Saturday, April 23, 2005

About This Earth

We are completely and totally dependent on this planet for our survival. We need the earth under our feet, we need its ability to grow food for us and we need the air for breath in the atmosphere. Whether we like it or not, we are really just part of the ecosystem of the earth. We are not its rulers, no god ever gave us the right to just go and rape it at will, or if this happened it was one of those truly nasty divine jokes on us.

Yet it would be hard to see this in the many writings about what to do to keep oil flowing or how to best exploit the wilderness for more oil, more houses and more highways. Or even in the opposite writings about how to jiggle things around so that we can go on spreading and consuming for a few more generations by gently fucking mother earth here and there rather than gang-raping her as is the custom nowadays.

This is something humans do extraordinarily well: To believe that we are the kings of all that we can see. Remember how Jesus in the Bible turned down this offer from Satan? Well, fundamentalists have not turned down the same offer, no. They have grasped it with both hands. And by fundamentalists I refer to both the radical clerics and the radical market-lovers.

Echidne is no tree-hugger, though. I have far too much real respect for the nature to assume that it cares about my hugs. No, I'm approaching this question analytically and from that stance we humans are no different from cockroaches or bacteria in most important aspects. We are all dependent on this planet for our continued survival. The only difference between "us" (set apart, somehow, by being the winners in the evolutionary race) and "them" (all those "also-rans") is that we can consciously decide to commit collective murder and suicide of ourselves and everything else on this earth. We really should be called the suicide bombers, all of us. That's how smart we are.

Yet, the fundamentalist market-lovers and clerics do have a point: None of the trends scientists have observed are really bad enough to worry over if the worrying is about the survival of the planet. They are correct: the planet will survive. What won't is us. But of course the wingnuts believe that they will be harvested in the Rapture and resettled somewhere to sing eternal psalms in white nightgowns. And the wingnuts don't really care about anyone else but themselves and their rigid nightmares.

I'm no wingnut, thank all the goddesses and gods that might exist. I don't really believe that this planet is just the training wheels for humans, something to be discarded when we have memorized the Bible. That is one of the most egotistical beliefs I have ever met and I have met many. But because far too many are willing to accept the training wheels theory I must fight them. Not because I would hug trees or worship the earth but because there is no other alternative if you are interested in seeing the next installment in the history of this earth.

My garden notes tell me about the changes that are happening. Spring flowers cropping up so early that their pollinators are not awake yet. The neigboring gardens becoming areas of death, with not one single worm or spider in them, because of the miracle poisons that clear up everything. Then the plants wither and die, and the gardeners add more stuff to force them back. I see the birds on their migrations and the only lawn they land on is mine, the only one without poisons. All the neighborhood squirrels store their nuts in my flower beds, the only ones without poisons. And I, the only poisonless gardening goddess, stomp my feet in frustrated anger, because what I can do is too little and too late. And leaves me with all the work.

But there is no alternative. So get going on whatever small strip of earth you have control over. Hug the trees if you have to, they can tell you a thing or to. And then start pestering the politicians and chasing the wingnuts around the blog or block and so on. For the sake of not this earth but all of us on it.