Earth Day 2013: Looking Disaster in the Eye

earthI was consumed with a great yearning when I heard last week, amidst all the sturm und drang of the Boston Marathon bombing and manhunt, that a twin sister of our lovely Earth had been discovered on the other side of the cosmos.

She is so far away—1,200 light years—that it is very unlikely any earthlings will ever visit her.  Not unless we can figure out how to bend time and space, like the tesseract imagined by Madeleine L’Engle in A Wrinkle in Time.

But just knowing she’s there—and that there may be many more planets like her, like us, out there in the universe—is comforting somehow, as we watch our own Earth being consumed by paroxysms of manmade violence and natural destruction.

It has been hard to focus on Earth Day 2013 with all the crazy human disasters going on.

But as the sun rises this morning on yet another day on Earth, I want to salute our battered, beautiful planet, our ever-giving Mother who asks nothing in return from her children, other than that they fulfill their own destinies.

It remains to be seen whether human beings—particularly of the male variety—can overcome our tendency to aggression and change the course of our destiny from its current suicidal path.

We are smart enough to know what is going wrong with our relationship to our Mother Earth, and we also know how to fix it.

Can we summon the moral imperative and the will to stop the violence, stabilize the climate, control our population growth, and enter a peaceful, prosperous New Age on Earth?

I wonder how the inhabitants of Earth’s distant sister have managed.  Perhaps if there are highly evolved inhabitants there they are even smarter than humans.  Perhaps they never fell from their Garden of Eden.

How much easier it is to do things right the first time, rather than deal with the mess of making them right again after catastrophe.

On this Earth Day, we must look disaster in the eye, and vow to overcome it.  Our Mother deserves no less.

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  1. Thank you for your post. As a person in recovery for many years from alcohol and other drug use, I can attest to the fact that change is possible, no matter how desperate the situation. The question is, how full a recovery is possible? As an individual, I do what I can to try and help life on Earth survive. Unless men change their ways and the biggest users and producers of energy and toxic products change, I don’t have much hope that life as we know it will be able to continue much longer. In the meantime, I will continue to honor and cherish Life.

  2. I completely missed the news of this sister planet. I can’t wait to find out more about it. Maybe the central character in my next novel!
    Meanwhile, I totally agree with everything you wrote.

  3. “… particularly of the male variety…”

    Jennifer, I often agree with almost everything you say: but I have to admit that your jibes against the men are like a red rag to a bull, for me. It takes two to tango. I think that the suffragette movement promised that things would change for the better when women had the vote, and yet, here we are years later with a society that’s just as severely disfunctional as ever, if not more so. In the UK, we even had a female Pri’Minister for a time: and from where I sat she cured no problems, she just exchanged the ones we had for a different set.

    See what you did? Instead of praising your truly marvellous post about Earth’s twin, I almost forgot all about the central theme of your post, and all for the sake of a throwaway line. I guess you could argue that’s my problem, not yours.

    • Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

       /  April 28, 2013

      I could just take out that “red flag,” Pedantry, but I do want people–men and women–to think about the fact that it is almost always MEN who are behind the violence that plagues our planet. Women go along with it way too much, and need to stand up much more strongly for the values of peace and nurturing that will benefit all of us.

      But really now: when was the last time you heard of a mass shooting committed by a woman? How many women rapists are there? Are women at the controls of the drones? Are women at the R&D lab tables dreaming up new chemicals and weapons systems? Are women directing and producing the violent video games or violent porn that are so popular–among MALE consumers–on the web?

      Pointing fingers and casting blame is often counter-productive, and yet I am glad that the off-hand comment I put in this post caught your attention enough that you were motivated to respond, provoking this exchange.

      Simply getting a token female head of state, a few women in parliament, etc, is not enough to create the kind of seismic shift in cultural values that we need at this juncture of human civilization. We need men and women to embrace LIFE, not death, EROS, not THANATOS, in Freud’s terms. Men and women who are awake to this reality need to be working on changing the hearts and minds of those who are still blithely following the old ways. Or at the very least, we need to begin to distance ourselves and give ourselves a margin of resiliency so that we don’t have to be pulled over the cliff with them.


      • I absolutely agree with everything you have said here. Especially: “Women go along with it way too much”. Which makes women just as responsible as us terrible menfolk.

      • Reading this exchange about “the male variety” makes me think of Carl Jung’s theory of anima and animus.
        This theory has been simplified and changed from its original meaning in popular parlance and some contemporary psychology.
        I could question how he (or more recent followers) determines which qualities characterize anima and animus, but for the sake of simplicity and this discussion – let’s just go along with the idea that we all of us have both in our psyches and that most men exhibit animus (the qualities that are generally considered to be male – competitiveness, strength, aggression, ambition, leadership, logic) and most women exhibit anima (the qualities generally considered to be female – collaboration, submission, influence, nurturance, intuition, connection).
        Western society as a whole has valued animus over anima for many centuries. Most of the women who have risen to positions of substantial power have had to prove their animus. Margaret Thatcher and Hilary Clinton are two prime examples.
        In my analysis, so many of the problems in the world are exacerbated by the over valuing of animus and the undervaluing of anima.
        To me, the solution to many of our problems lies in the valuing of anima as much as animus. We can not be whole people without recognizing that we have both sides to our nature and that these seemingly opposite qualities can be used together to find solutions to many of the problems we face. I want to believe that there can be positive synergy between animus and anima. I predict that those who are most successful in solving the enormous problems that we face will be those who consciously “use” both.
        I really don’t think the world as we know it can survive without society fostering more acceptance and expression of anima, We need balance.
        (Now that I wrote this long comment, it feels like it should have been a blog. Oh well, I am still learning my way around the blogosphere)

      • @What a Heart Can Hold: yes, absolutely. Yin and Yang, we need both, and infighting gets us nowhere.

  4. Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

     /  April 29, 2013

    Yes, what the world needs now is balance, in so many ways…..thank you for these thoughtful comments!

  1. No Plan(et) B. | Wibble

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