We Are All Noah Now

We are all Noah now.

These words have been sounding in my head like a mantra these past few weeks, and this morning I woke from strong dreams of animals in trouble—a big lone fox, a frantically hopping toad—and felt the need to make my inchoate awareness of danger and responsibility more tangible by writing it down and sharing it with others.

Derrick Jensen asks with desperate, angry sadness how long it will take us to finally wake up and start resisting the accelerating extinction of species happening on our watch.

How can we love our pets so much (I ask with my purring cat on my lap and my snoring dog at my feet) and remain unmoved by the news that hundreds of sweet, innocent reptiles and amphibians, many of them from fragile, endangered species, were cruelly murdered by callous neglect last week, crushed into hot plastic tubs without food or water for days in a crate bound from Madagascar to the U.S. pet store market?



How can we continue to give our children adorable stuffed lions and tigers and bears to hug and cuddle (my own boys were devoted to their respective stuffed animal friends, a gray kitty and a green froggy) while turning a blind eye to the fact that all of the large animals on Earth are staring extinction in the face?

Indonesian palm oil plantation.  First the forest was bulldozed.  Never mind all the fragile species that called it home, including our primate cousins, the highly endangered orangutans.

Indonesian palm oil plantation. First the forest was bulldozed. Never mind all the fragile species that called it home, including our primate cousins, the highly endangered orangutans.

How can we blithely talk about international agreements like REDD and cap-and-trade markets, ignoring the fact that when these lofty agreements are translated into action on the ground in the remote tropical forests that most need protection, they too often result in the worst kinds of greedy destruction—for example, so-called protected forests being bulldozed, sprayed with herbicides and turned into palm oil plantations, but still sold as “protected forest” in the international carbon market.

Americans spend royally on landscaping around our own homes, but fail to appreciate that if we don’t snap out of our trance and start acting forcefully on behalf of the planet as a whole, the storms and droughts that are coming will make short work of all our careful planting and pruning.

Wake up people!  We are all Noah now.  The Ark that will help us weather the storms we have brought upon ourselves is the Mother Ship, sweet Gaia herself.

Headlands, Puerto Rico. Photo by Eric B. Hernandez

Headlands, Puerto Rico.
Photo by Eric B. Hernandez

It’s past time to start focusing on doing all we can to conserve the living beings on this planet—ours to protect, not to destroy.

We are all Noah now.

Leave a comment


  1. Jimbob51

     /  February 1, 2014

    If President Obama approves the Keystone pipeline, he will become a “loser” in my opinion. What excuse does he have if he approves it? Does he not care about his two daughters?

    • leavergirl

       /  February 1, 2014

      Of course he’ll approve it. He serves those who keep him in power (and safe).

  2. Well said, Jenny. Leavergirl and Jimbob51, there are going to be demonstrations all over the U.S. Monday to state our resistance to the Keystone Pipeline. Maybe you can attend or organize one.

    • leavergirl

       /  February 2, 2014

      Why? When Jennifer went down to “resist” Obama flew to Florida to play golf.

      • Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

         /  February 2, 2014

        True that, leavergirl. Still, showing some backbone and determination to stand up against Big Oil does seem to make a difference. It’s better than the alternative, total apathy. I know you think we should just focus on building local alternative resilient communities and I agree with you–but we can’t turn a blind eye to what’s happening on the national and international level either. It’s all important….

      • leavergirl

         /  February 2, 2014

        Well, I believe that we need to be doing stuff that works. Demonstrations by and large don’t. Besides, pouring energy into the system (even if to “resist” it in dubious ways) seems to me to be the opposite of what we ought to be doing… given that we each only have a small amount of allotted energy. Um? Not advocating blind eyes, but clearsightedness… 🙂

      • I don’t claim to know which is the most effective way to make change, but as far as where Obama is or what he is doing while demonstrations are taking place across the country – I am pretty sure that doesn’t matter at all. If enough people demonstrate he will get the message. Whether or not he will listen to it remains to be seen.
        But demonstration serves another purpose too. It gets people who have not paid attention before to take notice. It raises consciousness and that can’t be a bad thing.

      • leavergirl

         /  February 4, 2014

        “Whether or not he will listen to it remains to be seen.”

        Heh. LOL. How much evidence are you looking for?

        Yeah, demonstrations can let people know, but there so much distrust now, of this way of getting attention… and so what? Against expectations, Occupy gained attention, and nothing came of it. Hm… well, ok, it did raise consciousness. People realized how much anger there has been over the financial boondoggles and books being cooked in high places. I just wish we had something to really pour our efforts into…

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