Another Earth Day has come and gone, presenting us with an ideal time to check in with Mother Earth to see how she’s doing these days as compared to last year at this time. (Does anybody know when Earth Day was this year? I thought it was supposed to be every April 23rd, but it looks like people were getting all Green on the 22nd this year.) It’s getting harder and harder to get in touch with Mother Earth these days, as she has so much on her plate, but I was finally able to track her down and ask her a few questions.
When you think about, we really don’t know that much about the Mother, do we? Heck, I bet none of us even know when she was born! Everybody has their own theory as to a date, but from the religious to the scientific, we’re all just guessing. One thing I do know for sure, whatever her age may be, it’s really starting to show. There are deep lines on her face, which weren’t even there a year ago. She’s become even more stooped-over then ever, and she’s developed a really nasty cough.
When I finally caught up to her, she didn’t seem to be in the best of moods even though it was Earth Day and people all over the world were celebrating how much they cared about her. I thought she was being somewhat ungracious and decided to call her on it.
I’m surprised you’re so put out given that people all over the world have been making a big fuss about you. Don’t you think you could be acting a little more grateful?
Mother Earth: Oh, and I’ve got so much to be grateful for. 364 days a year they don’t think twice about spitting on me, and I’m supposed to feel grateful about them taking one day to pick up some garbage? I’m still going to have to figure out what to do with all the crap they pick up today, aren’t I? No don’t answer; it was a rhetorical question, idiot.
What do you think is going to happen with all the garbage that gets picked up today? It’s going to go where garbage always goes: into landfills, onto a garbage scow in New Jersey, or burnt in an incinerator. It means I’m still going to have to figure out how to bio-degrade shit, pray to whoever that the damned scow doesn’t sink and dump its load in the river, and trying to absorb another load of CO2 from it being burned. Not much different from any other day of the year as far as I’m concerned.
Doesn’t it make you feel like people at least care about what’s happening to you?
Mother Earth: Care? Care! If they goddamned cared they wouldn’t have dumped the garbage they’re picking up in the first place. Don’t talk to me about caring, asshole. For the last, I don’t know, how many billions of years, I’ve worked at creating this really incredibly delicate balance called the natural order of things where all is beautifully interconnected. It’s a goddamned work of art if you ask me, but what do you philistines do?
Ever since you climbed out of the trees there’s been somebody among you who thinks they can do this creation thing better than I can and proceeds to rip great big holes in the web that ties everything together. I’m left scurrying to try and patch it up somehow and mitigate the damage.
Of all the animals on this planet, humans were the only ones given the ability to reason, but you couldn’t tell that by your actions. You people should know better, but you still shit and piss in the water you plan on drinking the next day, dump poison into the air that you need to breath in order to survive, and cut down the trees that, if given half a chance, might be able to clean the air for you – just to build another strip mall. Those aren’t the actions of a caring and responsible people, let along rationale or reasonable.
If you were dumb like pigs or cows, it would be understandable; but humans are supposedly intelligent and rational. Therefore, the only explanation I’m left with for your behaviour is you don’t care. What else am I supposed to think?
That was in the past. Don’t you think we’re getting better? Look at all the things we’re doing to try and fix what we’ve done wrong.
Mother Earth: Recycling, carpooling, florescent light bulbs, and composting your kitchen wastes are known, where I come from, as too little, too late, and useless as tits on a bull. Oh, don’t look so shocked you little putz; it’s the truth. Look, those are all really nice things, and I do appreciate that the people doing them are genuine in their desire to make changes in their lives to help me. That only makes it doubly sad that it’s not really doing any good.
The reality is that no matter what the government and the corporations say, it’s not the fault of individuals that the world is in the trouble that’s its in. For the last couple of hundred years, small minorities of humans have been making huge amounts of money off the labour of the majority at the expense of the planet’s health. Mass production of anything leads to massive generation of waste, directly and indirectly.
Not only does a manufacturer have the potential to create waste products through the direct operation of his business, there’s also the demands he makes upon other sectors of the system. First of all, he needs power for his equipment to work. That means electricity has to be generated for his use. Then there are the raw materials he is going to be making use of in his manufacturing process. If he uses metal, then a steel mill is involved, as well as all the waste and pollution they generate, and all the electricity they’re going to need to make their equipment work.
Sooner or later you’ll figure out that I don’t have an endless supply of anything and I’m going to start running out of the stuff you need to feed the beast you’ve created. As the supply decreases and the demand increases, what do you see being the end result? One day you’re going to go to the cupboard and it’s going to be bare, and then what’s going to happen? The corporations and their pet politicians will reassure you that it can never happen, that there’s always new sources of oil laying untapped beneath the sea or under the permafrost just waiting for us. Even if you do find a way to get at that oil, it’s only a stopgap. It will run dry eventually.
You can already hear the wheels grinding to a halt. In their desperation to find more fuel for the beast’s insatiable appetite, they’re causing famine by using land that once grew food for humans to try and find a way to sustain the unsustainable by growing plants they can turn into fuel. They’re also stealing the water that we all need to drink to stay alive by diverting rivers with dams to create hydroelectric power. The world is experiencing food shortages to such an extent that riots have started to break out because people are starving.
The more water they steal and the more land they take, the less food there will be and people will starve. A starving population is a desperate population. They will make the food riots of today look like a day at the beach. The question is not whether the system will fail or not. It’s how will the system fail? Will it grind to a stop because you’ve run out of fuel, or will it explode into a million pieces as you run out of food for all the mouths in the world?
Now go away – you bother me.
As you can see, Mother Earth was in quite the mood. Can you believe some of the stuff she was coming up with? Talk about not understanding the big picture. What does she expect us to do? Shut down all the factories? As if that’s going to ever happen. Mother Earth might know all about growing things, but she’s really out of touch with what it means to be human.