Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Misc. Aside V: Acts of Desperation

“The overwhelming astonishment, the queerest structure we know about so far in the whole universe, the greatest of all cosmological scientific puzzles, confounding all our efforts to comprehend it, is the Earth.” Lewis Thomas

In addition to being the most sublime miracle in the universe, Earth (or Gaia, as she is sometimes known) is also the only home we will ever know. Likewise for millions of other species, most of which are now in decline because the humans, still laboring under the delusion of Dominion, have determined that they have no worth. In reality, we, like they, are but one miraculous leaf on the ever evolving tree of life. But we have been tragically seduced by power, now manifest in the power of the machines, and we have become addicted to the extravagant levels of energy demanded by the machines. This addiction to power and to machines has blinded us to what ‘fossil fuels’ really are. They are the bodies of plants who, after performing the miracle of photosynthesis, were buried, millions upon millions of generations turning sunshine and water and CO2 into ever increasing levels of oxygen, enough to allow some Earthlings to learn to fly, and others to think and love and dance.

When we became addicted to the machines and their power (a mere moment ago, in the life of Gaia) we forgot our mother, and tore at her very bowels, and when the oil no longer burst forth from the ground, we attacked her with increasingly desperate acts of violence; blowing up living mountaintops and dumping the rubble into living valleys in order to scrape out the coal. Fracturing the very crust of the earth to free the tiny bubbles of gas we found trapped there. Drilling sideways a mile below the surface of the Gulf, with disastrous impacts we have all witnessed, and in many cases suffered.

And now we confront the rapacious bulldozing of boreal forest in Canada to get at sand saturated by oil, which must be cooked with gas, so that the oil can be pumped (using fossil fuels) through 1,700 miles of steel pipe (forged and welded with fossil fuels) to a refinery where more fossil fuel will be used to refine a product to power other machines, which, like all the machines in this chain of destruction, will put the carbon captured and stored by a million generations of plants back into the atmosphere.

The ice is melting, Texas is burning, the climate is changing. We can find another way, we can make a better world. Choose Life.

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