Climate Crisis, Human Failings & Empty Opporobriums

The Anthropocene Epoch Future as Seen Through the Eyes of Our Children

Guest Commentary

Published September 9, 2019

The World’s Ultra-Right Political-Industrial-Corporate Movement continues to throttle the awareness of the existence and causes of the global climate crisis in the same way it throttles the awareness of the horrible crises that nations, since time immemorial, have created in the destruction they’ve waged against our Mother Earth and all her indigenous peoples.

In the political realm, these crises mostly remain non-starters of any truthful, serious dialogue or discourse among most candidates of whatever national election. Politicians, concerned more about their careers and economic well being, remain terrified to enter into any real debate about either crisis, willing to violate whatever trust was or ever will be given to them by the voters to speak truth to power. They know, all too well, the masses among the voters will forever need and demand the oil pipelines that will ensure they’re offered the very latest cross-over SUV BMX6, Cadillac XT5, Lexus RX350, Land Rover Range Rover, Jaguar I-Pace, replete with every conceivable bell & whistle, sexy-styling w/ overkill, off-road prowess. Betrayal & Denial remain the two most operative human emotions everywhere at work in the world.

For instance, in the current U.S. Presidential Election cycle, U.S. President Doanld Trump is on record as stating, “If you vote for a Democrat you’re being disloyal to the Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel”. But what does that have to do with the climate crisis? One would have to assume if any related truth does exist, the reverse must also then be true; that a vote for a Republican represents not only an extreme loyalty towards the Jewish people and Israel but to the same corporate-industrial-military interests of the Amercan people and America that possesses the flagrant willingness to repeatedly flout internatiional laws and environmental laws that seek to protect the natural world from the constant degradation of wholesale abuse. No mention is made how such a vote would simultaneously be disloyal to America’s or Israel’s indigenous peoples and the inherent rights to their homelands, occupied and displaced by a constant host of successive invaders since the point of first contact; or that both country’s punishing rule over their indigenous peoples and natural resources of their homelands continues to be a terrible human rights crisis and woeful violation of the earth.

In either case, the most honesty to be extracted from American politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, regarding the given realities of either nation’s total ruthless rule over the Occupied Territories of their indigenous peoples, is “a terrible problem”. Beyond such nebulous answers, any further commentary about what to do about it usually deteriorates into the semantics and rhetoric of some given ‘Manifest Destiny’ talking point. Most leaders in the West simply know they have to keep their mouths shut because they know the shaky ground upon which they stand, on which side their bread is being buttered and who is doing all the buttering.

This same degree of denial and betrayal at the national and international levels about the climate crisis became equally self-evident with the latest pre-election revelations of the U.S. Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) and its reticence to open up the Climate Debate to any meaningful degree among its candidates; while Election Canada even questioned the legitimacy of the climate debate as a basic human concern, declaring it instead to be a partisan issue, requring special registration for all third parties to be decided upon a case-by-case basis. In this case, the powers-that-be also know, too well, on what side their bread is buttered and who among Big Oil and other corporate interests are constantly doing all the buttering.

The grassroots Extinction Rebellion movement and the September 20th Global Strike Action Day, inspired by teenage activist Great Thunberg, are among the few voices prepared to speak out to what meaningfully must happen, worldwide, on a number of related issues to address the Anthropocene Epoch that is upon us; for which any honest criticism or conscious awareness continues to generate ever more disdain, rage or denial among much of the corporate press, right-wing libertarian politicians and a growing reactionary populace.

No matter how the powers-that-be may choose to account for, or deny, the human crisis on the ground in places like America, Canada, Israel or wherever else the widespread disastrous effects of the world’ climate crisis, like some unchecked global cancerous condition, is blatantly obvious. It always comes down to the same questions of betrayal and denial towards our common human responsibilities: to the Earth and all her denizens; towards one another and the collective memories of our ancestors amazing feats and sagas of survival in spite of all odds, and; towards all the potential, yet unspoken, hopes and dreams of our future yet unborn.

