SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN – Commentary by Cyril Christo
Published Feb 10, 2018
We’re stuck in deep sand, with a lion kill nearby. No technology, no radio can save us. Only the fortuitous ribs of an elephant skeleton put under the back tire. Smartphones, posing an existential-ontological threat to humanity, were of no use. Fundamentals saved us — bones.
The voice of Carl Jung’s 2 million-year-old man beckoned from every corner. We are fixated on digitizing life. But in the long run, it is the soil, the insects, the element body of the world, its soil, elephants, whales and birdsong that promise our survival. That is why Lysander, age 11 said, “Africa is an introduction to the alternate self.”
The Chinese ivory market is being dismantled after 5,000 years. There may be a little more hope than a year ago for the elephant but the narcissist butchery of hunters and the carnage of poaching still challenge the species and many others. Ironically, a Chinese woman just gave a $1.5 billion gift to conservation. It’s the biggest donation of all time. Can billionaires of the West and especially the United States follow? They must, because the biosphere is going to need life support very soon. Industrial oligarchs, bankers, coal and oil men of the planet are melting the polar ice caps, cutting the rainforests for palm oil, drilling in the Arctic, and raising the world’s temperature. Whales are swallowing plastic, and phytoplankton is not reproducing as easily because of overheated oceans.
Native people in the biologically richest ecosystems need a universal guaranteed income. On their shoulders rest the future of biodiversity. Empty and silent spaces reverberate with the hollow voices of species that once were. We are distracted by violent video games, Disney movies, effete art and concert halls playing Mozart. Millions of millennia of sentient intelligence are being replaced by the waste of a silicon civilization that might render all Earth into a high-tech slum. Roger Payne, the whale expert, has written that no Shakespeare, no Beethoven, no Van Gogh can ever atone for what we are doing to the planet.
Dante’s trilogy is about paradise, one filled with living jewels. Earth might lose a third of its species by 2050. We are living the birth pangs of purgatory and the sixth extinction. What comes next? A world 6 degrees hotter will hold few lifeforms, no whales, no elephants, few birds and hardly any insects. We are embodying Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son with a vengeance.
We have enabled the tragic selection of a president who represents the Caesarean model, not the Christ model. As an extra gift to America’s children, there is the dismantling of our national parks, all for oil.
And while fishing nations are agreeing to an Arctic moratorium, we should never let this Congress allow drilling in the Arctic. We are setting the controls of this civilization for a hell world. The U.N. is trying to limit oceanic plastic and many countries are trying to phase out coal. In a time when Earth has started avenging itself, we have entered the home stretch of trying to reverse course. It is the fight for the rest of our earthly stay.
The 1 percent, too, will be carried away by floods and fires and depleted soils. Many of their kids (1 in 6) will suffer from neurological toxicity from heavy metals. The environment and climate are in shambles and all they do is pat themselves on the back for tax breaks for the wealthy. Theirs is the incarnation of Moloch, evangelical lunacy, the Golem of unconsciousness and narcissism that threatens the world order and the entire life force on Earth. Its logo is the largest land mammal on Earth with a brain several times ours, a deity, a altruistic, self-aware being of vital biological and spiritual importance to the future of two continents the planet and the human soul, the elephant. The irony, the blasphemy, could not be more shameful.
Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson and their son Lysander will soon release their 15 year-in-the-making film on the meaning of the elephant and wildlife to humanity.