It seems to me that a lot of progressive rhetoric about environmental-climate crises is framed in terms of human beings destroying the planet, as well as the people, with a lot of suffering in between. But my insight is that the Earth will not die, at least not for a few more million years. In fact, such a view is audacious and full of hubris, carried over from the medieval Roman Catholic Church and the Enlightenment. This view still, to this day, sees human beings (specifically, homo sapiens) as the center of the Universe, the purpose of Creation, and the species with the power to destroy Life on Earth. “Man” has “dominion” over the Earth. At least that’s what Western mythology imagines.
No, this Planet is much bigger than all the human beings put together, no matter how prolific. In fact, we ARE the Planet! From where else have we come? Is the tomato something other than the whole plant expressing itself in reproductive form? Perhaps, as David Bohm suggests, lifeforms are the unfoldment of an energetic pattern in the quantum field. The seed does not mysteriously multiply into a huge oak tree, manifesting substance out of nothing. Rather, the seed is a portal of seepage, an aperture through which a tree gradually emerges. In any case, there is not separation, even if we believe there is. Don’t believe everything you think!
The Planet births us daily – and the Planet absorbs the decay – and regenerates in a cycle that will last until the sun goes nova. And Earth has TIME! What is another 500,000 years or a million years to the Earth? In fact, one million years for a species to survive is not so bad for a constantly evolving Life system! So we’ve served our time on Earth. Maybe it is time for us to die off, like everything else must do, sooner or later. That’s the way Life goes . . .
So maybe our* struggles to save the Planet, and to save our children’s children from the deteriorating standard of living in a declining empire stopped by the Limits to Growth, is really about Western culture’s denial of death in an insane quest for the Fountain of Youth and technological immortality.
And what a glorious thing to see in my lifetime!
Life and Death in the same frame!
Savor the moment.
It will change.
* My next essay will unpack this “we” we keep talking about. :-)