Tropical forests, wetlands and estuaries, and the coral reefs beneath the ocean's surface are the carriers of most of the life on the Earth. Tropical forests are the home of half of all species, and they are, as of the beginning of 2012, one third gone. Caught in the slash-and-burning and lumbering and fast-food grazing of current economies, the planet will be deforested for our grandchildren.
We are turning out the lights on the stage of the creation of life. Life needs enough life to keep making life. Life-a-lujah! Put it this way: Evolution, to work, needs its genetic pool. No-one knows for sure how many species and in what numbers will survive as the centers of intense life are cut down.
We are witnessing the extinction of hundreds of thousands of species of life. How can this be? And, this is not a decision that has been open to much public discussion. It is an apocalypse of accumulating silence. No public leader would dare state that human beings will be the only life remaining, and yet that seems to be the plan. The idea that people would be the only living thing - with I suppose pets, and parks preserved like museums… Is that where we are heading? People simply don't realize how extreme this is: the extinction rate has risen to 400 times above the average. Life is dying.
Traditional empires, usually a mix of corporatists, militarists and missionaries, assumed they would exist without the independent life of their colonial subjects. The tribal superiority was built into every act of carnage and profit-taking. Now we have new kind of empire - the human species empire. The underlying belief is that homo sapiens can exist alone. There are in the USA famous figures who state publicly that there should be no constraints put on forest extraction. They quote from Genesis: "And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth…" For these fundamentalists the wildness of life itself, then, is placed under the power of God's people.
What will it take to save our forests? A stronger god must step forward and challenge the god that the fundamentalists have pushed into the arena. And who would that god be, exactly? Nobody represents life better than life itself. Life is our god. Right now we're killing all the fish and fowl the Bible mentions. But now let's give them the power. Let's take our laws from their eco-systems. The creator who says that he will now destroy his own creation - must be overwhelmed by that creation. That is the forests, and that is you and I.
Paul Ehrlich once wrote, "Scientific analysis points, curiously, toward the need for a quasi-religious transformation of contemporary cultures." Nothing curious about it, Dr. Ehrlich.
This reminds me of the 99% confronting the 1%. The forest is the 99%, with all its life - and we human beings are a part of that life. Can life make a movement? There haven't been earth revolutions yet. Can you have a life riot in the manner of a food riot? Will there ever be a general strike for the Earth?
Creation must kill the fundamentalist's creator. Let's promise each other this promised land of the forest with all its wildness! Occupy the fundamentalist God! Occupy God!