“How can we be so arrogant? The planet is, was, and always will be stronger than us. We can’t destroy it; if we overstep the mark, the planet will simply erase us from its surface and carry on existing. Why don’t they start talking about not letting the planet destroy us?” ― Paulo Coelho, The Winner Stands Alone
I’ve made a huge mistake.
I’ve spent the last few months, talking about how enough is enough, that we’ve gone too far, that it’s time for us to stop what we are doing and start to take action to save the world. That we are choking, raping, pillaging the Earth and that we have to stop right now before it’s too late - too late to save our Earth from dying.
But I’ve got it all wrong.
No. I haven’t gone completely nuts.
We are causing the oceans to choke, the forests to die, the ice-caps to melt. We are sucking the oil dry, bleaching reefs, suffocating precious ecosystems. We are systematically destroying every bit of valuable land with our large scale farming, open cut coal mining, and land fill rubbish dumps.
But we are not killing the Earth.
You see the thing is, the Earth has been around a lot longer than we humans. The Earth has survived massive ecological changes. Dinosaurs, ice-ages, volcanos, earth quakes, floods, fires, comet collisions, billions of years of evolution - the Earth has survived it all.
And you know what, despite every bit of careless destruction we cause, with our wanton consumption, endless pursuit of globalization, insatiable desire for more more more, the Earth will in fact survive.
But we won’t.
It is not the Earth that needs saving - we need to save ourselves.
Because the infinite process of evolution will continue without us, as it did before the existence of human life was even possible. We need to understand that the Earth’s ecosystem came into balance, into flourishment, at the time that it gave birth to what might have been its greatest ever creation - heart, body, soul and mind.
But in an overwhelming breathe of evidence that there is no such thing as perfection, humans are demonstrating that although they may be the most innovative, intelligent and beautiful thing that the Universe has ever created, we are also the most destructive and cruel being.
With every bit of generosity the Earth shows us, we take selfishly.
With every bit of beauty, wonder and possibility of freedom the Earth blesses us with, we destroy it.
The intelligence of the human race is our greatest power. But it will prove to be our greatest weakness. Because we mindlessly believe that we are in change here and that the Earth is here for us.
When in fact, it is quite the opposite.
We are here to serve the Earth and it is ultimately in charge of our destiny. And unless we realize this - and I mean really realize this, we will continue to destroy our only hope of survival as a species.
We have an opportunity now to change all of this. To stop stealing from the Earth to meet our selfish needs. And instead to work within the boundaries of nature. To work with the Earth to protect it. And to preserve and regenerate our local ecosystems to ensure our ultimate survival. It is not too late.
Because progress as a species should not be measured by the meaningless construct of money. Our progress as a species should be measured by our ability to survive whilst causing the least amount of damage to our natural environment.
We have not been successful in the last 150 years - but there is still an opportunity that we can be.