Modern Civilization Faces A Massive Easter Island Survival Challenge
Historically, the ideologies and philosophies of corporate politicians, their counterparts in the business world and the majority of the citizenry who support them, thus far, haven’t yet shown any real ability or significant intent to unequivocally address the disastrous impact upon all of life caused by such pressing world crises as: climate change, global warming, population explosion, affordable housing, or how to create the fair and equal economics of a liveable, meaningful way of life for even the lowliest and less fortunates in every society. The same could be said for how little real power women, indigenous people and youth in particular actually hold in the world to affect meaningful changes to all these crises, which are all part and parcel of the world’s whole ball of wax as it exists in the 21st century. The fact is that the preponderance of male politicians repeatedly elected to hold the reins of power everywhere in the world, at whatever level of government, seldom pay much notice to what women, native peoples or youth have to say about the dubious state of health of our Mother Earth, and the alternative solutions they have to offer to address her health and healing processes.
But the youth of the world now are showing they’re tired of listening to their elders endless empty platitudes, promises and idle lip service paid to these mounting crises, and have begun to give vigorous voice to their discontent in every major city on the globe; demanding that, for a start, the male corporate rulers of the world take much stronger, tougher actions towards climate change and global warming. Giving the can another kick down the road to see if their efforts will make any appreciable difference, they’ve begun to march out of their classrooms to hold weekly Friday for Climate rallies in front of pariiaments and government offices to demonstrate their sense of frustration and urgency to the deteriorating state of the earth, and the questions it raises about the future questionable survival of all of life unless the whole ball of wax somehow begins to be seriously re-shaped.
Extinction Rebellion, another frontline ecological resistance movement begun in the U.K., is now calling for solidarity, worldwide, with frontline resistance movements to gather in their cities and towns, from April 15th to April 22nd, and take direct peaceful disobedience actions to demand climate justice on matters pertaining to climate change and impending ecological collapse (See www.Rebellion.Earth). These movements know the world needs much, much more now than just the empty promises of another election, then another election, then another, and another and yet another, ad infinitum, where the results of each don’t ever really fundamentally change anything other than shuffle all the papers and chairs on the stage.
This is another one of those “Hope forever springs eternal” moments in the world’s history where youthful idealism once again is attempting to confront the harsh realities of how to interface with the age-old cynical game of ruthless power politics. If this youthful protest doesn’t eventually go the same way that the Occupy Wall Street Movement and Arab Spring also once did, they must put forth an impressive, attainable array of substantive goals and objectives that will seriously challenge a change to the world’s whole ball of wax.
But before the substance of these health and healing processes can ever occur, there first must be a greater general awareness of how and why so many coalitions of conservative and right-wing, predominately male, politicians and corporate heads in every city in the world historically have evolved or not evolved the way they have, and why their ideologies continue to negatively impact upon not only Mother Earth but especially upon its women, indigenous peoples, youth and their dramatically different levels of consciousness about life when compared to those of the predominantly male-ruling corporate-class of leaders.
From time to time, flash points continue to arise in whatever national or international conversation about ‘climate change’ and many other critically-pressing human-cultural-environmental matters that call attention to the always awkward relationships that exists between indigenous and non-indigenous governments. In the United States it was the Dakota Access Pipeline debacle. In Canada it was the Trans-Mountain Pipeline controversy or dispute between Prime Minister Justine Trudeau and his former indigenous Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould that shook the government over principled rule of law matters. In Australia it was the awkward impasse over how to properly acknowledge and honour both indigenous and non-indigenous people, without insulting either, around the issue of Australia Day Celebrations.
When it comes to the on-going debate about climate change and climate justice, at some point, for the sake of the survival of the entire human family and the earth herself, some higher level of balance and reconciliation must be found between whatever one deigns to call it: left brain-European-Male-Corporate unconsciousness versus right brain-Mother Earth’s-feminine- aboriginal-First Nation truth tellers who attempt to carry out whatever political, environmental cultural actions in accordance with the ancient spiritual laws and traditions of their people.
