Natural Factories of Mother Nature, the Cornerstones of Human Economy

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amazon rainforest

Our world economy always talks about gains in the form of raw value earned. Terms like GDP would always be the main points of interest, and the “losses” that are calculated are only the losses that came from wrong investments or negative financial performance.

We never seem to notice that behind our giant industries and economic infrastructure, our world has been silently running its own “ecologic infrastructure”. Mother Nature has its own “industries” that provide the world and its inhabitants their needs to live and survive. The Earth has its own natural factories that contribute to the success of our industries.

To demonstrate how these natural factories affect our world economy, here are two common examples:

“South American Freshwater Corporation”

The freshwater transporting industry, much like the food industry, is now suffering from a continued exponential increase in demand for water, growing at a rate of more than twice the population increase since the last century. But even centuries before this looming crisis, there was already one huge natural factory that delivered freshwater to the Rio de la Plata basin for free, and that is none other than the Amazon rainforest.

The “delivery process” is done by the north-eastern trade winds, which regularly scoop water vapor from the forest and precipitate it in the southern regions. This timely scheduled rainfall is used for irrigation and everyday consumption in countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and of course Brazil.

To Close Down this Facility: The simplest way to close down this natural factory is to keep the Amazon deforestation project going. Creating more Brazilian cattle ranches would also be helpful in speeding up this destructive process.

If We Maintain this Facility: We could ensure a healthy, continuous supply of freshwater to the countries mentioned earlier, provided that it won’t be contaminated and converted to acid rain.

“Worker Bees United”

The bee is one of the most industrious and hardworking member of nature. Aside from being a loyal servant of its hive, bees are honey manufacturers, with their hives as a natural factory of honey. Its most important role however, is its job as an agent of pollination.

The world’s crop industry would never be as productive as it is without the help of bees. In fact, if bees were to suddenly disappear from our planet, it could trigger a massive chain reaction in the ecosystem that could spell the end of the human race as well.

To Close Down their Facility: Kill all the bees. We’re getting good at it already, we’ve already killed off some 300 billion bees in the United States alone. The best items used to kill bees are genetically-modified crops, agrochemicals, and indirectly, electromagnetic pollution. There are however, many reports of bee massacres that are yet to be fully explained.

If We Maintain their Facility: The world could have a potentially infinite (but rationally limited of course) supply of honey and crops.

The Economics of Ecosystem and Biodiversity (TEEB) is an international initiative and is currently the leading advocate of the idea about nature’s infrastructure. The organizers of the initiative emphasize the importance of viewing impacts in nature as potential economic losses, stressing the need for our industries to preserve, and not destroy, these ecological “manufacturing facilities”.

This international initiative also introduces the idea of “natural capital”, where natural resources are not just treated as raw materials, but as productive sources that contribute to other production industries.

What do you think about the idea of “natural factories”? What are the types of natural factories found in your country? What is your government doing to keep such facilities running?

Photo credit: Some rights reserved by VenturaB. via Flickr.

Christian Crisostomo
About Christian Crisostomo (260 Posts)

Christian Crisostomo is just your average tech geek that loves to see man's newest and most recent technological exploits. He holds great interest in the potentials of green technology, and is enthusiastic about the continuous development of environment-friendly alternative energy.

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