Here We Are

April 20th, 2010 triggered an event that has given our civilization a look into something we have not had to address in our modern era: our mortality in regards to the natural world.  12,000 years ago our ancestors broke away from the dependency upon hunting and gathering; the intense dependency on the earth’s natural cycles.  12,000 years ago our ancestors began simple forms of farming in order to live independent from natural order.  Sure, they were still subjected to climate disturbances, natural disasters, and a certain level of predatory threat, but for the most part, they were beginning a journey of freedom.

This, “freedom,” has evolved over the last twelve millennia into something they could never have foreseen.  Here we live, in a world so incredibly independent from nature that in fact, we can consider ourselves completely detached from nature.  There is little regard for how dependent we truly are upon the natural world.  Well, maybe we give it some fleeting thoughts from time to time.  We will entertain ideas like, “if bees were to go extinct the world would soon follow,” because a lack of our favorite pollinators.  Yes, we will cry and fight with each other about the bees, the poor bees!  We might even start a small campaign of, “Save the Bees,” in which we protest every Friday, downtown, dressed up in a bee suit.  “Cute little antennas and cute little round butts,” people will think to themselves.  “Honk if you care!”

Sadly, or not, this is what our existence has become.  We are stuck, like a T-Rex in a tar pit.  Yeah, once mighty and strong roaming the open plains eating up smaller little dinosaurs until it met its match.  There is something that will destroy the ferocious beast; something that it would never be able to defeat.  The beast fears it, too, keeping its distance as much as possible. But eventually, when it takes its eye off the ball, the T-Rex will meet its fate.

And here we are, coming face to face with our own tar pit.  Oh, we have seen it before.  It has caught our eye from time to time, and we smile, turn our music up louder, and continue driving our car down the open freeway.  Oh, our leaders have seen it.  It has caught their attention at least once or twice, but they dim their eyes, overwhelmed at the thought of what it all means to civilization and their pocketbooks, and keep on playing the role they were given.  And, us, the followers are happy to play our role until Mama and Papa Leaders make us stop.  But, what if they don’t? What if they are just following the script handed to them like we are? What if they are not willing to face public upheaval in the short-term in exchange for mass chaos in the long-term.  The long-term, when some other leader and their followers must bear the consequences: a script that is played out in the 5th Act of a Shakespearean Tragedy.  For those of you who care less about Shakespeare: a script that reads, “You have Been Voted off the Island.”

“This fool’s talkin’ ‘bout tar pits and reality TV.  He’s off his rocker!”  Yeah, I am talking about tar pits.  Big bubbly, gooey, hot tar pits.  One is called, “Global Economy,” which is conveniently located next to, “Capitalism.”  And these are just a walk (errrr—) DRIVE away from, “Natural Selection,” and, “Refusal to Evolve for the sake of Survival.”  Now, I realize that I just tossed out some juicy, hot-button phrases.  Let me clarify that this discussion is not going to be about the economical benefits of the first two.  It is well understood that the economy is important to those who care about, well, “the Economy.”  However, not all of us care in the same way, nor can all of us agree of one right answer when asked what is best for, “the Economy.”  This is because it is a man-made concept.  Therefore, it can be interpreted, analyzed, and critiqued a million different ways by a million different talking heads.

This said, what I wish to discuss is the latter two phrases and their correlation with the former two.  What this oil spill (errrrr—-) LEAK is shouting loudly to us right now is that we are incredibly dependent upon the natural world for our survival.  Whether we wish to accept this as reality, is not an option.  Let me re-phrase this: if we wish to continue to live on this planet, we must accept that the way we currently live is not conducive to the natural cycles, and essential needs of the Earth.  Whether we wish to accept this as reality is not an option.  Let me re-phrase this: if you don’t want to DIE a gruesome death like our old friend T-Rex, open your EYES!  Because whether you wish to look or not, there is a tar pit awaiting you, your family, and all of civilization.

If we survive this oil leak (assuming that it will be stopped up before too much irreversible damage is done), it is primetime for human civilization to think about its “progress” thus far.  If human civilization could be represented by your average Meth-addict, it is time for Druggy McDruggerson to look himself in the mirror.  Druggy has no family, no friends, and is completely detached from the rest of society.  He’s got a connection to his drug source, but no real concern for the source itself.  Well, except that he wants his source to stay alive so that he is ensured more Meth in the future.  But, certainly, Druggy is not spending his time acting as a bodyguard for his source — he’s got more important stuff to do:  Meth.

Well, so here we are.  Completely detached from the rest of the Natural world.  We’ve isolated our food sources and we protect them well enough to keep ourselves alive.  We plant/raise food, divert water, and drill oil so that we can “survive.”  Outside of this, we have no real PRESSING concern for animals like, say, dolphins.  I mean they are cute, do cool flips at Sea World, and make for a decent football mascot, but other than that, “what are they doing for me,” is a question.   How about stuff like coral reefs and birds?  Micro-bacteria? Soil fungus? Old-growth trees/forests?  Does mentioning these things do anything for you?  Does it make you sweat with excitement at what they mean to your true survival?  Probably not.  Didn’t do much for me either.  In fact, I kind of dazed off thinking about my laundry that needs to be done.

So, here we are.  Completely detached from the rest of the Natural world.  All of the things that exist in this, “Natural world,” operate on a balance.  It is like dominoes (the game, not Pizza chain).  Every part plays a significant role in assuring that the flow keeps on going.  This domino-effect happens every moment or every day!  It is happening in streams, rivers, oceans, mountains, plains, farmlands, and even the atmosphere (weather, fresh clean oxygen, rain) depends on a finite balance we can not possibly duplicate, but are constantly seeking to dominate.

