Tag Archives: environment

“Why worry about what can kill you tomorrow when so many things can kill you tonight?” 

 

(title is a remembered quote from the movie, “Lord of War”)

[thoughts from  ~burning woman~  ]

I’m sure that title and quote is also a paraphrase of something else I’ve read somewhere in my travels.  It is a line however that I have often thought about.  What does that mean to me?  Does it mean, in the hedonistic sense, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!”?  Throw caution to the wind, live for the moment, and the Devil take the hindmost?

While I completely disagree with the common politically correct phrase, “we’re all in this together” (which is obvious bullshit in spades when you think about it seriously for a second) there is definitely one thing we all have in common: death.  Whatever we do to avoid it, and believe me that the amount of money people spend to try to avoid it is beyond staggering (well, OK, I don’t know how much, I just know it’s a whole lot more than “that”) we simply can’t.  Death is our constant companion through life.  We’re born to die, with a little lunch break in-between we call life. (We don’t get paid for that either, the opposite actually.)

I’m not trying to cheer you up, but I’m not trying to depress you either as both would defeat my purpose.  I haven’t (yet) said anything you don’t already know so if this feels uncomfortable, think of it as a reality check.

Why do we worry?  Why so many stressed to the max and depressed?  What happened to the pursuit of happiness, the verve, the “joie de vivre”?  What is this terrible darkness that is descending upon the planet which seems to increase every time some major man-made event is propagandized?  Why can’t we be infected by a beneficial virus for a change? Why can’t we have at least one major truly joyful man-made event of gargantuan proportions to celebrate ourselves within?  Since we can’t outgrow the need for leaders, why can’t we have smart ones? Why must everything of major import be sad, dreadful, horrible, hopeless, destructive, death-dealing, polluting and/or costly with no end in sight when we are sick and tired of hearing about it or experiencing it? Why must what we hope for be forever out of reach, more likely to recede from our grasp than approach it?  Why does the carrot always turn into a stick?

I think it all goes back to death.  Consciously we may choose to ignore the monster and try to live relatively normal, happy lives among those we love or the society we fit in, but subconsciously “it” is always there, just like *Joe Black, not always recognized for what it is but suspected, distrusted and feared; the entity with its own agenda over which no one has any control.  Death, the great equalizer it’s been called.  Well, I don’t know: I see a lot of death, I don’t see much equality arising from its presence, quite the contrary.  Death is like that bouncing ball that after it’s set a bouncing, every time it’s touched it bounces even more wildly and unpredictably.

In a moment of wild ecstasy I suppose, John Donne wrote “death thou shalt die.”  Literally or figuratively?  It really doesn’t matter “how” it matters more “when.”  Until now man has been the slave of death and the certainty of having to face that executioner has caused man to behave in quite irrational and contradictory ways.  For the average Earthian, the way to avoid death is to be the first to deal death to some whose existence is perceived as a threat.  This knee-jerk reaction is called survival of the fittest but is better defined as war, man’s most precious invention; the one he spends the most resources upon by far; his joy, his baby, his heritage, his great love.  Makes me want to write an ode to war, or a love poem:

O dear war,
How I missed thee in the dark days of peace!
How I praise thee now that thee art returned
To fill the aching void in my human heart,
To stop the aimless wander of my soul!

O dear war
Promise me from thine bloody throne
Thou shalt abandon me never again!
I could no longer bear the emptiness
Caused by your troubling absence!”

Well it’s a start.  Dark humour, but how far from the truth of the matter?  We kill remorselessly in vain attempts to save our own life, a life that was forfeit from the moment it was conceived.

OK, so I’m not looking for rationality among the species, I know such a thing is anathema to man’s thinking.  I’m just wondering if there is a cure to worry.  Let’s spread the reasoning net.  All animal life dies, sooner than later.  Do animals worry about dying?  I don’t think they do, although many animals experience powerful emotions when one of them dies, some more than others.  They know about death; about the end of the body, but they don’t seem to be worried about their own coming death.  It’s only when the predator appears that they resort to their fight or flight mode.  If they get sick they do not linger.  Either they heal themselves or give themselves over to death with hardly a struggle.

