The Final Struggle To Save The Earth

The Final Struggle To Save The Earth

The planetary emergency is upon us. Now begins the final struggle to save the earth. We are at a critical turning point in human and natural history. For two hundred years we have been simplifying the biosphere on which all civilizations must rest. Now the worst extinction crisis in 60 million years is underway. Negative climate change is accelerating. Water shortages, droughts and unprecedented storms are already a reality and getting worse. Soil is being exhausted world-wide. Deserts are advancing. Tens of millions of refugees are displaced and many millions more will come as the conditions for agriculture deteriorate. Two billion more people will have to be fed, housed, clothed, and provided with energy by 2050, and this on top of the 7 billion already here now. In the face of this the forces of reaction have taken control and are plunging ahead; men who put greed above the common good, who think the solution is to drive this destructive machine even faster, to go back to fossil fuels instead of forward to renewables, to further chemicalize our air and water and food, to tinker with the genetic base of all life. They want to privatize the National Parks, drill and mine in the National Forests, blow the tops off of mountains and shove the toxic overburden into the streams, drive leaky oil pipelines under our rivers and drill in the stormy polar seas. This is the time to resist with all our might, and more than resist, it is the time to invent a new civilization compatible with the earth, based on renewables, conservation, reverence for the land and for the unique places in which we live, on revived local economies, and on peace. There is still much to save: many beautiful places, a livable climate only slightly damaged, restored soils, waters cleaned up, healthy local communities. But know this—it’s our last chance. We need to rise up both for ourselves and for future generations. We humans have no right to stupidly despoil the creation. There is still time, but not much. We can still avoid the rise of a new Dark Age, can still deliver to all posterity a restored, healthy planet and a sane civilization. We are the ones who are called by all the children who will ever be, who will stand in judgment of what we did, or did not do, in this critical moment in the history of the planet. Go forth!

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The Clementine Community

The Clementine Community

Today I awake at 5 AM in the northern dark, arise and dress in warm clothes to take the little dog out. It is twenty below zero and we are back in the house quickly. I get the coffee started and eat a little orange called a clementine. This is an act of profound community, as well as something of a miracle in January. This small orange came all the way from Spain. The sweet juices it harbors are the rain that fell on the Spanish orchard last spring, or even many springs ago, filling an aquifer below the soil there.

Spanish soil, like soil everywhere, is a living community made up of thousands of insects, worms and micro-organisms, all aerating and turning the leaves of last year’s trees into once-again useable nutrients in the endless cycle that has been going on for millions of years. Soil is a precious community. I say a silent prayer of thanks to these creatures. There is the community of people, of course, the orchardists who carefully nurture these trees for years before they even begin to fruit, and then care for them into old age, each year producing this edible gold. Men, women, and boys who tend and till and pick and pack. I will never know their names, but they are my companions in this act of community. And this community extends far back in time to the first orchardists in China, thousands of years ago, who carefully bred this strain of citrus fruit, using natural methods, over generations, people who spoke a different language and had a different religion than mine.

And, too, there are the transporters: the men or women who drove the fruit to the workers at the washing and packing plant, who loaded it into boxes, and then into larger containers. How did it get here? By ship, with a big crew? On a jumbo jet? And then trucked to a distribution warehouse and somehow, SOMEHOW (!), it got to a little grocery in a small town in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, was unpacked and the stock boy put it on the shelf, and the young women at the register rang it up and another packed it in my cloth bag, and here it is. Moist. Delicious. Sweet. Nutritious.

Oh, and don’t forget—we humans only worked with the materials, and within the Nature’s laws. We do not preserve nature—nature preserves us. It is only together that we can live, people with people and people with natural communities, and it is only in peace that we can live together in community.