Yet with each passing year of debate between them, Planet Earth’s climate continues to become ever more extreme, violent and unpredictable. The oceans of earth are heating up faster than the scientists even projected five years ago. Australia is currently the hottest place on earth with temperatures approaching 50 plus degree records. Now, whether the temp’s are 50 above in Australia, 50 below in some other country where they’ve never been known before, or a drought where once the rains were plentiful; the meaning and message are one and the same. Everything in the natural and man-made worlds is out of balance. Yet too many in the corporate press and politics of Australia, as well as everywhere else, still refuse to acknowledge mankind’s heavy hand print all over the radical changes occurring. They also refuse to turn to the ancient wisdoms of their own indigenous peoples and the many lessons they have to give about living in harmony with the climate, environment and one another.
The rapidity, though, of what all is happening is dizzying. To the credit of some newspapers, like Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald the reporting of what humans are doing to cause it Down Under is nothing short of brilliant. Yet in spite of all the journalistic truth-telling, no matter how revealing or damning, significant lasting changes seldom occur, and the same ol’, same ol’, business as usual continues as before in the mainstream corporate world, because the powers-that-be always want their cake and eat it too; with the fanfare of whatever expose serving as little more than intriguing band music being played upon the Titanic’s slowly sinking fantail.
The callousness, brutality and imbalances that too many humans in the world continue to impart upon the natural and human worlds can be seen in bold relief in the huge, rapid, day by day, year by year, transformations that the cities of the world are undergoing. However many ecological and human crises facing Planet Earth around the issue of climate can be boiled down to an age-old crisis of disparate world views and levels of consciousness and awareness, or lack thereof, between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples; as if they’re two different species who’ve been at odds with one another since first contact, or perhaps even since time began, about how to conduct their lives either in harmony with or in opposition to the natural world.
Yet the same age-old excesses of greed and corruption exist in every major centre of 21st century civilization. The world’s corporatists, no matter where they are, remain in denial when they assert the same dominant ideology that angrily declares, “climate change is a lot of crap”.
Some native peoples attribute the fluctuations of climate change and global warming to this same angry attitude as expressed by those corporate-minded ones who are the descendants of the original invading colonizers who first came from the Old to the New World already infected with, what some characterize as, a centuries-old deadly virus. This alien pandemic called Unsustainable Growth ever since has continued to spread like a plague among all those hosts with a penchant for dominion and domination over all living things; whose fundamental belief in all things is that to not perpetually grow is to die. No matter where they are, the modern carriers of this lethal pathogen instantly recognize one another the moment one utters aloud the telltale catchphrase, “We must continue to grow the economy”.
To grow the world economy at whatever the cost to others is what perpetually feeds this infectious agent that is a scouge to the natural world and climate alike. Unsurprisingly, the carriers of this fatal disease remain adamantly opposed to any type of global governance be it a carbon tax or whatever else might impede its spread through the enforcement of corporate accountability and liability for what is happening to the planet’s health as a whole and whatever might impede its continued spread.
Politicians and corporatists who continue to spread this cancerous virus in the world – whether it’s U.S. President Donald Trump, who seldom if ever even utters the words Climate Change; or the international newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch – and his vast 2GB, Daily Telegraph, Fox News network of industrialists, scientists, academicians and media naysayers – daily pollute the air-waves and thoughts of the weak-minded with disbelief, denial and belittlement of the shocking realities humans continue to perpetrate against all the waters, lands, air and denizens of Mother Earth. They and their followers seek to minimize the general awareness of what all is happening; especially to an insanely-expanding city like Sydney and the dystopian world view it continues to project into the future at a fevered-pitch, as if no other alternative future exists for all the tomorrow’s of all the cities in the world. Hence, few ever question the ultimate instability to the planet’s health and all its lifeforms caused by the endless freefall of these cancerous human growth plans.
With this preface in mind, if any hope exists to create a stable world of the future based upon climate justice, the climate change above all others that must somehow be reversed is the constant, oppressively-severe, climate of human greed, corruption and aggression that daily contaminates and kills Natural Australia as it does everywhere else on Mother Earth. But most climate change deniers or enablers fail to compute into their scientific arguments the imperative need to radically reduce these oppressive elements of human climate change, by turning instead to the ancient laws of their indigenous peoples. Perhaps it’s because of a predominate underling, limited perception that nothing can ever be done to change the basic nature of humans. But if today’s human leopards can’t or won’t change their spots, the inevitable outcome on Planet Earth would seem obvious.