For whatever reason, Earth people approach the matter of death much differently than animals.  Animals don’t form armies to attack and decimate their enemies.  They may be territorial for naturally mandated purposes but they don’t try to expand their “empires” outside limits set by the Alpha male of the tribe or queen of the hive.  Those outside the limits are safe from attack and free of harassment.  Animals kill to survive, not to enhance their own personal power or “wealth” as the expense of others.  {Oh please God, make me into an animal this minute!  Amen!}  Animals gracefully surrender their bodies to the earth and shortly no evidence remains of their passage.

It is foolish to worry, even more so to allow oneself to get depressed.  Depression isn’t a disease, it’s the dirty diaper of the spoiled and entitled modern bratty Earthian who wants more than it’s willing to earn for itself; who is not willing to share.  Depression comes from a “I want it, and I want it now” civilization whose technology provided a lot of stupid, unnecessary polluting toys and continues to promise more toys while the natural resources that fueled that technology are wasted by misuse and war or vanishing from the planet in waves of entropic energy like climate change.  Depression from not getting what one feels entitled to leads to worry about more serious things, like losing one’s home or having no money to buy basic necessities such as food or losing one’s children through violence… Ah yes, the list of things that cause worry grows long.

I choose to live by my first quote.  I don’t worry about what could kill me tomorrow.  I think about the things lurking in the night of my mind, the things tonight, that can kill me.  I think about the dangers of reverting back to being a common Earthian; of waking up tomorrow morning worrying about food, clothing, shelter, money, sex, what’s been stolen in the night, etc.  I think about spiritual regression and mental devaluation from nightly visitations of “demons” from the darkness of the capitalist, consumerist Matrix.  I think of the horror of discovering I’m no longer immune to the foibles of man but rather fully back in establishment clutches.  I think about what it would be like to lose my sense of self empowerment, of knowing what I am; of losing sight of my purpose… in the night.  And I shudder.  That would be worse than any conceivable depression.

Ah, but I’m a witch!  I have spells to protect myself from demons who would steal my self-made personhood:  “I think my own thoughts, therefore I am my own person.” And spells also to protect me from well-meaning people who would destroy the essential me with their verbal weapons of fear-based mass distraction.  My simple response to all of it is “I choose me.”  Then I remember that death approached at through self-determination has become my greatest gift, my doorway out of a dying place to another I know of and look forward to – no: not heaven!

When does death die?  It dies when transcended every waking and awakened moment.

PS: this isn’t in response to the current Covid 19 pandemic. I wrote these thoughts some years ago but they do fit the moment.

*Joe Black: reference is to the movie, “Meet Joe Black” with Brad Pitt as Death.

 

 

 

 

What to believe, Oh, what to Believe?

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~  ]

What to believe, oh, what to believe!? On one side sits my common sense and years of dedicated observation of man on this world. On that side, I smile, even laugh – but in hiding: it wouldn’t do to upset the believers in their fearfully self-righteous anger.

On the other side is the herd, man himself, with his accumulated force combined into a patriarchal civilization that has taken over everything and used it’s overwhelming power to rape, plunder and kill at will while running amok disgorging unsustainable numbers.

Now comes a crossroads, whether real or fake, and “man” the forceful (bad) predator, rapist and mass murderer demonstrates his innate fear of unknowns and his disgusting cowardliness in the face of an arisen “power” he does not know how to conquer and exploit.

A virus: imagine that! Something he can’t rape or plunder; something only the few know how to profit from.

How did this thing come about? Ah well, one could listen to man’s endless or contradictory explanations but they are just more excuses to hide superstitious ignorance and exposing the fact that “the great conqueror of nature” never did “conquer” his raped and tortured world; the fact that this world’s nature only went deeper underground to mutate and hide its lethal come-backs.

Are these “come-backs” surfacing in brute anger now? No, not yet, not yet. Earth’s revenge is a dish she does intend to savour cold and it’s not near cold enough yet. This is but a small test of one of nature’s many and deadlier weapons of mass destruction.

I am not concerned about this virus fear-demic. The programmed fear is just one more of man’s (read: Matrix) invented means to create chaos and additional control for the powerful over the less so, the proverbial storm in the teacup. There will be deaths during this period of panic, but it is already so obvious that most of those deaths ascribed to the “new and improved” virus primarily result from pre-existing pathologies. Ascribing these to a corona virus to create a global pandemic is a political gambit with serious long term goals.

