Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Montoliu: Living disconnected from nature

There are a thousand or more solutions to global warming, to pollution and to the exhaustion of resources. Spiritual, scientific and political outlooks can meet and merge in a rational preservation of our common earthly environment.


What is the single stumbling block? It is not greed or corruption, it is not ideological, it is not even war or a race for world domination ... all these are consequences of a central problem of unsustainable growth. As long as economies must keep growing in order to exist, human civilization will act as an out of control bacteria on the body of the earth, eating its way into annihilation.


This growth is not new. The North and South American continents were invaded by Europeans (mainly English, French, Spanish) who had exhausted their State coffers continuously waging wars against each other, and were desperate to find new sources of wealth. They spread and colonized the world as predators seeking sustenance for their empires.


Early America expended west, betraying every treaty signed with native nations, because it could not sustain itself in the east, and wanted gold and other resources. Communist China overtook Tibet for the same reasons.


Today the few indigenous lands, including Indian reservations in North America, remaining in possession of their original occupants are once again targeted by this global predatory civilization in its never ending hunger for resources, and the air, the water, the soil we all depend upon to live are increasingly toxic, as this absurd civilization not only consumes its way into self-destruction, but produces and discards its way into poison.


Without a return to a sustainable way of life, which must include clean technologies and the development and protection of local economies, humanity is doomed, as would the passengers of a vehicle without breaks ...


Opportunistic corporate and banking interests do reap unreasonable profits from this wild ride, but they are not really in the driver's seat, as no one will escape the final crash, which will not be a "divine punishment" but the extremely logical outcome of our now universal refusal to understand that all life is connected, that natural laws and the natural order can neither be ignored nor overcome, that we will ultimately all eat, breathe and drink our trash, our chemicals and our poisons.


The engine that drives this global civilization is indeed a belief that we exist as separate entities, without any real or relevant connections with a nature we incredibly perceive to be made obsolete by technology, and that nature itself is chaos, disorganized, spiritually meaningless, composed of bits and pieces of physical "stuff," of unrelated and competing elements that remain as separate in the real world as they can be made to appear in the laboratory.


In other words we confuse the map with the territory, and are apparently extremely surprised when the poisons we pour into the air, the water, the land show up in Indigenous mothers' milk in northern British Columbia or Alaska (in supposedly pristine environments), and saturate our bodies.


This technological civilization, which claims to be founded on reason and calls itself superiorly intelligent to all other cultures, is, then, dismayed to find out that, in spite of all the power and knowledge it struggles to acquire to become the master of nature, whenever it spits in the air, the spit does fall back on its face!


Raphael Montoliu lives in Lakeport.


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