“Navajo Thinking: I treat mother earth and all living things with reverence and respect.
Western Thinking: I am an individual. I treat people with respect so long as it fits into my plans. I treat the earth with respect in so much as I can benefit.”—Dine Policy Institute, Presentation to the Education Committee of the Navajo Nation Council
What is God? It is the creation of a nervous species suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). That’s a compelling answer as any.
Humanity, in its individual and collective DID, generated Gods in various forms. It is painfully obvious that the Gods were endowed with superhuman traits by their mortal creators. The human species outsourced responsibility for the planet to one of its alternative personalities. God is a creation of humanity just as a Marvel Comics cartoon character is the creation of a human artist.
When humanity endowed itself with dominion over Earth long ago, the future turned dark. And so God was created in the street hustler’s image because, after all, humans are always looking out for their own interest/survival. This assured that “reverence and respect” for the Earth, and other human beings, was always going to be a low priority.
A look at the world 11 years into the 21st Century confirms this. The Gods have been remodeled by their creators for another unstable age but their primary tasks remain the same: assure dominion over the Earth, abdication of responsibility, and justification for any action good or evil. But there is a difference this time around; the political and economic instability (including wars and revolutions) that permeate the globe has a new partner—environmental destruction on a planetary scale.
This stands as the ultimate joke, prank, tragedy that humanity ever played on itself. God is a malleable figure, sort of like Play Doe. Updating for the Internet Age, is God a virtual reality? God is certainly a schizophrenic character just like its human creators. The many voices that roam around in the individual or collective brain find their place in a God who will listen. In short, the Gods represent humanity’s attempt at self and interpersonal communication. To look in the mirror at oneself, or in a collective place of worship, is to look at God in the flesh.
The “Fear of God,” then, means little more than “looking at the man [woman] in the mirror,” as the Godlike Michael Jackson once sang. It is difficult for humanity, one or many, to stare into that mirror with the realization that their path to a fictitious God was never anything more than a circle that would lead right back to the self and collective with all its faults. Fear of God also became synonymous with prospect of the self being exiled or shunned by the collective.
This is all mental madness, of course, the stuff of personality disorders like DID. And in this divine fantasy, there are Gods just hanging around waiting for the “Please God, please, just this once, and I’ll. . . . If you let me live through this I will. . . . If I win the lottery God, I will construct in your honor . . . Please let me survive this firefight . . . Oh God, why is this happening?”
Perhaps some of the Gods are hanging out atop of the International Space Station waiting for the call? Maybe the Gods are in the servers and routers that make up a portion of the Internet?
Based on the condition of the planet, though, the Gods are likely in Afghanistan smoking some hash or doing some heroin, and taking belts of whiskey.
Humanity created Gods that are a bunch of slobs.
Planet crap and junk
The 2010 Living Planet Report published by the World Wildlife Fund is a necessary and troubling read.
The 2010 report documents the obvious.
Humanity is crucifying its true divinity—Earth. This is the equivalent of looking at oneself in a mirror as one guts the self with a sharpened steak knife.
And it’s collective crucifixion with a twist.
“Why have you forsaken me?” say those on the crucifixes. Piss off! says the Earth, and good riddance.
Ecosystem diversity has been reduced dramatically as humanity seeks to satisfy its needs for food, clothing and shelter. According to the 2010 report, “threats stem from human demands for food, drink, energy and materials, as well as the need for space for towns, cities and infrastructure. These demands are largely met by a few key sectors: agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining, industry, water and energy. Together, these sectors form the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss. The scale of their impact on biodiversity depends on three factors: the total number of consumers, or population; the amount each person is consuming; and the efficiency with which natural resources are converted into goods and services.”
The 2010 Report uses an Ecological Footprint measurement that is described as “an accounting framework that tracks humanity’s competing demands on the biosphere by comparing human demand against the regenerative capacity of the planet. It does this by adding together the areas required to provide renewable resources people use, the areas occupied by infrastructure, and the areas required for absorbing waste.”
Some highlights from the 2010 report are listed below. They are quoted directly.
“If everyone in the world lived like an average resident of the United States or the United Arab Emirates, then a biocapacity equivalent to more than 4.5 Earths would be required to keep up with humanity’s consumption and C02 emissions.
“Average per-person Ecological Footprint is much smaller in BRIC countries than in OECD countries; however, as there are over twice as many people living in BRIC countries as in OECD countries, their total Ecological Footprint approaches that of OECD countries. The current higher rate of growth in the per person Footprint of BRIC countries means these four countries have the potential to overtake the 31 OECD countries in their total consumption.
“45 countries are currently experiencing moderate to severe stress on blue water sources. These include major producers of agricultural goods for national and global markets, including India, China, Israel and Morocco. This strain on water resources will only become more acute with increased human populations and economic growth, and be further exacerbated by the effects of climate change.
“The major impacts of our water footprint on freshwater ecosystems globally include increased river fragmentation, over-abstraction and water pollution. The looming impacts of climate change may well exacerbate the situation. Finally, the global knock-on effects of water scarcity are being realized as water footprinting techniques shed light on how dependent countries and companies are on the trade of “virtual water” embedded in commodities and products.
“Seventy percent of commercial marine fish stocks are now threatened, with some fisheries and stocks, such as Mediterranean blue fin tuna, already on the verge of collapse. As large, long-lived predators like cod and tuna have become depleted, fishing fleets have increasingly turned to small, short-lived species further down the food chain, like sardines, squid, shrimp and even krill—threatening the balance of entire marine ecosystems.”
Damn the species! Pollute away!
And the good news does not end with the 2010 report. The United States alone generates roughly 300 million tons of solid waste per year (paper and wood, textiles, plastic, metal, glass). Much of this finds its way into landfills which produce methane gas.
Forbes Magazine noted that “each US citizen produces an average of more than 1,600 pounds of trash/waste per year . . . each day we fill more than 44,000 garbage trucks, each holding about 9 tons of trash. Almost all waste needs to be transported by truck, barge, ship or rail, and often it goes around the globe. It is an awesome and smelly business. . . .”
Finally, USA Today reported that each year in the United States, “combined sewer systems discharge an estimated 850 billion gallons of storm water mixed with untreated sewage into local waters. Sanitary sewer systems are designed to carry only wastewater from toilets, sinks and showers. But these systems can overflow as well when excess water forces its way into the pipes through cracks or improper connections. Sanitary sewer systems overflow about 23,000 to 75,000 times per year, releasing an estimated 3 billion to 10 billion gallons of untreated waste into local waters, according to the EPA.”
John Stanton is a Virginia based writer specializing in national security and political matters. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.