Fostering Ecological Hope
Reflections on Culture and Meaning
Please view this. It leaves me speechless. Little to add, except this lament, and the ever widening space within my broken heart. Friends, we can’t live like this any longer. We are underestimating our contribution to this, our collaborator role in this rape of the Earth. We all benefit, every time we put gas in our car or get in an airplane, every time we purchase something made in a factory or from industrial farms or shipped across the seas.
[Video: Oil Sands Fly Over: My Memory Forever, Jennifer Berezan]
If we aren’t willing to live differently and to advocate for the Earth to which we all belong, the moral responsibility of this vast ecological devastation of our industrial society will rest squarely in our hands. Once we know, we cannot ‘un-know.” That is a hard, harsh lesson of our times, but we must take it in fully in order to respond in a way commensurate with the scale of the crisis.
The Alberta lands being raped by the energy industry do not belong to the artificial construct called, ‘Alberta;’ they belong to all of us, as do the mountaintops of Appalachia being blown away for our electricity, as does the land of the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota, or every fissure in the Earth being broken open and contaminated by the fracking industry. All of us depend for our lives on these ecosystems.
This means vast changes in how we live in this planet, vast changes in our human economies, in the shape of our societies and our communities, in our Constitution, in international law, in the values around which we orient our lives. If we are not up to that struggle, then what you see in this video is the world we will leave for future generations. This will be our legacy.
Echoing Dr. Jonas Salk, what kind of ancestors do we want to be? Because I can tell you how our children and their children’s children will view our generation from the vantage point of this vast devastation! Or they might still have a chance to look back at us and say, “Thank God they stopped this in time for us to have this rich, abundant, and beautiful world!” We need to give them that chance.