Lush, Beautiful, Humid, Jungle that insects love…and ferns adore.
Photo: Rifqui Ramadhan
Photo: Rifqui Ramadhan
Photo: Nikhil Mistry
Yesterday I went out shopping with my cousin. The only thing we bought, were string bracelets. Now, here’s the thing. The bracelets, considered, “charity bracelets,” were all for the benefit of those in trouble. One was for frogs, another for elephants, tigers, animal shelters, other specific animals, mental illness, girls and women, suicide prevention, and on and on. They were rather inexpensive, at $7 each. I asked how much of the cost went to the causes and the woman said 75%, which was amazing. We both bought the ones for animals and I bought the one for girls and women and a few others, two which were unrelated to any cause and cost a bit more. When I got home, I read the fine print on the back of the tags and found that only 5% of the money went to the causes. So, either the woman behind the counter just guessed at the percentage, or she outright lied.
A couple dollars from the sale of bracelets will not save the frogs or elephants. It won’t do anything, not really. It won’t stop habitat destruction, human carelessness, or climate change. We pretend that the little things will add up to big things but while those things might help, they won’t do much. Unless the BIG THINGS, things the government can change, are put into effect, things will continue to go down hill until we can’t dig ourselves out of the deadly hole we have dug for ourselves.
I would like to say that the public should demand that the government make drastic changes, but we all know the government doesn’t care what people want. They don’t care about diversity, be it people or animals. All that matters to the MEN in power, across the globe, is power, money and holding on to their position.
If anyone cared about the environment, or life in general, there would never be wars and scientists wouldn’t be working on nerve gas and other destructive things that could wipe out millions of people and animals. But life isn’t important…power over everything is.
As long as that attitude continues, as long as men are the only ones in charge, and have the only voice, we are doomed. The few pennies the frogs and elephants that will get from the sale of string bracelets will do nothing to save them, as long as they are hunted and have nowhere to live, nothing to eat. As long as we keep lying to ourselves, pretending that somehow everything will be alright, we have no chance of turning things around. None at all.
The people who control the money, and decide where it goes, are spending it on war, not poverty, or the environment. The things they are actually spending our money on, are the very things that are bringing about the end of everything.
Here’s the thing…today I read something that said city people don’t care about the countryside and what’s happening to it. I could easily say the reverse, that county people don’t care about cities and what’s happening to them.
I don’t think things like this make sense. First of all, being born and raised in Chicago, the countryside to me, was the vacant lot on my block, before they built a house on it. There was a kind of prairie, a few blocks away, but they built a school on that. I did go into the “country,” which is now part of everything else, because I rode horses and followed trails that went by streams and trees. I also went into the Forest Preserve, but very seldom and only with a lot of others, because some of the people who go to the Forest Preserves are dangerous.
Never saw open fields, or anything like that. Played in the alley and on the sewer covers, which were the bases we used when we played baseball in the street. I did spend a lot of time at the park, which was surrounded by two busy streets and two side-streets. The wild animals we saw were squirrels. We tamed some of them and they would sit by us to get peanuts.
Really hard to even know what existed outside of the city when you’re little, so maybe that’s why those in the country, don’t know anything about playing in allies, or living with a tiny yard and a lot of cement, a few trees, and a LOT of people right next door. Jimmy, the boy who lived in the house next to the two-flat I lived in, would sit on his back porch and I would sit hanging out my bedroom window, and we would talk to each other. The only thing between us was a gangway. No open fields, sparse neighbors, or streams. We had garages and fences. We took buses and never even saw a real tractor.
The country is a foreign place to a lot of kids growing up in the city. The city can seem scary, or weird, to those who never saw it and grew up in a farm area, or in the country somewhere (are those two things both country?). My cousin’s cousin’s are always terrified when they come to her house, or when we go out in the city. Terrified. They only live an hour away, but they grew up in the country…which can literally BE an hour from the city. We just never go there. Why would we? There’s nothing there.
It’s not that we don’t care. We don’t KNOW the places country people talk about. Those places aren’t part our history, part of our lives. We don’t KNOW the details, the intimate parts of the country…just like they might not understand the city, even if they move there. Growing up in a place is far different from just moving some place and living there.
So, city people care about the environment, the country, and everything else, it’s just that for a lot of us, our environment isn’t the same as yours. When I read things about people just walking through the woods ALONE…OMG…seriously? Not in a million years, because the environment I grew up in doesn’t include that kind of danger. Our danger is a lot different.
It seems to me that no one really understands anyone else. Like being from the north or south, different ethnic groups, or city/country…our environment is something local, even if the world is home to all of us. Sometimes other people just don’t understand what it’s like to be from someplace else. People make assumptions based on their own beliefs, experiences, hearsay and media. That doesn’t make what they believe true.
