I don’t mean the sponsor of Eclectic Tech — I mean OUR sponsor. Every gerbil, human, fish, amoeba, building, dishwasher, diamond ring, space shuttle, barrel of oil — ALL of us.
I’d like to make a multi-faceted argument, so I may explain an awe of the relationship between the planet we live on and our people, our companion animals, our vegetation, and our creations. I can look at it from theology, from philosophy, and from a pseudo-scientific standpoint.
Someone said that mankind owes its entire existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains. I don’t know how many people really think about that statement. I want you to really think about that statement. We owe our existence, our persistence, and every one of our inventions to a layer of fertile soil and the fact that it rains water and not ammonia. Look at what other planets have for ice, and feel lucky.
On theology and as an Interfaith minister, I want to make a statement about humanity’s neglect of our relationship with the Earth: We wave a book — either a most holy book or the greatest work of fiction ever — that we will gladly interpret as granting the God-given right to abuse the planet and its creatures, as if that’s a good excuse for our neglect. I suggest that everyone reread that section. We were not appointed by any God to be the despoilers and abusers of the earth, but the caretakers, the tenders, the shepherds. Not to be above, but to be in love with every critter, and take loving care thereof (because one of the most inoffensive statements I’ve ever heard in trying to define “god” is that “god is love”). Those of us who don’t have those books usually have a similar idea of our relationship with the earth and its creations. It’s amazing how many religions incorporate not only gratitude to their powers-that-be, but to the earth and its children. And some go so far as to attribute spirit to all things, whether or not they are created by mankind. Above all, through the ages we have noticed and respected the fickle relationship between ourselves and our environment.
Oil, and thus gasoline and propane, plastics, and petroleum jelly, are taken from the veins of the earth like blood from a donor. We who would consider it unjustifiable to strap another human into a chair and bleed them day in and day out for years upon years without consent are doing this to our Earth. Our planet. By our, I mean every insect, every human, every fax machine, every toaster, every car, every tree.
The cluelessness astounds me. The neglect frightens me.
Somewhere in this terrifying rollercoaster of how we treat our planet, I wish someone had the ability to push the red button that makes the ride stop. But we don’t. As individuals, we can’t push that red button. But we can refuse to take that ride.
It’s not enough to watch the rollercoaster of destruction. We have to run around the amusement park planting trees, picking up litter, playing less games, winning less “prizes” that we can’t take into the afterlife anyway.
There is only one thing that will make a difference beyond this lifetime — relationships. Whether you believe in absolute blackness after the flesh dies, whether you believe in Heaven, or reincarnation — the lives you touch will live beyond your time, just as those who are gone have touched your life. And relationships can be relatively carbon neutral. If we spend our time building dreams for the bigger prize of love — and here we are back at god again — we can consume less, plant more, and maybe other people will decide it’s more fun doing what we do than to embark on that terrifying ride that ruins our planet.
Everything has a spirit, because everything, and I mean everything we surround ourself with, is a part of us. We breathe the same air. We eat the same carbon. My molecules are yours. My energy is yours. My spirit is yours. WE are Mother Earth. Every lightbulb. Every stone. Every living, inanimate, and dead being on the planet. We are Mother Earth. Why are we killing ourselves?