The absurd contempt for life expressed in the apparent lack of concern for the necessities of survival — air, water, food — by the powerful drives me to despair. Either these folks are exceptionally ignorant and obtuse, to think that they are unaffected by poison, or they simply have no thought for the future. To them any really big number is infinite, as if the Earth isn’t a closed system. If there are no immediate consequences for their actions, there are no consequences at all. They do not care.
Who else but alien lizard overlords would place resource extraction above life? Who else would consume everything? Who else would shit where they eat?
We are the agents of our own demise.
Wendell Berry’s “The Peace of Wild Things” describes a temporary solace. The first line calls out my pain. I can almost join him in the peace of wild things when I look out the window.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Life has a different solution to this problem of reckless endangerment: Death.
Also published on Medium.