So what is needed to address this smug sense of superiority and refusal to address ‘climate change’, or any other law that is being made by Corporate Planet Earth? The first thing is to realize that what simply needs to begin happening to heal the many existing imbalances within Mother Earth’s climate is to stop, or at least markedly lessen, the radical changes being foisted upon her by so much: strip-mining; oil extraction; gas fracking; mineral extraction, deforestation; massive urban development and concomitant infrastructure expansion, as well as; the ever more massive, aggressive agri-business farming; all of which not only are violating but totally changing forever the landscape. The earth simply can’t forever absorb the shock of all this. As painful as it may be, everything about where we humans collectively are going in the future simply must be rethought and re-configured.
The questionable viability of the world’s current toxic economic-financial schemes also means that without the constant growth of exponential population explosion and unlimited immigration; the tumultuous downward economic turns that continually course throughout the world like a roller coaster, portend even far worse economic-financial downturns yet to come. Confused immigration policies, as well, must be re-thought as they continue to radically change the demographics of whatever country’s population base, the face of its economic work force and evolution towards a far different ethos and world view than what originally existed among whatever country’s original aboriginal peoples and immigrant citizenry of the past. The key question this continues to raise is: how much more degradation to the natural world, climate and peoples of the world will this cost?
Yet coporate politicians in every city and urban area of the world continue to address the crises of population explosion and affordable housing issues by adopting the same flawed ideology that basically declares “Were Not About Heritage, We’re About the Future”, whatever in the Sam hell that means. This ideology translates into a civilization that’s in perpetual free-fall as it sacrifices whatever human, architectural, environmental heritage at the cost to its long-time citizenry who instead seek to preserve their historical, smaller, single-family communities and unique green environments, that themelves are among the best natural antidotes to climate change and global warming, yet are continually sacrificed; ostensibly to make room for more and more so-called social or affordable housing to accomodate the multitudes who aren’t now receiving a liveable wage and probably never will because the dictates of the privileged male corporate world’s bottomline never intends to provide them with the means of a liveable way of life.
But the world’s corporate politicians all respond in-kind with the same knee-jerk, ever-higher density rezoning philosophy that advocates, “Just keep crowding them all in! Besides, it’s good for business! Those who came before simply must suffer for those who come after!” It’s a falsehood, though, that instead only creates endless cultural free-fall, where eventually all man-made and natural heritage ultimately must be sacrificed for the face-less masses yet to come. “There goes the Neighbourhood”, as some would say, and whatever conceived stable state climate, natural environmental-ecological protection plan and a world in balance.
Such perverted societal dynamics are compounded by an ever-growing dominant anti-democratic, autocratic, paternalistic-style of political rule in the world that allows for outrageously-drastic measures, epecially in countries like the United States and Australia, where one can see: the unilateral removal from public office of legally-elected, bona-fide city and town councils and their forced amalgamation into larger political entities with little or no public debate or consultation. This same ruthless 21st century style of so-called democratic government continues in the same vein to severely limit aboriginal people’s power and control over their own ancient lands, let alone legal native title to their homelands. While governments regularly sell off to developers, speculators and offshore interests iconic architectural heritage, historical sites and whole natural land masses; that are then razed-pillaged-raped with little or no public dialogue; while major development contracts also are daily approved without public scrutiny, often in secrecy, without ever tendering the contracts in fair and open competitions.
However, those humans who are in opposition to this kind of brutal development know full-well that it always comes down to a horrific penny wise and pound foolish cost to Mother Earth’s climate, natural world and destruction of so much of her iconic, time-honoured, heritage that more and more is deemed to be totally expendable and put on the chopping block by the ‘bottom line’. As critics more bluntly would say, “It’s all a crock!” They know the more real probability is that whatever happens won’t either save the environment, improve the climate or human conditions anywhere on Mother Earth where the same downward spiralling political and economic dynamics, holds sway. And so it goes!
