Everyday you get into your car
to go somewhere you risk killing somebody.
How you ask?
Yours was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
Among the tens of thousands of vehicles driven daily, along with
other airborne pathogens such as nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide,
formaldehyde, and benzene, your vehicle’s pollution caused
a carbon monoxide overload. This resulted in an atmospheric system
shift creating air that is unhealthy for humans to breathe.
Driving a car is going to cause one of today’s worst natural
calamities ever, right next to floods, fires, hurricanes, and
droughts. This is what chaos theory, also known as systems theory,
Chaos theory is a deterministic theory that tries to explain
how objects and processes are parts of systems that can absorb
a lot of stress, but too much stress or pressure on any of them
will permanently alter or destroy the system.
Basically, chaos arises when something affects a behavior or
process. Take the above example. Every time you crank up the
engine of your vehicle, the air is being polluted. You subconsciously
subject millions of people to polluted air that even you are
forced to breathe, no matter how many air filters or purifiers
you surround yourself with. Since the atmosphere doesn’t
signal that it’s changing or that it’s being exhausted,
everyone has an equal chance of ruining it. Strange or impossible,
What this scenario depicts is that everything on Earth is a
part of its system. The car, you, the fumes in the air, and
attack victim are all subsystems of the Earth. Overloading these
and other subsystems will eventually change the Earth’s
main system by radically altering or destroying it. This means
that everything you do directly affects everything else in this
Chaos is the process of changing what happens in the system.
Chaos theory is a way of thinking about change that tries to
recognize a pattern in it, to understand why things happen.
When you think of the word chaos, it’s not unusual that
you envision disorder, imbalance. What you don’t see is
that chaos is a constant, never-ending omnipresent cycle.
Picture a straight line or a circle: a continuum. Everyday
you get up and walk this line, but everyday there are differences:
little imperfections that change how your day ends, but don’t
drastically alter your future. You could step in a puddle and
ruin a new suit. You might have a really bad hair day. These
small “changes” won’t normally affect how you
go to sleep at night. But what if you lit a match to light a
candle or incense and destroyed the last bit of the ozone layer?
This is where chaos theory comes in.
Chaos theory can be described as a nonlinear equation with
complex and intricate workings.
In a linear equation, there is a formula: plug information into
one side of the linear equation, and it yields an answer. Based
on that information, the story will always have the same ending
even though you change or switch some details around. In chaos
theory, the equation can have a minor or major subformula that
constantly changes the final result or answer.
Chaos theory blends the logic of science and common sense.
Science explains the what-if scenario; the common sense explains
naiveté, perhaps even ignorance, toward how our actions
affect everything around us.
Chaos, to many, is the opposite of order. In reality, chaos
is the way we don’t want the world to be. Humans, for the
most part, are comfortable with their picture of life. Pain,
suffering, and death are changes that we know affect us, but
don’t think that we, as individuals in a society, ultimately
are responsible for.
So, what can we do?
First, we as humans must realize that we are not separate from
nature. Second, we must open our eyes to see that around us there
is constant imbalance in the environment. Third, we must admit
that sadly we are the cause of most of it.
To spearhead such change, we must look at this Earth as the
ONLY resource that isn’t renewable—the only system we
have. Where will we go if the Earth becomes uninhabitable?
As the old saying goes, “You only have one life.” Well,
we only have one Earth. The reality of it all is that we’ve
all contributed to overloading its ecological systems: the atmosphere,
the oceans, the biospheres. All we need to do to restore normalcy
is to stop or reduce deadly activity. Change is inevitable. If
it’s rapid, we won’t survive it. If it’s slow,
we as individuals and societies, can adjust to it as the Earth
If we’re not careful, the next step we take might be our
last. Tread lightly, my friend.