It’s a Trillion-Alarm Fire, Not a Boy-Scout Litter Campaign
By Michael Adzema
A Trillion-Alarm Fire — You Don’t Stop at the Grocery on Your Way Home!
I compare what is happening right now to cause planetary death in the relatively near future to a trillion-alarm fire with everyone looking the other way. I say you need to respond to this with the urgency of being in a world war, marshaling all available national and world resources to bear on it, and not with the complacency of a boy-scout litter pick-up campaign.
When you get a call at work that your house is on fire, you rush home worrying about whether your family is alive or dead, what, if anything, remains of your precious keepsakes, and so on. And you don’t, this time, stop on the way to have a short visit with your mother at the nursing home, grab a few things at the grocery store, or even fill up your tank at the gas station! You go straight home and try to save your family and home!
What follows, from May of 2010, is an example of the attitude of dealing with global apocalyptic events as if, like in this case, they are of similar importance to a plane going down. My point, of course, is that we should be dealing with them with all the urgency of a “trillion-alarm fire” happening. For each of these are disasters contributing to an ongoing catastrophic ecocidal process, the tip of which, only, we see in the Fukushima reactor blowups and the Gulf Oil Spill:
Matthews: “four-alarm fire” in Gulf! Landrieu smirks. Matthews: There are ways to suck up oil … it is a US emergency not just a BP business problem
May 25, 2010. Today, Chris Matthews likened the Gulf Oil Spill to a four-alarm fire. While Senator Mary Landrieu smirked, Matthews said, “I don’t know what the legality of this is, but the President of the United States has got this challenge, not just BP. BP has got a business challenge; we have a national challenge. North America that we inherited and would like to pass on to our future generations is in big trouble.”
Earlier, in answer to a question by Matthews as to whether there’s “anybody in the world that can come and collect petroleum … that’s out there in the Gulf right now … anybody that can collect it?” Landrieu responded saying, “Well, first of all, Chris, just let me say this: If Delta Airlines … plane goes down, I don’t think we necessarily call all the airlines to come in and help in this very specific way. Now, I will tell you, that all the oil companies have been helping since day one, informally….”
Are you as concerned as I am hearing that kind of cavalier attitude about human life?
Oil Spills and Reactor Blowups
“Where Is the Fierce Urgency of Now?!!!”
I can’t believe the nonchalance around the huge environmental catastrophes that have gone on in just the last few years alone — specifically, the Gulf Oil Spill and the Fukushima Japan nuclear disaster. When the BP disaster was ongoing and gushing devastating amounts of oil into the Gulf, Donna Brazille, frustrated with the Obama Administration’s response to the Spill, fumed aloud, “Where is the fierce urgency of Now?!!!”
But these hugely unprecedented environmental catastrophes, daily spreading the damage to our planet, are just two canaries in a coal mine.
We are just beginning to understand the immensity of the damage to our planet the Fukushima disaster did. We will probably not be told the degree of radiation exposure from it we are receiving until long after people have been dying in droves from it.
The BP oil spill of 2010 is, similarly, presenting ongoing planetary damage, which, like the Japan nuclear disaster, is, as I speak, not being reported. Dolphin and whale carcasses in the hundreds have been washing up on Gulf beaches, birds have been dying and some are simply dropping dead out of the sky. We know for sure of at least one dead zone caused by the BP oil spill — a dead zone being an area in the ocean where nothing can live for lack of oxygen — which is a hundred miles long and twelve miles wide. I have heard reports of other dead zones cropping up in the Gulf, and it has been said they are growing in size with time. Beyond these we have to wonder how many more there are, yet unknown, and how great is the ongoing damage.