Of course that is not what the hoi polloi want to hear. They have invested belief, feelings and tsunamis of emotions in this folly and they won’t be easily robbed of their new game. Suddenly they have become mindful of their corrupt, lying leadership. Suddenly they need to believe, even in blatant institutional lies. Suddenly the media’s non-stop talking heads are spewing the very wisdom of the gods. Suddenly we are existing under a new law called “The Six Foot Rule” or “The Two Meter Rule” (but not to worry, the virus knows both standard and metric systems.)  

There is something afoot the sheeple do not understand because they have no imagination, no personal power and no self-respect. They do not trust their own intuition or understanding, having sold that to the “group” – whatever the “group” be called – a long time ago when they chose their fantastic civilization over the rules of nature.

Suddenly they are faced with an instrument of comeuppance they know enough to fear but not enough to understand. Now they must turn to their “gods,” the promoters of civilization, for protection from the deadly monster. Suddenly they need to believe to survive the crisis of the moment, waiting for the morning when the great leadership declares business as usual.

Then the sheep will stop looking up, bleat a sigh of relief, drop their masks, gloves and “social distancing” and some of their newly-manufactured fears (but not all of them, the needed quota will remain). They will stop some of their war against each other and begin the rebuilding of the castles for their lords and masters. They will return to their happy fornicating and mindless defecating on the face of the planet.

Isn’t that how it’s always been in the world of civilizations?

On that glorious morning however this civilization will have taken one giant step closer to its final demise.  

Oh, and in case you are interested, there is one natural weapon of mass destruction that your civilization knows about. It’s even mentioned in some rule books of scientific magic. It’s called entropy. That’s the four horses of the Apocalypse riding over the face of civilization as one. On the final day of that ride, as the book says, people will hide in caves. They will crawl under rocks and cry to be covered over but nothing learned or known will avail. Nature will have the very last word… on that day. 

 

 

Extremophiles – from George Monbiot

The “establishment” is fighting hard to maintain its exceptionalism, and it’s playing hardball against environmentalists.  This is one of the best Monbiot articles I’ve ever read.

Extremophiles

Posted: 24 Jan 2020 02:04 AM PST

Anyone seeking to defend life on Earth is now labelled an extremist. Yet the real extremists are those in power.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 22nd January 2020

It’s not an “error” or an “accident”, as the police now claim. It’s a pattern. First, the Guardian revealed that counterterrorism police in south-east England have listed Extinction Rebellion (XR) and the youth climate strikes as forms of “ideological extremism”. Then teachers and officials around the country reported that they had been told, in briefings by the anti-radicalisation Prevent programme, to look out for people expressing support for XR and Greenpeace.

Then the Guardian found a guide by Counter Terrorism Policing to the signs and symbols used by various groups. Alongside terrorists and violent extremist organisations, the guide listed Greenpeace, XR, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, CND, the Socialist Party, Stop the War and other peaceful green and left organisations. Then the newspaper discovered that City of London Police had listed XR as a “key threat” in its counterterrorism assessment.

There’s a long history in the UK of attempts to associate peaceful protest with extremism or terrorism. In 2008, for example, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) produced a list of “domestic extremists”. Among them was Dr Peter Harbour, a retired physicist and university lecturer, who had committed the cardinal sin of marching and petitioning against an attempt by the energy company RWE npower to drain a beautiful local lake and fill it with pulverised fly ash. ACPO sought to smear peace campaigners, Greenpeace and Climate Camp with the same charge.

The police have always protected established power against those who challenge it, regardless of the nature of that challenge. And they have long sought to criminalise peaceful dissent. Part of the reason is ideological: illiberal and undemocratic attitudes infest policing in this country. Part of it is empire building: if police units can convince the government and the media of imminent threats that only they can contain, they can argue for more funding.

But there’s another reason, which is arguably even more dangerous: the nexus of state and corporate power. All over the world, corporate lobbyists seek to brand opponents of their industries as extremists and terrorists, and some governments and police forces are prepared to listen. A recent article in The Intercept sought to discover why the US Justice Department and the FBI had put much more effort into chasing mythical “ecoterrorists” than pursuing real, far-right terrorism. A former official explained, “you don’t have a bunch of companies coming forward saying ‘I wish you’d do something about these right-wing extremists’.” By contrast, there is constant corporate pressure to “do something” about environmental campaigners and animal rights activists.

