I would like to share a few thoughts this earth day. It has been awhile since I added a new essay to this site but, happily, the number of subscribers continues to rise. Though this is just one voice among many I do believe it is unique in its focus on the physical, emotional and spiritual impact our ecological transgressions have on people of goodwill who dare to study these things. I hope my readers remain centered in peace. The fact that the ecological news just keeps getting worse and the policies of the powerful corporations and governments do not change in any proportionate degree are wholly expected. Mindful of our ecological reality we expect nothing less.
Once again the public discourse fails to have the courage required for an adult conversation concerning the true state of the earth’s ecosystems, the primary causes of their accelerating destruction and the essential changes to our cultures and lifestyles required to respond effectively. Now the magic numbers being bandied about are “we only have a decade left to change our ways,” as if the time lag built into climate change had not already pushed us over the cliff and we do not already see tipping points in our rear-view mirror. The BBC’s recent and praiseworthy effort, Climate Change: The Facts (on YouTube here, today anyway) is a good example. It is just not possible to have a public conversation that does not include the happy chapter at the end — you know, the one that promises everything will be alright with a few technological adjustments here and there, though they may cost a bit, our perpetual shopping need never end. I think the happy chapter is a lie. I applaud the wisdom and courage of Greta Thunberg and the Youth Strike 4 Climate activities, this is just the type of dark child awakening I have been saying we should expect. She stated quite clearly when she refused to keep going to school, paraphrasing, what’s the point when business-as-usual has no future? Why go to school to learn more facts when the most important facts, the ecological ones, are being so routinely ignored? The happy chapter is wearing thin.
This is a time for repentance. Those who push the delusion of a new green economy uncoupled to a whole new set of human and social values are selling a chimera designed to avoid that necessary sorrowful confession of our failings. The happy chapter at the end of so many books analyzing the facts of ecological and social collapse is becoming ever more difficult to believe in. The magical incantation we have been repeating since the 1970’s, ‘we only have a decade more to change our ways’ rings hollow. As the ice melts and the fires burn, the methane bubbles and the holy wars get hotter the beginning of a properly proportional response breaks out here and there. I see Mindful Ecology as one such response, not that what I have to say is all that critical but that these thoughts occur to someone like myself is a true sign of the times. What father of goodwill, educated in the ecological facts, does not struggle daily with the pain of our pervasive biological, cultural and spiritual poisons? Isn’t this what is driving the disruptive demonstrations of Extinction Rebellion as well?
So much for European news. Here in the land of the free, free to burn fossil fuels from the moment we rise to the moment we fall asleep and nothing else, here the ecological news is so bleak as to defy description. We certainly do not have anything like the sane and scientific presentation of the BBC or demonstrations such as what is happening in England and Sweden. No, here the news of the day, literally today, news designed to bring despair to one and all who care about the issues constellated on earth day is. . . wait for it. . . exceptions to Iran’s oil sanctions will end in a few weeks. Sadly, thoughtful people everywhere cannot but wonder if this petrochemical administration is not simply marching us closer to the threshold of World War III.
Here is why I am writing to you today. Do not let the carefully planned fear mongering lead you to terror. Do not let it squeeze the spirit out of your soul and your soul out of your body but keep your seat, keep your perspective. All the evil that men and woman do will never overcome the power and wisdom blooming everywhere throughout our garden planet. We walk on sacred ground born from the mysteries of deep time and deep space. Though the depths of these deep wells may look like a dark night to us, they are in fact wells of light. The order we see on display everywhere still sings of an intelligence only a fool would name meaningless chaos.
More than ever we need to hone our triage skills. The dark child grows stronger in saying “NO” to all those forces — human and cosmic — that would sacrifice its life on the altar of convenience and quarterly profits. It is time we raise our voice until it is heard, yet all the while remaining on our guard against the jack boot thugs willing to dress in green to steal our vision and pervert our hope. Kindness born from compassion is still, and will remain, the way forward. We need a call to repentance, a turning around born of sorrow and simple sackcloth and ashes, to ring out all across the earth, not a call to war. Small is still beautiful.