In an emotional speech this week, the President Rafael Correa of Ecuador announced that he would be opening more of the country’s pristine Amazon rain forest to oil drilling, cancelling an earlier initiative to have wealthy countries fund the maintenance of a huge natural reserve.
The money simply did not come through, and Correa felt he had no other choice but to start selling oil drilling permits to the highest bidder, to keep his small country afloat.
This is terrible news for the planet.
Once again, short-term gain is being put over longterm health.
My mind immediately leaps to all the animals and people who live in that green and glowing forest, who will soon be hearing the whine of the chain saw and the roar of the bulldozer, and smelling the bitter odor of ancient oil fouling land and water.
Species we have not even met yet will perish.
Of course, this is happening every day, all over the planet. But when you hear about yet another safety wall being breached, opening up a brand new, as-yet-untouched area to drilling, you have to stop and say a silent prayer.
A prayer to what, to whom? What power can stop the relentless spread of our destructive species over this globe?
To me it seems clear that only Gaia herself can do it, by her usual methods—fire, flood, famine, great shaking of land and sea. Epidemics of viruses and bacteria. It has happened before and it will—it must—happen again.
I know I sound apocalyptic here, but apocalypse is in the air.
I don’t believe in a conventional form of afterlife, but I do believe that when we die our bodies return to the earth, and our spirits return to the energetic field of the planet.
We will return to the great dance of life in this biosphere. Time is different there—fluid, stretched, endlessly long. Our little human lifetimes are no more than brief flashes, like the shooting of stars against the August night sky.
Human beings do represent a great leap from the last dominant species on the planet, the dinosaurs. But unlike the dinosaurs, when we perish it will be by our own hands—by our drills, our combustion engines and our inability to curb our own numbers.
My prayer is to our great Mother Earth, that she welcome us back into her bosom when we fall, and bring us back into the fold of endless regeneration. If some of us humans survive the cataclysms that await, I pray we become wiser in our use of our tremendous, tragic intelligence.