I was excited to hear about and see some interesting raw data, honest and upfront about the limited–though relatively impressive–scope of information it took into account in its process modeling. I was also interested in the actual focus of the study (trees) and was reminded of how I've have heard about the effects of deforestation in an affective manner (this also for some reason reminds me of our understanding of trash in the pacific ocean in terms of tiny bits of information processed for human consumption). Though these are interesting things I think might be worth talking about, I wanted to write about one specific trend I've bee noticing that may or may not be related to ideas of imagined networks.
Though he only explicitly mentioned the dichotomy once, some of Moorcroft's lecture made me think about the idea that human exist in some unnatural network that is effecting the natural network of the world. However some people believe humans are a part of nature. I understand that this differentiation may be simply practical use of language, especially for academic or theoretical chatter, but I think it is relevant to recognize that many scientific studies–to my knowledge (which means according to the channels of information that bring me "scientific studies")–treat humans as an unnatural element/variable in the model (certainly in many global warming models). The media and pop culture surrounding the word natural seems to commonly reaffirm that what humans do is not natural.
I'm not saying that it's good that humans will destroy the climate of this planet, but I do think it is very natural. However, I do think it is relevant to talk about how humans make something we've decided to call rational decisions, and that we strive toward some abstract greater progress. I wonder how separating ourselves off in our little exclusive "unnatural" bubble might hinder our understanding of our effect on the nature ecosystem network that our unnatural bubble was born and exists within. I think this imagined unnatural network is related to our lack of understanding of consciousness, rationality and our spiritualities (souls, awareness, quarkstrings/Higgs bosons, etc.) in terms of both first person experience and some type of neuroscience redefining happening.