The entire environment is in crisis. We care about it, but governments don’t stop what is destroying the oceans or the land, the air or anything else. It’s not city people, it’s regulations and laws, that even when existing are not enforced but paid off in high fines, rather than forcing industry to clean up their act.
So instead of saying things about urban or country people, I think we need to go after governments that continue to let companies get away with poisoning and destroying the earth and all the living things on the planet.
That’s just my opinion, of course.
Everything alive on this planet is only here because conditions are right for that particular life form to exist. Anything that can’t live here because of the environment, isn’t here. We can’t breath underwater, without gear, and fish can’t breath out of it. Both of us would die in the other’s environment. Conditions and environments are everything. Change any important part, and we can get sick, or die.
We are currently changing everything. We ONLY exist because conditions support our ability to survive. If conditions change, other things will take our place. Things that can survive in that new and different environment. It’s already happened, here, millions of years ago. It’s happening right now.
Species are becoming extinct at an alarming rate, because of habitat loss, poison, and serious changes in the weather. We are altering the environment and species are dying, or already extinct. We are getting sick, asthma, upper respiratory illnesses seem to be more common. We are doing this to ourselves, and to all the other innocent living beings/things. We know we are doing it, yet we refuse to stop doing it. We are committing suicide and taking everything other living thing with us, which, in the end, will make room for brand new species to emerge. Species that can survive in an environment that is different than the one we are currently destroying.
Photo: Anna Shvets
Once a Tipping Point has been reached, things change.
In my opinion, our world is currently facing two Tipping Points, from which we may never recover.
One: Never ending war, run by dictators, in a world afraid to do what is necessary to stop them. The slaughter of innocents.
Two: Environmental catastrophes. It’s already too late for some species, and the impact of weather, due to global warming, has already begun. Scientists are predicting a catastrophic future. Starvation, refugees, flooding and more deaths, to mention a few.
Photo 1: Valentin Salja
Photo 2: Rachel Claire
Photo: 3 Kelly Sikkema
life hangs on
no matter where it is
as the ground falls away
the roots of trees
hold to the soil
they can find
a flower will grow
in the crack of a sidewalk
life hangs on
except for us
we are the takers
in all its forms
My daughter and I went to a museum exhibit today. It was a truly painful experience, especially the first work. I didn’t take many pictures, because I was kind of heartbroken and felt heavy with grief.
The first pictures, looked like EKG’s but they were actually the songs of birds, shown in that form The first work was called THE LAST SONG. There was also a video which was so sad, I can hardly write about it. A beautiful male bird, the last of his kind, calling for a mate that would never arrive, because of us. They showed him singing, and on his tree, calling, not knowing he was the last of his species. I couldn’t take any pictures. It was just so terrible. So incredibly sad. There were more works of art just like it, in different colors. Bird song that will be gone forever, because of us.
It was such a profound and horrifying experience.
This work showed the beautiful reefs (center) and how they are all dying now,(shown by the white edges. Dying, because of US.
These LITTLE SUNS, have a solar panel on the reverse side, so people who have no electricity, can press the center, on the front, and have bright light, so they can see at night. At least for awhile. The light is VERY bright and focused, but people can read, or at least see, because of them. If you buy one, one is given to a family for free. They can be purchased on Amazon, for $26.95. That information was told to us, it was not part of the exhibit. They were not looking for money or anything like that. My daughter looked it up when she got home. It was just to show how people are trying to help those without light.
There was a series of photographs showing how terrible our diet is and what it does to the earth itself. Froot Loops. The pictures were inspired by landscapes.
Processed meat. Bad for us, bad for the planet
I should have taken more photographs. The main exhibit was of photographs taken in Florida. Lush, but very dark, and the disappearance of birds. The speakers (there were two, poured out bird sounds, and fish underwater sounds)
There was a wall full of textiles based on the temperature over the years, in the place where the exhibit was being held. The different colored yarn stood for each temperature and it was clear to see how much things have changed.
Lastly, there was an arrangement of plates, hung on the wall. Each a picture from NASA. beautiful off world prints, on PAPER PLATES. They were beautiful and you would never know they were made on paper.
There was more, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get that video out of m head. Seeing him calling for a mate, not knowing he was completely alone. The last of his kind. Just broke my heart.
The truly terrible things we do. We are heartless in our cruelty. So selfish and out of touch with nature and those who are part of it. Greed and ego. We are the killers…of pretty much everything and in the not too distant future, we will be alone, by our own hands.
I apologize for any mistakes in the above. I just can’t reread it. I’m so tired from the trauma of it all. ART had a very loud and powerful voice. All of us need to start SHOUTING, and speaking for those who cannot save themselves from us.
Out on a walk and she built this rock tower. 🙂