The future will only contain what we put into it now
Thanks to the ever-growing and evolving Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, capitalism itself (and its sinister spin-offs) is finally in the crosshairs.
While some protesters talk of reforms and tweaks, many are beginning to recognize the stark reality that any system requiring the relentless ruin of resources is not only unsustainable…it’s anti-life.
One need only contemplate the current extinction rate to comprehend the impact of perpetual “growth” upon our shared ecosystem.
Passenger Pigeon, Sea Mink, Rodrigues Pigeon, Panay Giant Fruit Bat, Poko Noctuid Moth, Procellaris Grotis Noctuid Moth, Great Auk, Bubal Hartebeest, Mauritius Blue Pigeon, Egyptian Barbary Sheep, Amesterdam Island Duck, Cuban Red Macaw, Ascension Flightless Crake, Eastern Bettong, Desert Rat-kangaroo, Eastern Elk, Longjaw Cisco, Deepwater Cisco, Lake Ontario Kiyi, Blackfin Cisco, Western Quoll, Brawny Great Moa, Philippine Bare-backed Fruit Bat, King Island Emu, Falkland Island Wolf, Guam Flying Fox, Penasco Chipmunk, Pallid Beach Mouse, Kenai Peninsula Wolf, Newfoundland Wolf, Banks Island Wolf, Cascade Mountains Wolf, Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf, Mogollon Mountain Wolf, Texas Gray Wolf, Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf, Florida Red Wolf, Texas Red Wolf, California Grizzly Bear, Tacoma Pocket Gopher, Yellowfin Cutthroat Trout, Alvord Cutthroat Trout, Syrian Wild Ass
“There is a holocaust happening. Right now,” Jeff Corwin wrote in the Los Angeles Times in 2009. “And it’s not confined to one nation or even one region. It is a global crisis. Species are going extinct en masse.” Corwin goes on to explain:
“Every 20 minutes we lose an animal species. If this rate continues, by century’s end, 50% of all living species will be gone. It is a phenomenon known as the sixth extinction. The fifth extinction took place 65 million years ago when a meteor smashed into the Earth, killing off the dinosaurs and many other species and opening the door for the rise of mammals. Currently, the sixth extinction is on track to dwarf the fifth.”
Whether we’re talking about habitat loss, climate change, the black market for rare animal parts (third-largest illegal trade in the world, behind weapons and drugs) or any of the other causes behind the mass die-off, as Corwin declares, “it all points to us.”
It all points to us and it all affects us…
Maravillas Red Shiner, Independence Valley Tui Chub, Pahranagat Spinedace, Phantom Shiner, Bluntnose Shiner, Las Vegas Dace, Grass Valley Speckled Dace, Clear Lake Splittail, Snake River Sucker, Harelip Sucker, Tecopa Pupfish. Schomburgk’s Deer, Kona Grosbeak, Bonin Wood Pigeon, Big Thicket Hog-nosed Skunk, Rabbit-eared Tree-rat, White-footed Tree-rat, Carolina Parakeet, New Zealand Quail, Raiatea Parakeet, Black-fronted Parakeet, Atlantic Gray Whale, Round combshell (clam), Tennessee Riffleshell (mussel), Sampson’s Pearlymussel (Wabash Riffleshell), Burly Lesser Moa, Arabian Gazelle, Red Gazelle, Saudi Gazelle, Goff’s Southeastern Pocket Gopher, Steller’s Sea Cow, Confused Moth
Extinction is much more than just dinosaurs and dodos. Every species shakes its booty in the delicate dance of nature. Subtract one and well, the collective song skips a collective beat. So, if you’re not already losing sleep over the sixth extinction, let’s talk a little about honeybees.
We may not give honeybees much thought but their existence feeds our existence as a fair portion of the human diet relies on them (specifically commercial honeybees) at the critical early stages of its development. It’s been found that bees, birds, and bats affect 35% of the world’s crop production, increasing the output of 87 of the leading food crops worldwide.
This is why the recent disappearance of honeybees—Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)—is an excellent example of how seemingly separated species are inherently intertwined.
Puerto Rican Shrew, Chatham Island Swan, Nelson’s Rice Rat, Chadwick Beach Cotton Mouse, Pemberton’s Deer Mouse, Cape Warthog, Scioto Pigtoe (clam), Barbados Raccoon, Tahitian Sandpiper, Okinawa Flying Fox, Slender-billed Grackle, Dodo, Lesser Koa Finch, Greater Koa Finch, Mauritian Owl, White-faced Owl, Arizona Cotton Rat, Blue Pike, Kansas Bog Lemming, Mexican Grizzly Bear, Japanese Sea Lion, Lesser Stick-nest Rat, Mauritius Grey Parrot, Bavarian Vole, Indian Seal, Black-footed Ferret, Lanai Thrush, New Zealand Greater Short-tailed Bat, Long-tailed Hopping-mouse, Ryukyu Pigeon, West African Black Rhino
While the condemned creatures I’ve listed so far are already gone, we can still take immediate action to save many more (including ourselves). Currently, there are over 4,200 species of animals deemed “critically endangered” or “endangered” worldwide.
As of 2009, for example, wild ocelots are gone from all US states except Texas. The estimated US population is 195 of which 95 are captive.
- Polar Bear: 3500 left in Alaska
- Wolverine: 300 left in lower 48
- California Condor: 336 (180 captive)
- Whooping Crane: 538 (181 captive)
- Mount Graham Red Squirrel: 300
- Woodland Caribou: 40
Mountain Gorilla, Leatherback Sea Turtle, Northern White Rhinoceros, Brown Spider Monkey, Red Wolf, Chinese Alligator, Snow Leopard, Giant Panda, Tasmanian Devil, Bonobo, Blue Whale
So…fellow occupants, what on earth can we do?
Let’s go back to where I started: capitalism, growth, consumption, and un-sustainability. The 1% exist to maintain and profit from an economic and social model that, by definition, is killing our ecosystem.
The 1% work hard to keep the 99% from thinking about such realities. The 99%, however, are waking up and they’re not liking what they’re learning.
What the entire planet urgently needs is nothing less than an alternative form of human culture. What existed in the pre-raid Zuccotti Park/Liberty Square was a model of such an alternative and all that pepper spray and riot gear will not stop it now.
In the name of securing a future for all the earth’s species, we must cultivate, refine, hone, re-invent, and ultimately expand this mushrooming model. We must continue to occupy and recruit and include more and more voices and ideas.
If you have not yet gotten involved with your local occupation, I’d like to suggest the ideal time for you to do so: RIGHT NOW. (Why wait another day?)
It’s too late for the long-extinct Confused Moth. It’s not too late for the confused human to reject the pervasive conditioning and programming of the 1% and view the future with new and decidedly clear eyes.
#DeOccupyGrowth&Consumption. #DeOccupyExtinctions. #Occupy4All Species.