We’re making a mess of this, aren’t we? After thousands of years of conflict, we – the human race – are still at it. One nation argues with another, drops bombs on another. (What, in the final analysis, is a ‘nation’ bar a more or less arbitrary line in the sand?). One religion – so-called – fights another, blows up the citizens, the families, the children of another. Not content with attacking our own selves, we’re now allowing our thoughtless toxicity to kill fish, cephalopods, seabirds, molluscs, coral reefs – along with bees, vast areas of rainforest – and on and on it goes. And the number of species of birds and animals now known to have been rendered extinct in the last hundred years by the action of ‘the human race’ is frightening.
What are we doing? No world leader, no politician anywhere has the plain, unadorned moral courage to stand up above the rest of the mediocre bunch and declare the clearing up of this mess and the forging of a different sort of society a global priority. But that’s the reality that’s one day soon going to hit us if we simply continue to operate in the dilettante, damage-limitation mode that has become par for the course.
In our hubris we proceed as though we own the planet and control Nature. But ‘Nature’ is not a thing apart which we can handle how we like without kickback. We and Nature are one – and the warnings are there now for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear. Extremes of weather are becoming more and more common across the planet; we are choking the oceans with our plastic detritus; air pollution in major cities threatens the health of our children; the ice at the poles is melting and sea levels fast rising. People living on islands in the Pacific are already having to retreat from the rising waters. Their societies however, are not important enough in the eyes of the rest of the world for it to do a whole lot about it bar give them the odd reference in a news item. But if and when the eastern seaboard of the US gets inundated, then – well, that will be different.
The stark, nasty reality of such an event could, if we carry on in the same old way, make the inter-nation conflict even worse as we fight each other for the planet’s diminishing resources. In which case we’ll probably go down in the history textbooks of another and more mature universe under the heading of – ‘Failed Species.’
On the other hand if, by that time, we’ve actually shocked ourselves into growing up, we might actually turn our attention to helping and looking after each other instead of fighting each other.
That would be nice.
We have, for millennia accorded life-or-death importance to superficial differences which are of no more significance in the wider sweep of things than the mosquito on the back of the elephant.
But our children deserve better. This surely is the end time for all this.
Look into your brother’s eye, your sister’s eye and see there yourself.