To maintain this privileged image of themselves, successive corporate-based, elected governments have bought into what, for many, isn’t the solution but the ultimate fatal problem as they continue their deadly spiral of ‘Bigness’ in all things: bigger cruise ships; more tourism; ever-more lavish gambling casinos and entertainment centre’s; glitzy, massive housing projects; SUV’s built like Sherman tanks; ever taller skyscrapers, offering for sale the very air itself above and around them, as well as; ever-bigger agri-businesses and lucrative cash-crops like cotton, tobacco and marijuana that are over-stressing and destroying the natural balance of the environment, as well as, creating all manner of self-indulgences leading to gross opiod obesities and addictions of sundry kinds in its human and physical culture.
All now dominate the so-called modern civilization’s way of life as it continues to spread everywhere in the world under the guise of so-called urban, cultural and human revitalization. However, instead of revitalization: Rampant Excess, Over-Crowding & Autocratic, Authoritarian Rule now are the more real perpetual operative terms of modern human civilization in hundreds of cities throughout the world hell-bent on the same trajectory. The fate of all this perpetual bigness-tallness-crowding-addictions means that instead of the mutually collective revitalization of their urban, natural and human world’s, they represent an ultimate suicidal, downward spiral where one world acts as a mirrored image of all the others.
Such excess can be plainly seen in places like Australia where an East Indian billionaire’s Adani Corporation’s coal mine production is allowed to continue to make a horrifically-negative impact upon the Great Barrier Reef. Then there’s the bureaucratic idiocy of the Australian Government’s own Murray-Darling River Basin Authority Plan that has forgotten aboriginal peoples adage that Water is Life, and continues to allow corporatations to misuse and abuse the Murray & Darling Rivers, as well as, the gross depletion of Australia’s precious finite supply of water; stolen by big agri-businesses, like the cotton farmers lobby; while the plight of endangered wildlife species, like the Koala Bear, Kangaroo and Shark become that much graver with each year of drought and over-heating of Australia’s oceans.
The Koala, Kangaroo and Shark indeed decimated by those humans in power who refuse to accept another basic premise of their own aboriginal peoples ancient laws that holds that they, as well as all other endangered non-human species like them in the world: the bison in North America; the elephant and rhino in Africa; the Tiger in India; have the same inherent, innate right as human beings do to the enjoyment of life and fulfillment of their even more ancient birthright. Thus, those within the Australian government, Corporate Australia, as well as even Australia’s ordinary farmers and fishermen, fail to peacefully co-exist with the Koala, Kangaroo and Shark as they further decimate their habitats through massive deforestation, over-fishing, poisoning, agri-businesses, mining and development projects.
A variant on this theme could be recounted for every city and country in the world, but especially in the New World where the drastic results of colonization and colonial rule still are being played out. This theme of corporate bigness in all things has created a perpetual ‘Wild West’ reality in places like Australia. It’s as if the New and Old World’s have once more been thrust back in time two hundred or more years ago to the moment of first contact between the two original opposing world philosophies of the indigenous and colonizer mentalities; when early Australian life completely discounted the lessons of survival offered to them by their aboriginal hosts; who already had been thriving on the continent for perhaps 70,000 plus years, and yet never appreciably altered or destroyed the climate and environment. Yet the colonizers instead chose to be ruled and dictated to by the MacArthur’s of the day and their corrupt ‘Rum Corp’ form of rule; where ever since, after only some 230 years, everything: land, resources, sovereignty, hegemony have been co-opted; while so-called ‘multi-cultural’ mobs of Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and Anglo-European peoples continue to be thrown together in a constant feeding frenzy for survival; where the stakes grow ever higher and the last remaining, ever more finite, marbles still are there for the taking by those powerful and ruthless enough.
Australia is just one place on Mother Earth that simultaneously happens to be one country as well as a whole continent that has been blessed with a veritable treasure trove of minerals and natural resources; where all the human drama fiercely continues with the exhaustive mining, extraction and consumption of its natural resources by an ever-hungrier corporate world that can never get enough of everything. But this Lust for Bigness always comes at an ever heavier, more accumulative, cost to the natural and human environment.
Yet Australia’s political and corporate leaders, like their global counterparts, have always been prepared, with or without the approval of their aboriginal peoples, let alone even their own immigrant peoples, to kill the planetary goose that laid the golden egg. To feather their own nest in the short-term, no matter how detrimental to a self-sustaining, stable-state natural world, human culture, and climate, these corporate-political leaders are prepared to turn 21st century life, as in all the preceding centuries before, into: a perpetual wrecking ball proposition.
