PUBLISHED: THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN By Cyril Christo Dec 21, 2019
Lord Rees years ago called the 21st century our final century. Karma is catching up to us as a species, and many millennials are deciding not to have children — never mind three, for God’s sake. Almost half of Earth’s insect species are in peril. Seventy-five percent of countries have not come close to their Paris climate agreement targets. If everyone lived like Americans lived, we would need five planets. Seven hundred bee species face extinction in North America alone — and two-thirds of our birds. As if the passenger pigeon weren’t enough.
In Greenland, on the world’s largest fjord system that’s 50 kilometers long, we witnessed titanic icebergs cascading down the central ice sheet like colossal frozen tears. Despite the remarkable majesty of the landscape, phocine distemper virus is wreaking havoc on seals in the Arctic and might soon impact Pacific seals. This year saw the greatest ice melt since 2012. The methane being released from the top of the world will be astounding.
Arctic fires consumed parts of Alaska, northern Greenland and Siberia. Parts of California burned, and Australia’s east coast has gone up in flames far worse than anything ever experienced. Several hundred koalas and countless other animals might have been lost. We have no time to squander if we are to avoid complete havoc by middle of next decade. Children worldwide march to restore sanity and remind us what many adults in power have forgotten. The children’s crusade of 1212 failed; this one cannot.
“When the last living thing has died on account of us, how poetical it would be if Earth could say, perhaps from the floor of the Grand Canyon, ‘It is done.’ People did not like it here.” — Kurt Vonnegut, “Requiem”
The next decade will force the corporate elite who have ignored the laws of nature and nature’s God, written into our very Declaration of Independence, to wake up and maybe even panic as the suburbs of Sydney are doing. “Who can demolish faith? Who can wipe out joy?” asked Henry Miller. The merchants of Venice and international profiteers, that’s who. The irony is that Venice herself is drowning, the grandest town in all of western civilization. The profit motive will no longer hold sway over people’s minds; survival will. Billionaire underground bunkers will be of no avail if mayhem rules over the farmland and rainforests of the world. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Ricahrd Branson, be forewarned: There is no point in searching for microbes on Mars if we lose the life force here on Earth.
A Kayapo elder, mourning the Amazon fires, calls money “sad leaves” while the real leaves of the world are burnt to a crisp. Is this what we sold our souls for? Zombies are not fiction. They are the very individuals who deny what is happening on Earth right now in real time. Zero opened-mindedness toward basic interests of the planet. They are those who sold out the future, as Greta Thunberg exclaims.
In Africa, we were told by an elephant researcher that hope and salvation will come not though science — we know the facts — but through poetry. She meant an emotional connection to life. Thunberg looked into the eyes of denial and inaction and said, “How dare you!” How many species, from monarchs to vaquitas, will we lose because money meant more to politicians and shareholders and business executives than their children’s future? “Not one animal is demented with the mania of owning things,” wrote Elspeth Huxley almost a century ago.
“Confraternity of the living sun, make the embers of financial and industrial internationalism pale upon the hearth of the earth.” — D. H. Lawrence
The ongoing train wreck of civilization with its superiority complex has woefully ignored the meek, the animals, the native people of the world, the very soil that grows the world. Its legacy is acidifying oceans and an Amazon that could go into dieback within two years.
Our overwrought meat-eating habits will have to change because animal agriculture has decimated the world’s rainforests. Locusts are devouring Ethiopia. Fusion energy may be a reality in 10 years, but by that time, where will the rainforests be? The world’s problems are magnitudes beyond the severity of World War II. In the next decade, we will have to overhaul our cannibalistic ways. If not voluntarily, it will be forced upon us.
Huxley once said that “animals have a grace people do not possess.” How we will co-exist with the nonhuman, if nothing but robots and high-tech slums, societal and economic and ecological collapse pervade the world? Wanting to meld with the machine and cyborgs is a syndrome of where we have reached in our very short evolution.
Everyone should oppose the Australian New World Cobalt against the Tererro mine in Pecos. If the nickel, cobalt and gold extracted there pollute the Santa Fe watershed, this town will have another toxic Animas River on its hands, like in Colorado. The mine could ravage the water supply. Santa Fe will be laid to waste. This is our Waterloo. Protest and keep it from happening.
Cyril, Marie and Lysander Christo will soon release Walking Thunder: Ode to the African Elephant and are working on Silent Pride, a documentary homage to the lion.