But none of these dire events are being mentioned much in the media. We hear the reports, but then the media directs our attention to something else. When Fukushima was being actively monitored by the media in 2011, I heard CNN report some very apocalyptic developments occurring there. Immediately afterward, CNN directed our attention to some in-depth reporting on a snake that had gotten loose in New York City. Now that snake made me sooo scared, I don’t know why!? *sarcasm*
So we cover our eyes to what is going on. *sigh*
We dismiss these events assuming that someone higher up than us is surely attending to the problem (dream on!). Though we would never admit it, we take comfort in thinking that people more in the know and influential — people with more status, degrees, power — are on the front line and will certainly make better decisions than we ever could. So doing, we blind ourselves to the fact that these people in charge are blinded and made stupid by their greed and self-interest. They see dimly, if at all, through that screen at the dire prospects they are juggling with. With such tunnel vision, they are hardly capable of seeing the interests of humanity, let alone acting on them. Furthermore, they console themselves with the thought that someone else higher up — or not, often just someone other than them — is “certainly” taking care of “the big things.”
Ultimately, people are passing the buck ALL the way up … to God. Seriously, this theological cul-de-sac is the ultimate, most reliable, place of retreat for the theistic as well as most of the non-theistic, if people were to be honest about their thoughts. But this is the most comforting of cop-outs and the greatest excuse to carry on acting recklessly out of all-too-trivial motivations of unhinged greed and blind self-interest.
What is worse is these things are only the tiny beginnings of much more that is bound to happen. If we do not listen up, and wake up, we’ll be just as unprepared and helpless when the even more dire and apocalyptic events unfold. This is not a time to curl up under the covers.
Die-Off of 250 Million Species in Under Fifty Years … And You Really Think We’ll Be Here?
OR, Have You Heard the New Version of the 12 Days of Christmas? It Ends With “7 Billion Nero’s Fiddling.” But No One Lives Long Enough to Finish It … Ever.
Scientists are saying we will see a fifty percent die-off rate, extinction, of species within the next twenty to fifty years. That is to say, within that time half the species we see now — well actually about five years ago — will be gone forever.1
To think that we will be around after that, even to watch video games of the wildlife that once was, is the same as a doctor saying to someone: “Sorry, within twenty to fifty years, half of the organs in your body will be gone. They’ll die and ‘fall’ away, and you’ll be DISABLED.”
Would such a person just be disabled!? Do you get my point?
You see, you tell me how we’re going to be alive to even see what happens after that kind of extinction?! Does no one realize how much death that means? Does no one see any interconnections between us and planetmates? The world will come to an end if bankers don’t get money, they told Americans in 2008. And if they did away with roads, or trucks … it’s Mad Max time, right? Well, how about when the bees didn’t show up? One species out of a scientifically estimated five-hundred million species and our economy was going ape shit! What happens with two-hundred-fifty MILLION species gone forever?!
Global, Universal Death/Extinction Isn’t Just Death, Suicide; It Is MURDER, Of a Kind So Evil, Nazis Look Like Mother Theresas by Comparison
Concerning extinction of species — ourselves and other species — which is going on, an idea was put forth to me that we are assuming death is evil. This person intended, considering the context, for this to be taken spiritually, philosophically.
Re: The Psychology of Extinction: Murder of untold billions through greed, laziness, egotism….Well, I say, EVIL!
My reply was: You make the point that needs to be considered as it sits deep down in the hidden center of this particular wordpool. It’s a mind-bender and mind-stretcher when you stray down your road for sure. But after having been down it a fair number of times, both on my own as well as with companions, I find one tangible, unshakable thing, only, to still and focus my vision and guide my stance, actions, and position with surety. It is this:
I, for one, am not assuming death is an evil. I do not believe death is evil at all, quite the contrary. Death has always been a part of life, and all the religions have it as a sublime culmination of a life well lived. But that is a spiritual perspective. And that is a perspective about death in its essence.
It is a vision from a spiritual stance — rooted in science, philosophy, and Eastern mysticism — as well as from a traditional religious view, where it is held that one’s life in the body is only a try-out for a better, “real” life in “heaven.”2
However, you are mistaking, as analogy, the beautiful precise utility of a finely honed and balanced knife — metaphorically speaking — with what is really important and what is so hard to look at or fathom or even let into one’s thoughts: That is
… the horrific, ghastly, unbelievably bloody and messy, grotesque, garish … infinitely hellacious and mind-drippingly insane … scene that is right in front of all of us: that of the angelic young girl and her vulnerable, innocent, and kind-hearted mother, their bodies slashed, cut up, stabbed, gouged, even chopped and minced, and strewn widely and randomly in this ungodly lake of blood framed within this just recently homey, comforting surround of simple comfortable living room furniture and accouterments, which now, however, are awash and stained and forever nightmarish as they record in blood, guts, and other of that ilk, but of which we do not want even to know, the violence, wild aggression, horrible pain, fear, terror, and trauma of the event — the murder … the murder that was so precisely perfect in its nightmarishness as it was aided in its perfect horror …
by such a beautifully crafted, finely honed, exquisitely and marvelously sharp, perfectly balanced and joyous to feel, hold, and use knife.
