Yesterday I heard a great bit of wisdom. It said that the earth has been here longer than we have and “she” does not care for the everyday crisis of humans, but rather she knows that she will keep turning and producing despite our great tragedies. I hadn’t thought about the earth like that before. I was always so self centered, I just took for granted that the earth, and all of her great reserves, were here for me, for us. To think of the earth as her own separate entity, that she is detached from our great, or not so great sufferings, is quite a new concept for me. The earth is not here for us. We co-exist, the earth and us. But we don’t really, do we?
We use the earth for our own pleasures. More pleasures than she is willing to give. The earth did give us many pleasures of her own free will, which we accepted, and then began to expect. We expected that the earth would provide us with wood for fire to keep us warm and safe. Then we expected the earth would provide us with animals to eat, water to drink and food straight from the dirt. Then we got real smart and figured out how to force the land to grow exactly what we wanted. We re-routed water for our own purposes, we started breeding animals for our own pleasure. And still the earth accepted us. She allowed us to do these things, despite already providing what we needed. She graciously allowed us to take what we wanted, which was far more than we needed. And the earth did not punish us.
And at the heights of our collective intelligence, we started polluting and harming all of the resources that the earth had freely allowed us to use. We polluted the water, the air, the ground. Not because we needed to, but, because we were not as intelligent as we thought we were. We were reckless with our advancements, we didn’t know, and many times we didn’t care, about the harm we were doing…to the earth. And still she kept regenerating, renewing and turning. This separate entity, which is bigger then the collective of humans ever will be, grows around us.
Maybe she has finally had enough? In April of this year we had a major mine explosion killing 29 workers. Coal, which we convert to electricity, was being mined, as it has been for centuries now. Explosions in mines have been happening as long as we have been mining. In that same month, the Deepwater Horizon well exploded which killed 11 workers and is still not contained to this day. Just this month, another of our oil wells exploded, (although it was nothing compared to the Gulf disaster being that it was contained relatively quickly and only an estimated 300 birds were killed…that does not take into account the far-reaching effects on plants and wildlife yet un-noticed) in Utah. Yet another coal mine exploded last week in Columbia leaving at least 20 dead and 58 still trapped, fate unknown. And today, I just heard a report that a mine in China has exploded with an estimated 47 dead so far.
I know these things happen, have happened, time and again for years and years. As long as there are societies, there are tragedies. But when will we begin to look at these man-made tragedies and recognise that our benefactor has had enough of our selfish stupidity? I’m not big on conspiracy theories or anything that is remotely new age,but this looks like common sense to me. The earth has given us everything we need without us even asking. And when we did ask, she provided more. Then we began digging and drilling to meet needs that weren’t even needs. Let’s face it, she is pissed. Wouldn’t you be?
The earth is not ours to take care of. She is a separate, living organism who takes care of herself just fine, thank you very much. We are just a bunch of silly humans who in general don’t appreciate how good we have got it. We are always striving for more and better. Without giving any credit where credit is due. Now, we have advanced to a point where we humans can continue on in the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed without as much damage to the earth. Yet, we refuse to change. Why should we? We have been doing it this way for years and years. Why stop now? I argue that we should change now because we know better. When we know better it is our responsibility to do better.
These horrible, death producing accidents can now be prevented. By NOT digging and drilling. By going back to using what the earth provides rather than taking what she does not readily give. Imagine your neighbor, whom you gladly share your sugar with, knowing that he doesn’t know where the store is. You provide him with sugar when he needs it. He is very grateful to you. Then his kid needs sugar and you still freely share your sugar. All of the sudden, the kid sneaks in through your basement and starts taking your sugar without asking, without thanking you. But you allow this, thinking the poor kid is just ignorant and he will grow and learn. Insted, he gathers up his friends and they start a conveyor belt to take your sugar without asking, knowing damn well that by doing this you will eventually run out of sugar. You give them a couple of stern warnings and they don’t seem to care. So, you disrupt their conveyor belt. Their only reaction is to find another neighbor with sugar and set out a new conveyor belt. How annoyed would you be? Me? I wold be annoyed enough to find a way to disrupt their new conveyor belt and have them arrested.
I don’t think this is end of the world stuff. I also don’t believe that the severe earthquakes in the middle east have no connection to all of the bombs we dropped over there. The earth is connected to what we do to her. Yes, she is separate and detached enough to continue to live, but, she has every right to be annoyed and I think she is finally saying enough is enough. Are we going to listen now? Is this the generation that finally sees the futility of the way we live off the earth? We are definitely evolved enough, we are the smarter, more educated, better equiped to do things differently. For our sake, the sake of the earth and of future generations we can do this. We can change, we can save lives. We have the ability now, the knowledge, that we didn’t have before.
Payback is a bitch. Let’s stop this here and now and put in the time and effort to discover new ways to live our lives. We know we can do it. Respect and faith that the earth will provide what we need. And maybe some gratitude for all she has given us already. A simple thank you for the grass, the trees, the rivers, the air. EVERYDAY. If I were the earth, I would really like that. Hydrofracking for natural gas, deep-sea drilling for oil, mining for coal are all as outdated as wearing your pants half way down your ass. I’m not saying that we should go back to candles and horse and buggies or everyone growing their own veggies. But, maybe we could pull up our pants and find a new way to make our statement.