“Canada, the most affluent of countries, operates on a depletion economy which leaves destruction in its wake. Your people are driven by a terrible sense of deficiency. When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.” Canadian filmmaker of Abenaki descent, Alanis Obomsawin said this to Ted Poole in an interview for his book, Who is the Chairman of This Meeting? : A Collection of Essays (1972) in the chapter “Conversations with North American Indians.” While this insightful quote has proliferated, it doesn’t seem that several decades later, the ruling class and industrial parasites of the world have taken this to heart.
With the election of Trump and his climate-denying Klan cabinet, the waves of legislation and executive orders targeting the EPA, the Clean Water Rule, the Stream Protection Rule, and other crucial environmental regulations, the UK’s similar regression deeper into fascism and ecocidal, anti-science, religious fanaticism with the election of Theresa May and the rise of the Neo-Nazi UK Independence Party and UK politicians like Nigel Farage, as well the rise of France’s National Front led by Marine Le Pen, the state of the world and all of its creatures and ecosystems is palpably bleak. 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded (16 of the 17 hottest years recorded have occurred since 2000) and C02 levels are higher than they have been in 3 million years. Coastal cities around the world are flooding from the melting of the ice caps, (which are projected to soon disappear by some scientists for the first time in 100,000 years) Greenland’s ice sheets, and valley glaciers. Coral bleaching, eutrophication, plastic waste, radiation from nuclear power plants, and rising water temperatures are devastating marine life. Extreme weather events like hurricanes, droughts, forest fires, and flooding are on the rise. Parasites and diseases that thrive on increased moisture and heat are proliferating too from the increase in warm moisture in the atmosphere. And the human made Great Pacific garbage patch that weighs 7 million tons and is twice the size of Texas is growing with little efforts to halt its development. About 8 million more metric tons of plastic waste enter our oceans every year according to a study conducted in 2015. Half of the world’s species have been killed off by humans in what is called the Holocene extinction event and the WWF and Zoological Society of London have projected that if human activities continue as they are, we will lose 2/3 of the world’s species by 2020. Our waterways are being poisoned by pipeline leaks, industrial waste, litter, radioactive waste, chemicals, mining tailings, and runoff from massive, unsustainable, conventional farms. Water-tables are being poisoned by fracking, mining, and drilling. Our food is being poisoned with synthetic pesticides, insecticides, and GMOs, and our air has never been so polluted. Meanwhile, our politicians scream “drill baby drill!” Even under self-described “environmentalist” democrats like Obama, there was more oil exploration and drilling than ever before in history. Polticians remain obsessed with “jobs” and “the economy” when both will be useless if there is no clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, or healthy food to eat.
The economic, political, and religious rulers of the planet are lunatics. They call native peoples who live sustainably and in harmony with nature “savages” when in reality they are the few stewards of the Earth while the rulers of the world are the true savages. Similarly, those who fight back against exploitation and rape of the Earth are called “eco-terrorists” but it is those they are fighting who are the true eco-terrorists. Since the majority of the world doesn’t seem prepared to rise up against the rulers of the Earth, what if for one day our parasitic rulers spent the day in the Amazon rain-forests or Leuser, traversing the Himalayas, or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef? How could they still value money over the priceless and immeasurable beauty of nature and its biodiversity? Would they feel the humbling effects of nature that dissolve the ego and make us feel so small in the grand scheme? Regardless, they breathe the same air we do. They may be able to buy lands and water in remote regions less affected by climate change and pollution but they are ultimately sinking a ship they too are on. What is their end game? There is no “planet B”. Do they really not believe in ACD and instead in their own insane rhetoric? Do these infantile lunatics really believe “God” won’t allow another flood because that’s what Genesis says in the Bible as some have said?
Human beings are the only species on Earth that has to pay to exist but the insanity of that fact is rarely considered. If governments and corporations didn’t privatize every natural resource on the planet, we wouldn’t have to. Our jobs are supposed to allow us to survive but if our jobs kill the planet, they will eventually kill us too. Money is a piece of linen and cloth. It only has value because governments enforce that value via violence. Without governments money would only be useful as kindling in a fire. The same is true of most jobs. Jobs aren’t valued by their usefulness to humankind or the planet. They are instead valued by most according to their profitability. Without money and all of the toys we buy with it, so many jobs would be utterly useless. However, the natural resources we buy with money are truly, inherently valuable. Extracting those resources for money so that they can be bought elsewhere is a suicidal and ecocidal process. If we continue on this course, eventually, the mines will be barren, the oil fields will dry up, the forests will be logged, and the land, air, animals, and water will be totally poisoned and perhaps even irradiated if our psychopathic rulers continue to use nuclear weapons. What good would money be then? If capitalists abandoned their pedantic, selfish desire for constant accumulation and instead understood the inteconnectivity of all life on Earth, they would stop. If they could recognize that trees “breathe” carbon dioxide and “exhale” oxygen, they would understand cutting them down is like puncturing our collective lungs. Similarly, destroying the oceans is to destroy ourselves since the oceans are a food source and the primary sequesters of most of the world’s carbon dioxide. If they could only understand this, they would stop wasting, littering, and destroying the Earth for money. They would recycle, compost, plant organic, native trees, preserve biodiversity, and care for the Earth.
We are far from the most important thing on Earth, yet explaining the danger to us inherent in our activities seems to be the only way to get through to most. The majority of the world has become cold, cruel, short-sighted, and stupid. We destroy land and pollute water and air for money because we see the world as our dumping ground. We selfishly recognize our own mortality but don’t seem to recognize or care about the mortality of Earth and that we are destroying it. We use our own mortality in an attempt to justify ecocide. The insane argue “Well, I’m going to die anyway. What does it matter what or who I pollute and kill?” No one knows what, if anything, comes after life. This is no reason to destroy Earth. Why not better it so that future generations don’t have to suffer in the same Orwellian ways we do? Why not preserve the beauty of the world simply because it is worth preserving and because out of the billions of observable galaxies, Earth is the only known planet with life?
Life is made up of all the same building blocks. Human beings are not special because we have conquered the world. This only shows our hubris and our inclination towards self-destruction. Human beings were not meant to live this way. Money is not the route to happiness and obsession with it is far more often the driving force behind misery, humiliation, desperation, genocide, ecocide, exploitation, and slavery. Some of the world’s happiest people are financially the poorest. Those who have land, natural resources to survive, strong relationships, and good community don’t need money. But there are constant pressures on them from the industrialized ‘first world’ to assimilate and to give up their natural wealth for a tiny bit of fiat currency. This must be resisted at all costs by any means necessary, including taking up arms and sabotaging the corporations destroying the Earth along with their operations. Many indigenous people don’t want infrastructure and modern technology. They don’t want to trade the natural beauty of the world for some gadgets and modern comforts made from the exploitation of the Earth and humans, and that’s quite rational. Instead of arrogantly assuming the first world way of life is better, why don’t we learn from them and join them? When will the rest of us open our eyes? If we ever do, will it be too late?