What I am saying is, OK death is beautiful, in essence. And going back to God is, my belief, the highest accomplishment and culmination of a life lived well. But we are not talking about my death or your death. We are talking about you and I deciding, by refusing to fight back the apocalypse — which could be taken up merely by changing some of our greedy, wasteful, egoistic ways — the death of untold trillions of other living conscious beings, indeed, of conscious things that we are not evolved enough to even be aware of. We are deciding that THEIR death, because of our actions … well, that’s not so evil, eh?
Well, that’s easy for us to say. But how about them? Don’t you think they might be a tad upset that we would be deciding this FOR THEM … (Jonestown-style)?
So, you bring up the point that needs to be addressed before we can really commit ourselves to the fight and the struggle to change that is being required of us. But I offer that I have never found anyone able to shake or even threaten the principle I have found to stand on: God’s creation, which includes death, in Her (His) time and in the way He (She) would have for each of us, is beauteous perfection. But, MURDER … that is, MY deciding … or ANYONE (but God) deciding for another that death is good, well … well … Is not that what Hitler did? What the Nazis did?
Death — not evil — may be beautiful.
Murder of untold multi-billion-trillions through greed, laziness, egotism, hubris, and extreme lack of empathy and feeling for the feelings/consciousness of those others … well, I say,
Evil beyond all imagining. Evil beyond anything ever conceived or acted ever before in the billions of years of existence of this planet.
EVIL! Even the killing of the planet — its systems so perfectly balanced, so far beyond our understanding — of a Nature that is beyond our comprehension, which, for all we know, is akin to a higher consciousness, a deva, a god, goddess.
Yes, EVIL to murder. Incredibly evil to bring to an end such things so far above and beyond our understanding that we cannot even comprehend the magnitude of that evil.
Now, that is my conclusion. I deem that murder on a scale so huge as to be inconceivable, of numbers of beings so great we have no way of knowing the hideous magnitude of the crime, not to mention seven billion alone of our own species, and laying to waste the dreams, efforts, and results of multibijillions of past lives on this planet of all species IS EVIL!
That is something I do not want to ever think I helped to happen…. Indeed it is EVIL so huge that I think I would not feel right, ever again, in the consciousness forever after this life and after my death, if I did not expend every ounce of my energy while I still can/could to try to prevent, to try to stop, to work against, to struggle to keep it from happening.
I think that consciousness cannot be destroyed — so death is not “evil.” But as we stand on the precipice of this planet murder and hugest crime of all time as far as we know before us and with us, as a species, being the cause of it…. Well, I can only say the worst thing that I can imagine is having an eternity of consciousness knowing that I could have been part of the solution, but I trivialized it. I used a convenient spiritual belief/ teaching/ awareness to rationalize it so that I could continue asleep and unaware of the horror I participated in as I chose, through being afraid to look at the immense suffering involved, to blind myself with distractions — the perfect knife, the death that is not evil. And so instead of an eternity of peace knowing that I stood against the greatest evil ever known and fought as hard as I could, although we failed … instead it could be an eternity of regret and loathing not being able to be unaware that I was a part of the horror, the monster, participated in the killing, and helped others to also, by participating in the feel-good cover-up, the blinding of eyes, the zombification of brains. As the deepest darkness ever known gradually but unmistakably arose on the horizon and came toward us, increasing in speed, becoming more fiercesome, detailed, clear, unmistakable, unavoidable, and ever harder to be blind to, ever clearer in its brutality and the suffering, and unimaginable pain in its aftermath. And so I would spend an eternity knowing, not being able to not know, that I WAS it, that I became it, helped it … that I was, er, “part of the problem” … and I didn’t have to be.
