Friday, June 1, 2012
Holocaust of the Natural World
I visited a new area near the coast today for work, a small town nestled in the coastal redwood range, and again was astonished at what I saw. Stump after stump passed by my windshield, one after the other for miles. Massive old stumps surrounded by spindly second or third generation redwoods. Sickly looking forests. It's truly remarkable how much land we have managed to log over the years. I believe, if we even have a society in existence in a few hundred years, that this time period will be seen as the dark ages. It's a complete rape of the land, any which way you look at it and it continues day after day. Greed and waste is our legacy, and we can't do anything about it. It's a holocaust of the natural world. Holocaust? Yes, holocaust. We are plagued with a mental illness that insists that humanity is somehow superior to everything else in existence, that life beyond our own kind is inferior, worthless, indispensable, and ours for the taking.
What is the root of this pillage mentality? Where did it come from? From the moment ships arrived in the New World, it's been nothing but a slow, steady pillage, conquer, and destroy. From the native peoples, to the large wild animals, to the natural resources, and the land, its the same thing. Is this our destiny? Is this our purpose? It's a behavior that is rewarded and taught from generation to generation, and it's ultimately going to kill us. Wilderness is protected now, but it hangs on precariously. With a stroke of the pen, the onslaught will continue. It will continue unless there is a dramatic change in our mindset, in our behavior, in what we deem valuable. Until then, the holocaust continues.