Miraculous nature is being murdered. Everywhere we look inequitable over-consumption is devastating the natural ecosystems that sustain a living Earth. Together we yield to ecological truth – personally embracing a global ecology ethic, and demanding others do so as well – or we all needlessly die at each others’ throats as the global ecological system collapses and being ends.
Everywhere you look humans are destroying nature. We are eating the ecosystems that sustain us, crapping in our own habitat, calling it development as we destroy our one shared biosphere.
Look outside your window. Chances are that the “nature” you see – some degraded secondary forests, power lines and roadways, with disturbed soil and degraded waterways – was a million year old naturally evolved ecosystem but a few generations ago. Never has naturally evolved magnificence been so swiftly dismantled to produce throw away consumer crap.
We are witnessing the age of ecocidal, conspicuous, and inequitable over-consumption. 90% of old growth forests have been mowed and large ocean fish harvested. Half of both natural soil and vegetation have been destroyed. Oceans are dying from bottom trawling, acidification, and over-harvest.
Abrupt and runaway climate change is well underway as humanity continues to treat our atmosphere as a waste dump. We piss and worse into our natural waterways as billions lack clean drinking water. Plants and animals as well as people are fleeing collapsing ecosystems.
And most people are too fucking dumb to realize what is occurring, little more than microbes being pickled in their own waste as their and all being ends.
China is going to ecologically collapse first, as industrial filth on behalf of all nations has proliferated, and it will be soon. Collapse of this ecocidal tyranny may well by itself pull down the biosphere. Similarly India and Europe are most at risk – where millennia of ecological simplification, along with tremendous over-population, will ensure mass migration and conflict until these population bases are brought into balance once again with natural ecosystems.
The United States may persist longer as the ecocide has not occurred for as long. But here nationalistic militarism along with an unparalleled sense of entitlement, and a lack of understanding of community and the natural world, is perhaps most dangerous. If every American is not allowed to realize their exceptional birthright of wantonly overconsuming, they damn well will destroy everybody and everything in fits of infantile rage.
Prepare to see the vegetation, what remains, wither and die. Get used to there being no water in the tap much less locally available. Be ready for major energy shocks where your car sits lifeless in the driveway, a chunk of immobile metal, as your house remains unheated and uncooled. Consider what food can be raised locally, and at what price, as that is all that will be available.
Expect bands of marauders to pillage your belongings and have their way with your wives and daughters. The re-emergence of slavery and warring autocratic city-states is a virtual certainty as centuries of social progress are jettisoned.
Entire bioregions are going to be laid to waste and have to be evacuated as they become uninhabitable. Mass migration at unprecedented scales is imminent. Given uncertainly in lag times, and what wells of ecological resiliency remain in the Earth System, it is difficult to know how long it will be until the biosphere goes into positive feedback and collapses and dies. It is also virtually impossible to know when it is too late and will occur regardless.
That is why we must seek an ecological ethic and way of life until our dying breath. Despite its shortcomings, ecocidal inclinations in particular, the human species is an amazing creature. Our ability to think abstractly, examining and learning from our natural surroundings, are unsurpassed. Our opposable thumbs are cool too. Now if we could learn to not destroy nature we will be set to live essentially forever as a species.
We have everything we need to construct a just, equitable, and verdant future for all. Plentiful renewable energy sources exist. We know how to recreate natural ecosystems and permaculture gardens from the plant diversity that remains. Educating girls, providing free birth control, and economic incentives for small families can stabilize and then reduce the population.
Throughout human history we see time and time again people coming together to do what must be done to beat back evil, reset the social order, and advance. Together we will have to shutdown the fossil fuel industry, demand global demilitarization and demobilization, and insist upon a reduction in the size and influence of corporations and governments alike.
So much of our prospects depend upon living more simply and naturally. That is why posing, preening “climate activists” like Leonardo DiCaprio are so dangerous. They tell us climate change is real from the back of a polluting private jet, spewing emissions from luxurious lifestyles that the majority seek but can never attain. We are going to have to learn to live more simply materially, as we explore the rich abundance in knowledge, sport, arts, leisure, and making love.
A global ecology ethic based upon ecological truths must arise spontaneously utilizing all the tools at our disposal including the Internet. We must come to realize we are one human family spinning through space upon a naturally evolved living organism upon which we are utterly dependent. Gaia’s ecosystem organs – old-growth forests, natural waterways, bountiful oceans, vibrant soils – will be restored and maintained at all costs as global ecological reserves to power the biosphere and maintain a living and livable Earth.
Such a global ecological ethic goes well beyond the obvious and demands a complete reorganization of the dominant paradigm. We perish unless we come to accept the truthful worldview that nation states are a lie, there is no god, and ecology is the meaning of life. Together we embrace and act upon ecology and other self-evident truths or we face vicious, merciless death at each others’ hands as we collapse the biosphere. And then being ends.
Dr. Glen Barry is the President and Founder of Ecological Internet (EI). He is recognized internationally by the environmental movement as a leading global visionary, ecological policy critic and public intellectual committed to communicating the severity of global ecological crises – and related justice, rights and equity issues – while actively organizing with others sufficient solutions
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