We feel this pressure in the UK. In July last year, the lobby group Policy Exchange published a report  claiming that XR is led by dangerous extremists. Policy Exchange is an opaque organisation that refuses to disclose its donors. But an investigation by Vice magazine revealed it has received funding from the power company Drax, the trade association Energy UK and the gas companies E.On and Cadent.

One of the two authors of the Policy Exchange report, Richard Walton, is a former police commander. A report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission said he would have had a misconduct case to answer, had he not retired. The case concerned allegations about his role in the spying by undercover police on the family of the murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence. The purpose of the spying operation, according to one of the police officers involved, was to seek “disinformation” and “dirt” on the family, and stop their campaign for justice “in its tracks.”

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has defended the inclusion of XR on the police list of extremist ideologies. But it seems to me that people like Patel and Richard Walton pose much greater threats to the nation, the state and our welfare than any green campaigners. Before she became an MP, she worked for the company Weber Shandwick, as a lobbyist for British American Tobacco. Among her tasks was to campaign against the European tobacco control directive, whose purpose was to protect public health. A BAT memo complained that the Weber Shandwick team as a whole “does not actually feel comfortable or happy working for BAT.” But it was pleased to note that two of its members “seem quite relaxed working with us”. One of them was Priti Patel.

In her previous government role, as secretary of state for international development, Patel held unauthorised and undisclosed meetings with Israeli officials, after which she broached the possibility of her department channelling British aid money through the Israeli army, in the occupied Golan Heights. After she was less than candid with the prime minister, Theresa May, about further undisclosed meetings, she was forced to resign. But she was reinstated, in a far more powerful role, by Boris Johnson.

Our government is helping propel us towards a catastrophe on a scale humankind has never encountered before: the collapse of our life support systems. It does so in support of certain ideologies – consumerism, neoliberalism, capitalism – and on behalf of powerful industries. This, apparently, meets the definition of moderation. Seeking to prevent this catastrophe is extremism. If you care about other people, you go on the list. If you couldn’t give a damn about humankind and the rest of life on Earth, the police and the government will leave you alone. You might even get appointed to high office.

It is hard to think of any successful campaign for democracy, justice, or human rights that would not now be classed by police forces and the government as an extremist ideology. Without extremists such as Emmeline Pankhurst, who maintained that “the argument of the broken window pane is the most valuable argument in modern politics”, Priti Patel would not be an MP. Only men with a certain amount of property would be permitted to vote. There would be no access to justice, no rights for workers, no defence against hunger and destitution, no weekends.

In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, subjected to smears very similar to those now directed against XR and other environmental groups, noted “the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?”

Good citizens cannot meekly accept the death of the living planet, as corporations rip it apart for profit. The moderation demanded of us is, in reality, extremism: acceptance of an economic and political model driving us towards unprecedented disaster. If seeking to defend life on Earth defines us as extremists, we have no choice but to own the label. We are extremists for the extension of justice and the perpetuation of life.

http://www.monbiot.com

Where are the Roots?

[A thought-essay by   ~burning woman~   written by Sha’Tara]

Got this idea churning around in my head. Well, that’s nothing new, there’s always something churning around there, but this is broader  than any I’ve yet entertained outside of my tendency to imagine fiction and science fiction scenarios. It’s about man and his civilization.

There is no doubt whatsoever that civilized man (Homo Sapiens) is a totally invasive, parasitic species. Anybody can see it that wants to see. But what is not so easy to see, and I blame the programming for that, is that “his” civilization is a predatory monster; a monster that has been feeding on the planet and on the very species that believes it invented it and is “making it happen” so to speak. “Man” is civilization’s obedient slave, repeating, ad nauseam, all his previous mistakes, helplessly. Not because there is no better way; not because he could not try other ways; not because he doesn’t know of better ways but because these are the ways by which the monster feeds itself and through brainwashing, insures that the pattern is endlessly repeated.

