Gaia is the name of the Greek Earth deity. She was the only daughter of Chaos and the sister of Heaven (Uranus). Pretty high in the Pantheon of beings, wouldn't you say, several layers before the Gods themselves.
It's the planet, stupid!
There is, today and doubtless for a decade or two, no more important issue -- not racism and OJ or Bill and Monica, not drugs and crime, not Abortion or Women's Rights, not child abuse and molestation, not AIDS and Ebola, not war and genocide, not the economy, not your job, not Peace on the fucking Earth and not universal love -- than humankind's responsibility for the health of the biosphere, that is, life on Earth. The current Western (Judaeo-Christian) tradition advises us to subdue the earth. <expand> But now that our tools for altering her have become so powerful, we can no longer subdue her without, in the process, killing ourselves and our animal cousins, and making irreparably sick the land, the oceans and the air.
The only thing to be done is for all of us, every mother's son and daughter, to make the planet's health a personal concern. This may mean donating time or money to an environmental group, it could mean protesting killing wild animals or scarring the landscape, it could mean forsaking work that poisons a river, it could mean, if push comes to shove and if Industry in its blinkered pursuit of shareholder profit does not heed Earth's cry, it could mean taking up arms and going to war with the planet's destroyers. (I am not speaking metaphorically. It seems to me highly likely that Corporate and Political avarice will not be checked by an appeal to reason and the good of the Planet; nor will we be able to convince our political Leaders to check Industry's destructive habits, as they too are wrapped up in Industry's profits; nor will voters turn the rascals out, as many share in Corporate profits and most of the others are too ignorant and powerless to do any good.) Should this sickening vision prove true, there will be no alternative but for some of us to become selective killers. It is fifty-five years since we in the West saw killing as a holy responsibility. Yet today we have among us villains to rival the Nazis -- we must learn to see that powerful men are killing our children just the way that we saw that the Nazis were killing our parents. Yes, it is a matter of perception.
Years ago, we did not know that DDT was a killer, we did not know that chemical waste poisoned rivers and the surrounding land, making it forever useful only as a poisonous waste dumping grounds. But today, we know what we are doing. We no longer can claim innocence or irresponsibility.
Its the economy, stupid. Which we all translate to mean its our own place in the economic web, thats whats really important. And we believe this shit, this stuff demagogues would feed us.
In our time and in this place, its the planet, stupid. The planet is the biggest thing that mankind has demonstrated he is capable of doing great harm to. One would think everyone would get that the health of the planet is more important than his fucking job. Clearly, this is not how many human beings think. And I dont know how to make them think that way.
If a powerful man were standing by a river that nourished a valley and you saw him dumping poisons into the river, and you asked him to stop, you are poisoning the river and he said no, the Court upheld my property rights to the river front and I have dumping privileges, what would your proper action be?
Give up? Kill him, of course. And dont listen to the asshole who says violence is not the answer. If you saw a man threaten your family, you would have no problem with responding violently: this guy wants to do violence to my family, I have no problem doing violence to him first. Well, what you are witnessing here is someone doing violence to you, your family and your neighbors. But they wont die today. Give me a break. Let the fucker drink the poison himself.
Some wags say, dont worry, the planetll survive all our attempts to kill it. Maybe, but how long will mans wisdom sanction this form of evil? How long did mankind sanction genocide when it is in someone elses borders. Obviously too long, we still do. If I were to ask what would your response be if you were in the presence of a Nazi butcher, you might say that killing him would be the right thing to do. Get it, we must do something about a national policy that doesnt interfere with another nations rights to ethnically cleanse within its own borders And we must do something about laws which grant rights to property owners to poison and destroy the land and the waters they own, the surface of the planet that we all share. Bambi doesnt think it is the right of the forests owner to cut it all down for his profit, even if profit is what drives our economic system. We had better begin to act like American human beings are not the only life forms who have rights and are entitled to legal protection. Unless capitalism rethinks property rights and concludes that destruction of the land and what is on it is not a legal use of your own property, why then capitalism will inevitably be replaced, probably violently, by an ethic that is not destructive of lifes habitat.
Somehow, the word "Environment" doesn't quite do it. It sounds like a political issue, the one most folks put somewhere about 10th on the list. "Planetary environmentalism," is that better. Yes, but not good enough. How about, "it's a matter of planetary life or death?" Does that do a better job? Sure. The only problem is convincing folks that this is how serious the issue is. For if they believe it, it will not be merely the most important political issue, it will be everybody's primary agenda.
Arcadia, a time & place of wildness & simplicity, where all creatures live in harmony with Mother Earth herself... There is not much Arcadia left, but as we cut it back even further, we are killing our animal and vegetable brethren, ourselves, our children and our planet. And what is the most disgraceful thing of all is... we know it!