And for everyone else I would ask: Care to choose what you’d like to have sitting around in that imperishable unending forever consciousness we’re “blessed” with?
The End of the World
A correspondent of mine emailed me to recommend a book by John Leslie titled, The End of the World.
More People Living Now Than the Grand Total of Humans Who Have Ever Lived!
She said the book makes a disturbingly solid case for our extinction, saying that we are among the last generations of humans. Part of this reasoning involves a complex mathematical determination of our trajectory, which includes the interesting calculation that there are twice as many humans alive, right now, THAN THE GRAND TOTAL OF HUMANS THAT HAVE EVER LIVED. That last is a provocative finding, to say the least.
Now, I haven’t read the book, but just his premise got me to thinking. Of course, what I know confirms his conclusions in spades, but I couldn’t help feeling irked by his all-too-familiar perspective. For, to me, it is not just about our species. It is not just about our extinction. It is not just suicide, but murder. My correspondent, “Open Intelligence,” has used the term, “ecocide,” to make this kind of point.
Ok We’re Committing Species-Suicide;
But How DARE We Become Species-Suicide-Bombers Killing All OTHER Life With Us
Recently, I checked on the actual number of species that currently are on our planet, and the number was estimated at five-hundred million SPECIES. I think the whole problem IS that we only see “life” in terms of “our” life — our species. Indeed, some people think in terms of life being only for those of their religion, nation, social group, tribe, family, or even just oneself — all of which aid the murder of those who are “not life.”
So, Leslie is apparently thinking along the lines of many others who are not seeing the tragedy we are perpetrating to those other than our species, which is a milder form of the bigotry and prejudice we hold for one human against another type of human. I think that is a shame.3
But then we cannot seem to even wake people up to saving themselves or their children, so how can we get them to empathize with the trillions upon trillions of other lives and the multi-hundred-millions of other life forms we share this planet with?
I guess that is my problem with his approach: It comes from my feeling that — Ok, we are committing suicide, but maybe we fucking deserve it. But how DARE we “blow up” — like a species suicide bomber — without a second thought for their pain or their lives — which we are only too dumb, and ego- species-centric, bigoted to see, let alone empathize with — as simple “collateral damage,” innumerable multi-bijilliion-trillions of innocent souls/ life forms and hundreds of millions of other entire species of them with us. That is murder of the highest degree, and an evil that this planet has never imagined before this time.
But, again, I see the point of talking to people where they are coming from as a starting point, as Leslie is doing. But shouldn’t we try to raise as much awareness as possible of, to me, the much greater evil that we are committing, for those who can hear it? I say, if we want to kill ourselves off, fine. But how dare we sink to becoming the biggest mass murderers of all time, by a multi-multi-trillionfold? We are currently making the Nazis look like Mother Theresas by comparison. If there will be a history of our species by an alien race after we are gone, I do not doubt that the words “Fukushima” and “Oil Spill dead zones,” will have the same kind of black potency that “Auschwitz” and “Dachau” currently have for us.
Suicidal Apes and Our Future as Mars
If you care about your children, you’ll “man up,” “woman up,” “cowboy up,” whatever … anything but cover up … and face the horror, become the noble humans we are capable of being, and join with others to pull off the most heroic actions of all time.…
Or else we’ll be deemed throughout the Universe as “suicidal ape,” and our portrait will be no different from Mars.
The better angels of our beings urge us to pay attention to what is being said in the writing below.
Consider the Topic and then that By the Ending I Was Feeling Euphoric,
Having Just Stared Deeply Into the Most Horrible Likely Future Conceivable.
Either you really should be checking this out…
Or I Should Be Getting Checked Out… but seriously, folks…
Now you’d THINK this would be a morose piece. I am the author of “Love’s Wake-Up Call, Apocalypse Emergency” — which is the chapter coming up — and I fully expected this to be a call to awareness that only the brave or the Goths would listen to. But honestly, I confess that the writing that came out of me and that I then expanded upon further in the reading over of it afterward was beautiful and led to a conclusion that inspired me (that’s not supposed to happen!) and left me feeling calmer than I have been for a long time.
