It is easy for humans to support projects that will be good for future generations until their pocketbook is affected. Then a whole different set of criteriums takes over. We are historically selfish and arrogant animals who feel that what is good for us is good for all. This probably worked in history when we did not dominate the planet. When areas existed for other species to live, the biodiversity and nature’s interdependence was not over all affected. Today things are quite different. With climate change upon us; whether human caused or a sun event… these are mere opinions to be debated, I prefer to deal with facts, as facts never change and are not debatable. The fact is: we are mere residents of a planet ruled by nature. As much as we try to play god, we always fail. In the future our species, as will other species will suffer our delusions, but for now we can enjoy our pretend lives.
With governments armed to the teeth set for war, and massive debt mounting, it is much easier to believe our leaders and pretend they are right. They are not. We must all reassess our lives and the governments that rule the human species… all of us. Perhaps western culture does not bring real happiness. Perhaps the myths we have lived under for the last few hundred years are flawed? Before you dismiss this outright really give it some thought. I have travelled the world and I am always amazed how alike our needs and our loves are. How similar we all are. While governments and the military industrial complex push war, has war really helped the people? Did bombing Iraq and Afghanistan back to the stone age really help anyone? While the people of Iraq and Afghanistan suffered to make George Bush feel less aggrieved, what about the families of wounded warriors… or the warriors themselves? Do they think we really did the right thing? I doubt it; as war makes us all suffer, victors and losers alike. It doesn’t matter one bit to the children of either side when their fathers don’t come home, or they do come home permanently sick, both mentally and physically. We fight wars for mostly stupid reasons. Reasons that make governments strong and corporations rich… for democracy they say!
First let’s be very clear that the US is not a democracy. We are a republic. We, the people, do not elect our leaders. If we did George Bush and Donald Trump would not be President. The electoral college in America elects our presidents. For freedom some say… America has more laws that constrict our freedoms then most countries. What color you paint your house, what drugs are legal and/or illegal, and for years who we can or cannot marry were all laws… not laws that protected our freedoms, but laws that restricted our freedoms at every turn. Big industry with huge budgets dictate who we are and what we do. Nature has always taken second place and even those “not like us” have been relegated to lower class . Some countries like Indian even incorporate caste systems, and Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia make females second class citizens and put homosexuals in prison. Is this freedom? Does this help us in the long run? I say no.
I have spent the last few months in Canada with the First Nations Gitxsan. Their culture goes back thousands of years well before ”white man” arrived to bring them prosperity and assimilate these perceived savages into our great western culture. They were herded onto reserves, their children were kidnapped and put into residential schools to be indoctrinated, and their language and culture destroyed. Did it work? For the Canadian Federal government it worked great. Many native cultures were destroyed along with the people engaged in them.
Presently the Gitxsan are re-asserting themselves, but so much has been lost. Many of the young cannot speak their language, and in a culture with a long rich oral history this has been a huge loss. I tend to agree their ancient cultural way of life is much better than our western culture. I say “western culture” with a grain of salt. Western culture to me is rooted in greed and control. Western culture is good for a few… and the rest of us needs to live in our dreams to be just like them. Really? I do not want to be just like Donald Trump or Kim Kardashian. The Gitxsan way of family, houses, and clans where people are cherished and respected is far better then used and abused. Those of us from “my tribe” have no real culture. Oh we celebrate some similar holidays and traditions, but on the whole we worship the almighty dollar. We think our happiness comes from subjugating immigrants and nature to serve or needs. We look the other way as corporations clear cut our forests and rape the oceans… hell is it worth it if we can increase our individual status by eating sushi and growing salmon in shit ponds? Once again I say no.
Maybe I’m a radical thinker, but I feel my thoughts and Ideas are conservative. Not conservative where I want to build walls to keep others out, but paths to allow others in. Maybe, just maybe they will show us a better way. Now I know it is a sin to go against a 200 hundred year old constitution written by slave holders and want-a-be industrialists, but really do we all need automatic rifles in our closets? Maybe if you want to shoot up a place of worship, be it Christian, Muslim, or Hindu, but for the rest of us… no. The founders of America wanted to protect themselves from an intolerant King and I get that, but today we are only trying to protect us from those who think differently. We have indeed become our own worst enemy. It is a never ending spiral exploited by politicians who wish to rule by fear. It works. Look at the polarization of the Americas. The elite sit back and enjoy their sushi, the rest of us watch as the oceans die and whales go extinct. Oh we will all mourn the loss and move on until there is nothing left. Then those left will spit on our graves.
It is time to re-assess what is really important. Maybe the future is more important than a new truck or SUV today. Maybe instead of spending our time laboring to make corporations rich, we should spend more time with our children so they have a real future. A future where nature, not the dollar is revered. Maybe we should look at this life and how we behave now instead of believing that just before death we can acknowledge our sins to have a better life in heaven? I’m just saying that maybe there is no heaven. Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha were maybe just great teachers, not path ways to a mythical place in the future. Maybe the rules they preached, while true should be used today to make us all better humans today, not the future. Make us live with the trees, bees, birds and animals that make the earth what it is insteadof using them to deal death to all others, maybe we should all work for life for all.
I do this in my life, and I am often criticized for being anti-religious, anti-business, just plain anti… I want to be very clear that I am for life. For all life. Aliens will not save us. Governments of today will not save us. We need to reassert our own connection to nature and maybe we can save ourselves.
This summer I will help others save a small resident population of orcas. We will come up against whale watchers, fishermen, and tourist whose self-righteous right to see whales surpasses the whales right for existence. Their existence depends on salmon. Our dams, our “need” for cheap salmon no matter how tainted the food product seems to surpass what is really important. Nature exists for a reason. We are part of it. We are dependent on it. Maybe our schools should start teaching our children our place in it instead of our arrogant suppression of it.
I am sure nature will win out in the end no matter how clever we feel we are. No technology, or industry can hold back one night of a storm. No bulldozer can move as much sand from a beach as one night of waves. How many floods will convince us otherwise. When will we see that cutting down of our forests, or controlling nature through dams and levies does not work in the long run? I am hoping soon. There is no economy or privilege on a dead planet.
We as humans have progressed our way to a cliff. Do we continue on our present track and step off to oblivion or for those believers, heaven? Or do we pause and do a 180 degree turn and move back to what is really important? We can start today where ever we are and stop dumping sewage into our oceans, quit cutting down rain forests to grow bananas to feed the new religion of veganism, and get back to protecting the nature we have left so future generations can survive. Maybe the western proclaimed “savages” were right after all.
My hope for a future for my grandchildren and their grandchildren is that the few humans that survive the future we are heading toward will take a saner path. A path of living with nature in co-operation as many ancient cultures such as the Gitxsan and the Hawaiians lived. We are meant to be a part of nature, not abusers of wilderness… but part of it. Let’s use the lessons of the past and move forward each in our own way. I will help the Gitxsan today, and I will spend my last years on earth protecting nature… working in a positive way to make others understand that the Southern Resident orcas have as much right to live in peace as you and I. The time is now for all sane individuals to stand up, not only for themselves but for all life.
Before you dismiss me as a nut, think about it. Take a walk in the forest, a swim in the ocean, or climb a mountain and you will become renewed by the over whelming power and spirit of nature. We will all be better off for it.