If this is true then what is civilization? Is it simply the sum total of all that man has, is, and will, accomplish on Earth, as a species? Just a “record” of man’s passage, or is it much more? We have a tendency to always go along what is taught, what is repeatedly told and believed so this is my attempt to not do that; to present broad facts fully in evidence that no one is allowed to see or talk about.

Can we separate ourselves from our traditional beliefs and knee-jerk responses? Can we back out of the vehicle and observe “it” from a safe distance where is becomes possible to think that the vehicle man has been riding through time is really quite unsafe, dangerous, polluting, deadly to life in general and man is not in the driver’s seat?

From this unusual vantage point, let’s look at some aspects of the monster bus we cannot look at when we are stuffed in a seat halfway down the cluttered aisle and the blinds are shut tight so we can’t really see how the bus is destroying the natural environment it is passing through.  

How about analyzing the vehicle’s accomplishments over time, for example. I think, while we’re in the spirit of impeachment, it’s fair to consider civilization’s doings while in power over Earth and mankind. Since its inception, what has civilization contributed to the planet in terms of evolutionary improvements to the natural state of being? I can’t think of a single one but if you can, then how are such improvements embedded permanently in the natural processes that make this a living world? Which improvements over nature can be said to now be a permanent and essential part of the evolution of Earth? What has civilization contributed to the planet and everything that exists on it  which this world could no longer proceed without?

Going from civilization to man, what are man’s living roots in the living natural environment? When I speak of roots, I mean a measure of not just fair exchange of resources, as all other life forms here perform, but examples of how man’s presence has improved Earth’s natural biosphere… in some way or other. How is man contributing to and expanding the natural evolutionary process – emphasis on natural?

Again, I cannot think of a single way, but the list of diametrically opposite to constructive activities performed by man upon this world would be very long.

If this was a political situation and I was called upon to render a judgment on both, man and his civilization, I would call for impeachment. Guaranteed that I would not lack for witnesses to fully indict.  What does that say about man and his civilization, then? 

Question: If all evidence of man and his civilization were to vanish like fog in the morning sun how much worse off would this world be? 

  

Man’s Last War

 – a poem by Sha’Tara

The world hasn’t changed much
Since so long ago I was born, when I happened
For no reason it would seem, without hubris.
I learned to talk, walk, listen and observe
With the sense it all had to mean something
In the end.

The world was cruel to me when I was young
Though I didn’t know that then, it’s what is
To a child life is the norm, the form.
There was much hardship, harshness
Little tenderness, and it seemed dangerous.
One could get used to tenderness
And the world I knew hated it with passion
unchecked.

Life is cruel they said without apology,
Why not, they’d just survived a world war
Knowing naught but blood and losses.
I thought, yes, I have to be bold, and tough,
I too must survive, there’ll be another war
And I must know how to fight it; must know
My enemy before he knows that I know
I will beat him.

No, the world hasn’t changed, not at all.
The same people lie, cheat, rob and rule,
The same people suffer and die, their blood
Lubricates the scythe blindly sweeping
To leave fodder and dying stubble in its wake
To be ploughed.

Yet something did change, has changed:
A new World War is being fought
No longer man against man but once again
Man against nature-she fighting her protracted way
She can never lose. Man in his hubris
Still believes he can win this war and it will be
As he never, ever, won any of his other wars.
Earth withdraws her bounty.

Man’s motto remains against, never with
Rashly, brashly he spreads his nets,
His barb wire, his jet trails, his towers,
His stacks, his chimneys, his warehouses
His poisons, his noise, his armaments and bombs,
All to be measured in corporate profits for
The rich to get richer.

Civilization teeters on the brink of extinction,
The skies are deeply troubled, changing colours,
Glaciers melt, calve, fires burn, smoke rises:
Death, death, death! Booms and cackles
The Lord of Greed, the God of man, terminator
Soulless and heartless

The last man stands on his funeral pyre
Proudly made of planet Earth’s skin
Sure he’d won his very last war against life.
*********
He raises his fist to the soured heavens,
Claiming his last divine imperative thinking
I have destroyed the environment, I have killed
All that sustained life. I leave my boot print
On a weak, worthless and dying world, hah!
“I Am become Death, the Destroyer of Earth,
I will be remembered, halleluiah!”