What’s in It?
Ok, Ok, so you want to know what’s in this wake-up call? I’m tempted to say “grab bag” and split, figuring to let Higher Power decide who gets to read this. Sure this is in me; but there is more here than I, well at least thought, was in me.
No, I’ll give you the poop: It’s about a frightening global predicament that everyone seems to be aware of, but which few people are giving the attention and seriousness it deserves. I liken it to a thousand-alarm fire going off right now, with everyone looking away. I talk about why people would do that, why the media would be inclined to shy away. Basically it’s understandable because we simply have no way of comprehending the magnitude of what is happening and how fast, since no living thing on this planet in its multibillion year history has had to face what we are.4
I Found Compassion, Not Blame.
I use spiritual fantasy and real world analogies to help us get a handle on what we’re facing. In jumping into these waters, I expected to be emotionally beat up. Instead I came to many understandings and found I saw the positions of many who aren’t helping right now somewhat through their eyes, and found compassion, not blame.
Now that I think of it, I am having the realization that the reason for my serene, compassionate, and loving feelings while doing this parallels why I felt there was hope in the end.
I realize that facing dire challenges — and this being the most dire of all — brings out the best in humans. It always has. Though this has been put off so long we might not do anything substantive till it’s too late, I realize that a political change away from the George W. Bush debacle in Washington may be having unknown but positive ripple effects around the world. In essence, it is only since then that either Americans or those around the world can feel they can apply themselves to tackling this biggest of all challenges. For the Bush administration was disheartening and disillusioning to people of the globe who cared about the environmental crisis and of course to us in America as well. We could not help but feel that any efforts we could make would be quickly outswamped by the Republicans’ massive anti-environmental policies … sneakily disguised in environmentally positive sounding labels, though they were.
Not that everything has changed in America since Bush left office or that corporations are back on their heels in their attempts at thwarting our wills to life. No, it is a continual uphill slog. Still, when Bush was US president, it was utterly hopeless. It is very disheartening when your own government seems to consider your life completely expendable when it comes to short term gains for the Bushies — the corporate and “filthy rich” FOB’s.
The Ending Lifted Me.
While the ending of this piece lifted me up in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time on this matter, I must admit that my long term study of humans — as a depth psychotherapist and as a student of other cultures across all time periods, that is, anthropology — informed my conclusions, shaped them, and took me to visions of possible futures that I did not expect. They would seem, if not as likely, then at least as worthy of the human spirit as we deserve.
We’ll Be Tested and Found Worthy … Or Deserving of Our Grave.
For all we’ve done it seems we have called down upon ourselves to be tested and to be found either worthy, or deserving of the grave we’re digging.
The chapter coming up, “Love’s Wake-Up Call,” goes back and forth between these horrors that are possible and, well, let us say, this unique situation with the potential so strong to bring humans to raise themselves up and be led by their better angels more than any other time. What it will mean could be exciting and triumphant beyond belief as humans come out of their puerile adolescent phase and become united and shaped for millennia by this great struggle. We could also die trying our mightiest, which has a nobility to it.
Currently we are looking like the stupidest beings ever to dream the dream of thingness and duality.
It’ll be scary and interesting, and you’ll be helped if you have a strong faith in a Higher Power.
Beyond that, it will be the biggest adventure that the entire globe ever faced together, and the outcome could be just about anything.
But don’t get the popcorn, you won’t be sitting for this one; no one will. Indeed, if we succeed, we will look back at such terms as “couch potato” and wonder at the lost, unfulfilled lives they describe, which will seem a strange thing in a future that will require all of us to come together in a way that we haven’t seen since before — metaphorically speaking of course — The Tower of Babel.
So while the odds will be against us and even certain segments of humanity will try to monkey wrench our positive efforts, success could be wondrous beyond all belief.
I’ve said too much. The piece is complete in itself, and if you dare, you may find yourself strangely invigorated. At least I hope you get some, if not a lot, of the benefits and positive attitude adjustment that I received.
“We’re All in This Together.”
I left the piece feeling so much love and unity with all humans and living things, for I knew that at no other time in the history of the world was the truth of the saying “we’re all in this together” more patently true….
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