The argument underling the climate crisis boils down to a simple question of what it really will take to preserve the earth’s vast natural world, and that of her indigenous peoples, as in Brazil’s Amazonian jungle, commonly referred to as “the lungs of the Earth”. Both the survival of these lungs and its indigenous peoples are seriously threatened by Brazil’s President-Dictator Jair Bolsanaro who, like another lunatical Emperor Nero playing away on his fiddle, is overseeing the epic human tragedy and unnatural conflagration that is at-hand.

In doubt is how to preserve and protect in perpetuity places like Brazil’s Amazonian jungle being victimized by so much human ignorance and indifference to the degradation and deforestation of its natural world. A world that represents untold, still unknown, species of life that, as a common legacy to the human race that should be held in-common by all in perpetuity, unquestionably holds innumerable secrets and solutions to the future health and well being of the entire planet and an indigenous consciousness that still is a sustainable, humane one. Both can’t simultaneously be sustainable and unsustainable. What happens at whatever local level, in the microcosm, is what also happens to humanity and the earth in the macrocosm.

Yet the reality on the ground in places like the United States, Israel or Brazil, where elected politicians arrogantly thumb their noses at the rest of the world to butt out of their ruthless unholy and unnatural business, is no different than what other world leaders and governments, in both the West and East, for centuries, have been doing to rape and pillage the natural world and its indigenous peoples. Any objections by their leaders to any outside interference underscores the same argument ‘developing’ nations of the Southern Hemisphere have long had with those ‘developed’ nations in the Northern Hemisphere.

The 1% of the invaders and their descendants in the Northern Hemisphere, who’ve accumulated more wealth than the combined wealth of the other 99%, simply prefer to keep things just as they are; while the 1% of those who’ve inherited their portion of stolen wealth in the Southern Hemisphere also want their fair cut of the loot from the same stolen pie. Never in the spectrum of this old argument is any serious discussion ever given to how to once and for all equally distribute the stolen wealth of the 1% amongst the other 99%.

Betrayal continues to feed into and exacerbate the world’s human and climate crises everywhere on earth. It’s not just about some empty opprobrium against: the lungs of the earth being destroyed by an Amazonian malestrom; nefarious oil pipelines, fossil fuel industries and big agrabusinesses continually betraying the earth and all its indigenous and non-indigenous neighbour’s inherent rights to their own lands; the vast amounts of ‘dirty money’ allowed to interfere with whatever so-called ‘free and open’ democratic voting systems, worldwide, or; governmental structures that never fundamentally change anything at the local, national or international level, other than create ever more dictatorial rule between governments and their citizenry. It all amounts to the same thing. All play into and exacerbate a constant betrayal and denial of our earth’s right to life and a host of related and growing human crises.

These crises, at their core, aren’t specifically about a radically changing climate or violated rights of indigenous natives to their homelands or the destruction of their natural worlds and ancient ways of life. It’s about an epic human crisis of greed, power and money that has simply plagued the human species since its inception and now is pandemic.

Any attempt to do something meaningful to curb the holocaust of a climate crisis, or the host of corporate government’s equally out-of-control ruthless practices towards their indigenous peoples and the earth, will ultimately fail. The world’s on-going, cyclical, mindless shift to the political right and mean-spirited vicious attitude it represents towards humanity and the earth is no different than at any other time in history when the populace once again turned to yet some other strong man Hitler or Henry VIII, , hoping they would make their peoples lives great again. It’s an age-old Greek tragedy or Shakesperian drama endlessly being played out about good and evil, except now the odds against survival are even greater.

All attempts will fail as before because these crises simply represent mirrored reflections of human nature and all that the modern human world, like the old world before it, has continued to become as a matter of evolutionary course. To change whatever the crisis will take an unlikely massive change to the basic building blocks of human beings and the course that modern society has chosen to take. But will or can something beyond just another empty opprobrium finally make it happen before all the natural resources and goodness of humanity and Mother Earth herself are totally spent and expunged?

An encapsulated version of the earth and humanity’s common plight recounts how, in the long-ago days of yore, when the world was a far less complex place – the digital age, and where it is now taking all of life at lightening speed, yet only some distant unknown star in the heavens – any stranger-outsider-invader who approached the gates of whatever castle or village they would be met by the elder leaders and their supporters. Those who sought entrance would be queried as to what their intentions were among the people. If the answers received weren’t acceptable the gates were closed, the bridge drawn over the moat and the strangers sent on their way.

