Being is ending. Humanity and kindred species’ one shared environment is collapsing and dying. Wake up. Before you experience up close and personal the horrors of habitat collapse.
“Go back to the abyss! Fall into nothingness that awaits you and your master!” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
“The biosphere is collapsing… Global ecological sustainability depends critically upon a swift end to both cutting natural vegetation and all burning.” – Dr. Glen Barry
Earth Meanders – Deep Ecology Essays by Dr. Glen BarryThe environment, which provides the habitat to sustain life, has been and continues to be shredded by the consuming hordes for throw-away products. Water, food, clean air, and natural resource depletion loom as exponential growth gobbles the last bits of global greenery. Sick ecosystems, abuse of animals, and over-crowdedness threaten rolling pandemics.
Humanity is dismantling the biosphere, the shared thin mantle of life in which we live, to have ever more babies that seek more of everything. The human family has surpassed Earth’s carrying capacity and unless we pursue a policy of deliberate degrowth the biosphere will collapse and die.
The state of the world is simply wretched. There has always been human environmental impact, sickness, war, and social ills. But rarely at this scale, with entire bioregions becoming uninhabitable dead zones, and the serious possibility of destruction of the global ecological system by humans. As much of humanity suffers wanton despair.
Gaia, our one shared biosphere, is analogous to a living organism. Her constituent ecosystem organs are being pillaged by war, resource thievery, a belief system based upon myths of ancient ghosts, and a thirst for ever more stuff. Millions of years old naturally evolved rainforests teaming with life, fantastical marine abundance, natural water flows and stores, fertile ancient soils, and clean fresh air have been raped and plundered for god, country, and fleeting personal wealth and soon will be gone.
We spend much of societies’ resources upon war making. At the detriment of all else including education, health care, and job training. A handful of billionaires have more financial resources than billions of others. White supremacy and other intersectional forms of discrimination dehumanize all who are not white christian males.
Disease, hunger, ignorance, and greed run roughshod upon the land. We might as well eat our children, poison the well, and burn our food crops, as our behavior towards others and the natural world is so repugnant and could not be much worse.
Such pain as together we rush towards the darkness.
How has the global zeitgeist become so banal, trivial and evil? What has become of pondering cosmological mysteries? Advancing the rights of humanity? Crafting hand-made masterpieces? Marveling at the wonders of the human body? Growing and building with our own hands? Working for truth, justice and equity? What of community, helping your neighbor, true love, and countless other human pursuits of excellence.
Many now aspire for no better than D-list influencer celebrity, a virtual life of gaming in the metaverse, and over-consuming. Rather than for a just, righteous livelihood within nature and community. Pixels on a screen are a poor replica of sunning on a beach, listening in an ancient forest, or finding true love (or for that matter lust). What an empty life. How clueless to not realize the energy and resources that technology requires.
And forget about engineering a biosphere, it will never happen. Too complex, too much can go wrong. And it is unnecessary as we already have a biosphere that can be be protected and restored.
A small handful of individuals possess half of Earth’s wealth as billions face the terror of abject poverty. CEOs make hundreds of times as much as their workers, and the working poor need food assistance and live out of their cars. Feel viscerally if you can the pain of three billion human beings living on a few dollars a day as they watch the opulent elite promenade.
How long before the have-nots come for us? And pull down civilization such as it is. Or are they already?
The brutal rape of humanity and nature is nothing less than evil thuggery. Many must sell their bodies and souls simply to survive. As kindred noble primates cling to their offspring as their rainforest home is mowed for curios and trinkets. Wildlife and domesticated animals live lives of institutional terror as our playthings and factory food.
Our whole way of being constitutes profoundly illogical terroristic dismembering of ourselves and our habitat, in a willful death-wish.
And why have peace, justice, and international law fallen out of fashion? Because the American Empire was attacked 20 years ago, now we are going to wage global perma-war? How could such an exceptional political system have become so grotesquely debased, belligerent, and self-entitled? Petty dictators sit upon the tin-pot thrones of many rich and ancient cultures, now fading in glory, yet with buttons to at a whim unleash nuclear war.
How will this transition into depletion and collapse be managed? How do we avoid fascist, authoritarian, falsely populist responses? Will the superstitious, poorly educated, and simply deplorable low-lives ever overcome their crass, belligerent ignorance; to be made to feel their oneness with natural ecosystems and people that are different than them? To savor their rights, while realizing their duties? Or will they continue to babble nonsensical conspiracy-theories, fall prey to fascist demagoguery, pursue traitorous sedition, and terrorize those of other colors and faiths?
Such ecological and social deterioration in such a short time. It really began in earnest with Cowboy Reagan’s slashing of government, and the rise to power of far-right christian white supremacy. And before that, and since, bi-partisan war-making bolstering the Congressional-Industrial-Military complex. Along with the unquestioned irrational belief that growth in population and inequitable consumption comprises development.
America’s recent fascist sedition epitomizes the underlying anti-truth, anti-science, hateful social disease.
I have tried to live a purpose-driven life committed to ideas. Channeling my visions of ecocide into written words and activism for 35 years has come at great expense to my physical and mental wellbeing, relationships with loved ones, and material comfort. I am getting tired. Recently I had a moment of doubt on whether I could continue. Thus, I have pared back my environmental science efforts including retiring aspects of EcoInternet after 25 years of service. My focus will be continuing to research artificial intelligence technologies for sustainability under the moniker Big Earth Data ( https://bigearth-data.com/ ), and perhaps other appropriate uses of information technologies.
And I will write as I can, even as few are listening.
While I do not want to believe it is too late, it certainly could be. Still my hope is that there is some unknown fount of global ecological resilience that will sustain us until we can marshal a great
transition to renewed well-being.
It is going to take everything we have got. Every strategy: actions as diverse as Wall Street impact investing, youths organizing online, widespread social gardening, population controls, and income redistribution. Solutions for ecological sustainability include dramatic cuts in personal consumption, restoring ecosystems, end old-growth logging, demobilization of standing armies, and down-sizing of both corporate power and government bureaucracy.
Global ecological sustainability depends critically upon a swift end to both cutting natural vegetation and all burning.
We must allow Gaia to rest.
We begin together to work in earnest on these priorities or we all face unimaginable deprivation and horrors as, with our hands on each other’s throats, together we fall into nothingness.
It is a choice. Miraculous nature and being do not have to end this way.