Saturday, April 16, 2011
THE REVENGE OF GAIA
No, my friends, I have not turned New Age on you all. Now I have been branded as “objectionable” by the blogosphere, I have a reputation to maintain. But, ever since, as a young boy, I read a story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called “When The World Screamed” (one of the Professor Challenger stories) I have always been fascinated by the idea of the planet as a living, integrated, and possibly sentient entity.
“In his 2010 book, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Plant, environmental scholar and activist Bill McKibben writes of a planet so devastated by global warming that it’s no longer recognizable as the Earth we once inhabited. This is a planet, he predicts, of “melting poles and dying forests and a heaving, corrosive sea, raked by winds, strafed by storms, scorched by heat.” Altered as it is from the world in which human civilization was born and thrived, it needs a new name -- so he gave it that extra “a” in “Eaarth.” The Eaarth that McKibben describes is a victim, a casualty of humankind’s unrestrained consumption of resources and its heedless emissions of climate-altering greenhouse gases. True, this Eaarth will cause pain and suffering to humans as sea levels rise and croplands wither, but as he portrays it, it is essentially a victim of human rapaciousness. With all due respect to McKibben’s vision, let me offer another perspective on his (and our) Eaarth: as a powerful actor in its own right and as an avenger, rather than simply victim. It’s not enough to think of Eaarth as an impotent casualty of humanity’s predations. It is also a complex organic system with many potent defenses against alien intervention -- defenses it is already wielding to devastating effect when it comes to human societies. And keep this in mind: we are only at the beginning of this process. To grasp our present situation, however, it’s necessary to distinguish between naturally recurring planetary disturbances and the planetary responses to human intervention. Both need a fresh look, so let’s start with what Earth has always been capable of before we turn to the responses of Eaarth, the avenger.” (Click here for the rest)
Click here to read the Conan Doyle story
Click here for Jim
The secret word is Sister
Posted by Mick at 4/16/2011 09:45:00 AM