Hence, the crashing din to be heard upon the shores of Australia today means that when push comes to shove Corporate Australia, as a prime example of Corporate Planet Earth, essentially are traitors to the preservation of the earth and any lasting traditional human way of life. The bottom-line is that it’s all but impossible to give equal allegiance to both. One or the other must take precedence at the cost of the other. The world’s arrogant corporate forces simply never will willingly give up whatever constitutes their own ‘lucky favoured status’, even if it means utterly destroying the balance of nature and allow however much of the planet’s native species and flora and fauna in all the oceans and lands to disappear. It’s nothing short of an ultimate death wish on the part of one side and a fight to the death on the other side!
In Australia, the constant donnybrook being created between the people and these corporate masters is evidenced in the daily press by how many damning confidential government reports are anonymously leaked to newspapers like the Sydney Morning Herald and other true-blue Aussie media sources willing to help to blow the whistle and try to turn things around.
Like the planetary-wide crash of the same angry waves pounding against every shore now, this ever-mounting din is as deafening as it is mind-numbing. A mass media commercial by BHP, Australia’s global resource company, succinctly sums up what all lies at the bottom of this worldwide struggle and resistance to so much human arrogance. In one of its favorite bylines, BHP declares, “When the world’s cities grow, Australia grows too. THINK BIG!” ‘Think Big’ is the veritable corporate mantra of a dark, ruthless future!
Of course it’s all complete and utter madness but this mounting din could be taken as a template for the out-of-control patterns endemic to humankind’s modern civilization that clearly is hell-bent upon creating ever-greater disrupting excesses of all that continues to destroy the biosphere’s precious, finite substances and life processes.
But the same dynamics nevertheless continue to be repeated everywhere in the world: unlimited wealth is dispensed to but a select few who grossly flaunt and abuse it; unchecked population explosion over-taxes every aspect of modern human life; rampant corruption of time-honoured democratic laws and indigenous principles are repeatedly flouted; burgeoning numbers of immigrants and refugees are forced to invade every region; their alien ways incompatible with or antagonistic to the traditions and natural ways of their new-found host’s; mounting human populations continue to demand ever more supplies of foods, medicines and the basic means for survival from the land and seas that simply can’t keep up with the rising demand, thereby escalating the extinction of countless species; untold numbers and amounts of pollutants, contaminants, toxins and poisonous substances continue to be dumped into all the waters, earth and air; unchecked densification and ever-widening sprawl of human developments over-burden and threaten to collapse infrastructures, stretched ever farther beyond their limits; widespread destructive losses of precious, time-honoured human heritage and cultural heritage more and more are considered expendable by the ‘bottom line’, as well as; a malaise of so-called multi-cultural diversity that continues to dilute and dissipate the richness of all the human societies that have come before them and whatever effort has assiduously been made over the centuries to try to preserve their ways of life.
Yet any further climate change arguments to be made here about the future planet-wide effects that hyper-corporate development and population explosion will have upon the climate and all its life forms, may be purely academic. For there also lurks in the shadows of mankind’s madness perhaps an even more calamitous, immediate threat to the survival of life on Planet Earth by the very real, on-going fierce struggle for global supremacy that continues to escalate between aggressive, pathological colonizer countries like the United States and China, now focused on the oceans and geo-political sphere that surrounds Australia. The intensity and speed with which these menacing super powers vie for dominion over the South China Sea, and over cyberspace and outer space itself, represents a very real potential future World War III scenario; with the kind of horrific, full spectrum, high-tech battlespace as yet unknown on Planet Earth. To know how real this potential threat is, one need only peruse Alfred W. McCoy’s book, In the Shadow of the American Century: the Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power.
All such human, geo-political dynamics continue to be projected forward, pell-mell, holus-bolus, into an ever more unknown and uncertain future that is strip-mining the hopes and dreams of generations of youth yet to come. Little wonder that the reaction of the world’s youth to the many related climate crises continues to grow ever-more strident and desperate.