But in these modern times the gates have now been totally breached and all manner of self-serving, nefarious stranger-invaders are allowed to enter the lives of the people at will, to do whatever malevolent thing they will for their own self-gain.

Yet one First Nation leader, still standing beside the demolished gates, recently responded to a dispute over yet more violating oil pipelines cutting through native peoples traditional territories to expand the never-ending human and economic development in the world that continues to contribute to the destruction of a truly sustainable future.

Guujaaw, an Hereditary Chief Gidansta of the Haida Nation, and advisor to B.C.’s Coastal First Nations stated his objections in a National Observer article (“The Juggernaut of corporate oil must be stopped” June 18th 2019) to the contemplated creation of a proposed Aboriginal “Reconciliation Pipeline”, as part of Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision to approve the extension of the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline from the Tar Sands of Alberta to the coastal waters of British Columbia and beyond. These are the same Tar Sands, owned and controlled in large part by the notorious Koch Brothers Petroleum Industry, counted among the world’s largest betrayers and abusers of our Mother Earth and all her living beings, with their Kochtopus oil pipelines and the grasping tentacles of Americans for Prosperity stretching in all directions, strangling the goodness and naturalness out of whatever they enwrap themselves.

In that National Observer article, Guujaaw raised a crucial point pertaining to an ancient native moral opprobrium of one’s decisions never harming whatever peoples downstream, regardless of race, colour or creed to be affected by whatever significant decisions are ever to be made. Guujaaw said, A pipeline and all that comes with it crosses the “inherent limit” and does not carry any Aboriginal Rights when it disregards the same rights of whatever the neighbour downstream.”

Guujaaw’s opprobrium is a universal principle to live by that calls into question the concept of what Reconciliation actually means in terms of the rights of all aboriginal and indigenous peoples in the world, and the same common responsibilities the entire human race must, once and for all, assume if they desire to ever find the same meaningful reconciliation with Mother Earth and all who depend upon her for their sustenance and survival. The simplicity and profundity of the integrity embodied within such an ancient First Nation principle should equally apply to whatever non-indigenous community of neighbours who may not live downstream but who live next door or down the street from wherever else other humans in the world may live.

This simple opprobrium becomes clearer once all the dots are connected between how global warming and climate crisis changes also are directly affected, every day, at the local level, on a massive scale, like drops of rain turning into an epic flood of biblical proporations; caused by such simple, re-occuring, everyday issues as: home teardowns that destroy the heritage, traditions and character of established communities; or local building code variances that allow for the felling of major growth trees and maximum lot utilization that leads to the wholesale elimination of all the surrounding natural greenery that provides the oxygen that plays an integral local part in cleansing the air and environment; as well as how the allowances given for massive constructions to continually cover entire areas; with their multitudes of underground parking lots, basements and infrastructure, also permanently upsets and displaces the water gradient of an entire surrounding community, thereby negatively impacting upon not only the surrounding climatic patterns but the way in which all the surrounding plants, trees, insects and animals can or cannot draw their daily sustenance.

As such, the constant wholesale deforestation of urban areas and their communities, replaced by ever-greater concrete density and massive in-fill, that continue to provide less and less oxygen and water to nourish and renew all of life, is what is playing an integral part in the on-going collapse of the earth and our lungs as much as is any conflagration In the Amazon.

Politicians often argue that nothing meaningful can ever be done at the local micro-level unless and until more meaningful changes begin at the macro-national and international levels. The bottomline, however, is that to build a truly sustainable civilization it must everywhere start at the ground level. It’s like building a house. If one intends it to be a sound house it must first start with a solid foundation.

Jerome Irwin is a Canadian-American writer who, for decades, as an activist and writer of his Lower Capilano Community, has sought to call attention to problems of environmental degradation and unsustainability caused by excessive mega-developments and a host of related environmental-ecological-spiritual issues and concerns that exist between the conflicting philosophies of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. In 2016, Irwin produced a series of articles on the Lakota & Dakota peoples Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance Movement in addition to related multiple works submitted over time pertaining to the environmental protections of his own region.

 

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