Evolving Peace

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Earth First, Not Later

How many Environmentalists does it take to change a light bulb?

Ten: One to write the light bulb a letter requesting that it change. Four to circulate online petitions. One to file a lawsuit demanding it change. One to send the light bulb loving kindness, knowing that this is the only way real change occurs. One to accept the light bulb precisely the way it is; clear in the knowledge that not to accept another is to great harm to oneself. One to write a book about how and why the light bulb needs to change. And finally, one to smash the fucking light bulb because we all know it’s never going to change.

This joke although harsh, express quite truthfully the status of the environmentally movement today. I borrowed this joke from Derrick Jensen's book, endgame Volume 1, The Problem of Civilization. The concerns of the environment are showing a bleak future for the existence of humanity and that the ecological balance is not to be taken as lightly as displayed by modern life. It is wonderful that we have countless individuals standing up to the ways of modernity but frankly there is a prevalent need for more radical approaches.

As witnessed throughout the globe, dramatic changes in climate patterns are already happening and countless ecological calamities are becoming the norm. The world is facing food shortages, water shortages and soon to be energy shortages. While certain politicians and special interests groups (i.e. corporations) hide behind denial and economic uncertainty the fate of civilization becomes gloomier. While I ponder actions that may subvert the impending calamities I fear that too many people are lost in an oblivious world. I and countless others can write, protest, speak and alter our lives; however this may not be effective unless mass universal change consumes the human consciousness.

I consider myself an environmentalist, some may say a radical environmentalist, but to answer that charge, I am just a man with visions. Radical is not speaking out what is truth, nor is it radical to speak out what needs to be done. Point one; man has significantly altered the ecology of the planet by its incessant desires of consuming more goods. Point two, oil and water resources are finite and continuation of filling those needs is going to result in chaos. Point three, unless drastic changes are made in lifestyles in the industrial world as well as modeling it to the “developing” world the dire predicament we are facing will get worse.

So as you may attest, I am not radical for I speak my truth, what is radical is the continual denial of action. In this case it is far more dangerous to not speak and for that I call as being radical. A definition according to Merriam Websters is as follows:

a: marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional : extreme b: tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions c: of, relating to, or constituting a political group associated with views, practices, and policies of extreme change d: advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs.

While yes, I am advocating a different measure of the so called norm, however in reality what has been instituted for the last century has been a considerable departure from the “usual or traditional” and that is how we have gotten in this predicament. Man had lived in peaceful coexistence with nature for thousands of years and it was not until the “Industrial Revolution” had full scale environmental degradation began. Industrial agriculture, pollution from fossil fuels and wide scale eroding of the natural landscape are the repercussions of modern life. In the not to distant past humans practiced conservation, sustainable farming and lived a life without the needs of plastics and cable television. The manufactured reality of Madison Avenue and Wall Street is the true radicalism of today and that is what is destroying the planet.

The referenced joke stated “one to smash the fucking light bulb because we all know it’s never going to change” is the harsh reality of modern life. We are in desperate need of reverting back to the more traditional ways of living in harmony with nature. If man fails to see the looming catastrophes ahead then those who advocate extreme measures may be justified. I am not suggesting that blowing up dams, spiking of trees, or arson of animal laborites are needed, it is just that when circumstances reach a certain level there will be those who see drastic actions like those as being the only recourse to confront the insanity of modernity. (Note: those actions above are considered to be eco-terrorism and there have been more people arrested and placed under surveillance by the authorities under the guise of Homeland security than foreign born terrorists.) Man is at the pinnacle of environmental destruction and a serious return to a life of sustainability is the path that needs to be taken, else wise we are doomed.

Robb Kidd

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” Edward Abbey


At August 03, 2007 6:27 PM, Anonymous JD Ryan said...

SO whatcha think of Endgame? Incredible stuff, eh? Buy 10 copies for your friends.


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