’ve had on this planet’s other Life forms is catastrophic.
It is so massive that the Environmental parliament has called it, the Great Despeciation and is comparable if not greater in rapidity to the last Despeciation period when we lost the Dinosaurs… amongst many others.

Still scientists hoping to map some of the great, big and highly visible species that are well known and on their way out, they staged a three day conference to discuss their fate. The fate of the top 100 ready to go species, ignoring the many thousands of smaller and unseen species that none the less make up the web of Life and contribute in unknown ways to the linkages and sustainability of our Ecosystem.

Too late to know what their beneficial value might have been for us and the world – but there you have it.

More water under the bridge — until the dam bursts…

Yours,
Pano

PS:

So What Value Life?

So what is the value we place on each member of these thousands of species lost each year?


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