Yet short of humankind suddenly doing a markedly out-of-character about face from the massive planetary calamity it has been inching towards for centuries, no other dramatically different future seems conceivable other than the eventuality of whatever Easter Island-type disaster that already can be read into the tarot cards of the future.
Still, many critics remain undetered as they continue to sound the alarm. Author and climate activist Ralph Nader, persists in his efforts to call the world’s attention to the sick and cruel use of the tepid, insidious term Climate Change that doesn’t even remotely begin to describe what should be a self-evident truth of the cataclysmic planetary crises that are at hand. Nader challenges those smug ones in their seats of power who continue to evade and avoid the potential Easter Island dilemma that’s the elephant in the room starkly-staring at them in their faces; upon which the fate of humankind and all other species of life tetter, so precipitously.
The other ignored elephant in the room these same smug ones remain indifferent to or blinded by is what to do about the world’s crisis of unchecked human population explosion. If it was a plague of rats, rabbits or cane toads they would know at once what to do. Yet once the same unavoidable human plague-like conditions are reached, this over-arching crisis will have to be addressed in a much more serious fashion, beyond endlessly ‘warehousing’ exponential numbers of human bodies in 100 plus storey high-rise warrens; especially when the current immigration policies in every country in the world are in such confusion and disarray, and humanity has no other option but to continue, out of desperation, to chaotically move en-mass, wherever it can. This worldwide crisis will and only can escalate and compound all the other societal dynamics and environmental degradation that together will push every culture and society that much closer to the brink of some as yet unimaginably-human-planetary scenario.
Yet still other undaunted ones, like Dick Smith in Australia (www.DickSmithfairgo.com.au), a self-made health food entrepreneur and humanist, bravely continues to sound the alarm about this elephant in the room when he placed a full page advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald (Feb 14th, 2019), calling upon all Aussie journalists to link the depletion of Australia’s Murray-Darling Rivers and water shortage crisis to the country’s record population growth.
Then there’s the young teenage climate activist, Nobel Prize-nominated, Greta Thunberg in Sweden (Youth Strike 4 Climate Movement); who continues to spark a worldwide protest among the youth against the mounting fallacies of climate change, as portrayed by their elder’s inability to do anything meaningful about it.
Also of significant importance is what Canada’s former Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, recently did when she invoked the indigenous ‘Big House’ laws of her Kwakwaka’wakw people in front of Canada’s House of Commons justice committee over a critical rule of law question (“The significance of Jody Wilson-Ratbould invoking indigenous ‘Big House Law’”, Cassandra Szklarski, National Observer, March 3rd, 2019). Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s actions already are sending seismic shock waves amongst indigenous circles throughout the world about the need to similarly address any number of fundamental Rule of Law questions concerning every environmental, ecological justice, parliamentary law that controls their lives and future of Mother Earth.
Such truth-tellers unceasingly drive home the point that it’s foolish to lump together the deterioration of the world’s whole ball of wax by simply attributing it to mere “climate change” or “global warming”; when, in truth, these terms should be reserved for conditions solely beyond human control that pertain to local, variable meteorological conditions or ordinary cyclical changes of the seasons, from winter to spring and summer to fall.
So, in closing, here’s a new resolution for the human race to take up in 2019. Whenever another dissembling politico, corporate CEO, news editor or ‘Charley McCarthy’ talking head on TV uses the nebulous brainwashing, brain-dead term “climate change”, every concerned citizen on earth should call, write, or tweet the protest ”I’m Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going To Take All the Lies Anymore! Let’s Stop All the B.S, and Just Get Down to some Real Truth Telling and Real Change for the sake of this – Our Mother – the Earth!”
This resolution may ultimately prove to be nothing more than a tiny fart in the face of a howling gale, but then again it may have the desired wake-up and smell the roses effect and, collectively, the world’s citizenry will be able to minimize or lessen the impending biosphere tragedy being perpetrated against us all as One People, One Race, One Planet.
Bio Note: Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer-activist who, for decades, in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and Faulconbridge, New South Wales has sought to call attention to problems of sustainability caused by excessive mega-development and the resulting horrors of traffic gridlock, loss of single family neighbourhoods and host of related environmental-ecological-spiritual issues and concerns that exist between the conflicting philosophies of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.