I reassure you, this is not a discussion about why environmentalists are right, and economists are wrong. This is about the WAKE-UP science has been telling us for decades and centuries now: the Earth upon which we SURVIVE operates under a natural system — a natural order, in which it keeps itself ALIVE.  This is about the REALITY that the system WE have in place, does not run in congruence with the Earth’s system.  Let me re-phrase that: how we are currently living RIGHT NOW, will lead mankind into a hot, bubbly, tar pit (aka EXTINCTION).  Let me further clarify, this could very well happen in YOUR lifetime.  Meaning, YOU and I have the choice whether we want to roll the dice at dying a horrible death as a result of something like widespread disorder as a result of food shortages, gas cessation, and power outages.  Could you imagine Los Angeles, if suddenly the system it depended on, FAILED?  No water and limited food to MILLIONS.  Hmmm…Katrina x 100,000?!  And, could you imagine if this happened simultaneously to all the big cities in the world at once?  Where would these people go?  How would they survive?  They wouldn’t.  OK, well, some might, but many would perish amongst complete mayhem and violence.  There will be no government to the rescue; and, suddenly this is every man and woman for themselves.

I reassure you, this is not a discussion about end of days.  No, this is about seeing what is in front of us.  It is seeing the tar pit that we have known to exist for quite some time now, and realizing that pretending it doesn’t exist won’t keep us from walking right into it.  Instead, if we look, we can build a bridge over it.  Hell, maybe even put a fence around it to keep the kids out, who knows.  The point of this discussion is to be brutally honest with ourselves about the future of mankind.  There is a bridge, but it requires unfathomable courage and a willingness to stop civilization’s momentum on a dime.

Collectively, this can be done.

Individually, it will only continue to be a person dressed up in a cute Bee Suit downtown until the “end of days” arrives onto the scene.  Individually, it will only continue to be “hippies” who run off into the woods to start sustainable farming practices, out of sight from society.

The solution is right in front of us!  It is spelled out, and it has been proven to work.  We can survive using simple practices that live in accordance with the Earth’s natural cycles.  We must be willing to give up everything we have achieved through our unnatural processes.  We must be willing to give up our “life” as we know it.  One without cars, TV, internet, grocery stores, coffee shops, porn, lipstick, movies… Yet, also, one without bills, mortgage payments, bankruptcy, 9-5 jobs, 4 hour commutes, 10-page essays — in short, without WORK. JOBS. MODERN DAY STRESS.  I correct myself, there will be work, but it will be simple: harvest food.  Survive.

The bridge to cross this tar pit is one step, ONE STEP away.  It can be done together, swiftly and cleanly, with precise organization from our leaders and support from their followers.  But the key is preparation and a willingness to let go of the script we were handed.  We cannot survive without the Earth.  I am not a bleeding-heart-hippie waving a peace sign who (according to that stereotype) is just livin’ in the clouds.  This is reality.  Want to prove that we CAN survive without the Earth, once we’ve depleted it, polluted it, disrupted the natural order of all things? Once you have it figured out, tell me whether you would actually want to do the work necessary, and how the hell it’s gonna happen because from what I can imagine it will be damn complex and a lot of work.  There is a way to survive WITHOUT our current man-made, “system,” but there will be NO survival WITHIN it — only the illusion of survival.

Now you know.  The pit awaits you and me.  I fear as well as confidently await the day we decide our own fate.  I am not exempt from this day, nor are you.  May we choose wisely.

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2 Comments

  1. The Destructionist said,

    May 29, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    THE EVOLUTION OF CAPITALISM

    Capitalism was founded upon basic principles: production, supply and demand, and capital accumulation. It is a social theory whereby prices are determined by profit and loss, as well as market interest and fluctuations.

    Although I understand the need for a free market enterprise, such a theory should not imply that we are willing to disregard our environment, or sacrifice the needs and comforts of our humanity in an attempt to realize higher profits (a.k.a., BP, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, etc).

    Capitalism may be wonderful, but like anything else, it is still a flawed system. It’s a work in progress. It needs to be tweaked here and there in order to perfect its balance and to soothe the inordinate swings that occur day-to-day in our financial markets. If left unchecked, however, such a system will prove to be our economic downfall.

    How so?

    Well, for one thing, there is only so much profit a business can make from a product before it is left to cut costs in both quality and workmanship. In order to continually sustain a profit, businesses have to create those same products with lower quality ingredients and cheaper labor: which means that they must pull up stakes and move to other countries like China, Taiwan, or Mexico in order to survive. What does this eventually mean for people like you and me? It means that the very financial theory that promoted our country to super power status has turned on us. It means that the American workforce is now expected to work harder, longer, cheaper, and faster if we are to compete with the global economy now breathing down our necks.

    Where do we go from here?

    George Orwell had it right, to some extent, when he wrote his book1984. Many years from now, money will become worthless and the global populace will be employed and subject to hundreds (if not thousands) of individualized corporations that managed to survive attrition through merger aquisitions. It will be a feudalistic society: every corporation out for blood and vying for global dominance and absolute power. Our children and grandchildren will be there too: housed, clothed and fed by these various corporate entities; all the while being sent out on occasion, like brainless automatons, to errands of war, in an effort to absorb the weakest corporations into the fold. After all the dust settles, and everything is said and done, the remaining corporations will finally merge into a one-world government.

    Science fiction, you say?

    (…I’m left wondering.)

    • June 29, 2010 at 7:36 am

      It’s interesting, Destructionist… I don’t believe that things will be like 1984. I mean, I am not claiming to KNOW, since we won’t know ’til we get there, but if you believe money will someday lose its value, then I don’t believe corporations will have any place in society. We ARE the corporations. The owners at top will have no power when money disappears. It is the power of the dollar that keeps the greedy and wealthy atop this world — but, I think it will be survival of the resourceful ones (the fittest) that will someday return.


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