We Who Live in the World!

“I acknowledge that mankind’s irrational destruction of nature bothers me a lot.  Mankind is slowly committing suicide–or not so slowly: each day it accelerates-producing all kinds of wastes: corporal, industrial, atomic, poisoning the earth, the sea, the air.  He destroys the very environment that gives him sustenance.  Centuries and centuries of civilization to arrive at this: What a piece of work is man!  No other animal would be so stupid.  Plagues of locusts are sporadic, they have a limit…”   Luis Bunuel  (from the book Objects of Desire: Conversations with Luis Bunuel.  These were interviews with two of his Mexican friends  Jose de la Colina and Tomas Perez Turrent.  They took place between 1975 and 1977 

lagoon (oil painting)

lagoon (oil painting)

Websters New World Dictionary of the American Language circa 1972:

ecology 1. a)the branch of biology that deals with relations between  living organisms and their environment b) the complex of relations between a specific organism and its environment 2. Sociology the study of the relationship and adjustment of human groups to their geographical environment.

environment 1. (Rare) a surrounding or being surrounded 2. something that surrounds; surroundings 3. all the conditions, circumstances, and influences surrounding, and affecting the development of an organism or a group of organisms

little victories (acrylic paint on wood block)

little victories (acrylic paint on wood block)

 
 We (who live in the world) are getting tired of the love of money winning out over the love of the Earth.  Sometimes, it’s a sort of a need for money.  Poor people sell off their natural resources to eat, but they pay for it later.  As this process goes on, believe me, someone who is not poor is also making money.
 
I feel totally surrounded by everyone and everything in the world.  Nature, plants, animals, air, water, dirt, sand and rock are all around me.  There are also the people and their creations and destructions.  Beyond that there’s the infinity of outer space and the eternity before I was and after I was.
 
Good old Earth!  Is Luis Bunuel right?  Are we “the problem species” in ways?  If so, let’s get it together.
 
I remember seeing much of America when I was young: deserts, oceans, mountains, trees, rivers and skies.  I saw sea lions out in the Pacific.  I saw the Grand Canyon,  the mysterious red rock formations in Arizona and the badlands.
 
This is brought to mind by the new Ken Burns film on the National Parks.  He spent a lot of time on my old hero John Muir and his love of wildness.  As much as a history of the parks, it seems to be a history of  the environmental movement (especially in its early days).
 
I also just saw Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the Worldagain.  I’d seen it at our Art Institute here.  There’s a sort of double meaning here with Antarctica being “at the end of the world” and global warming (possibly) leading to the end of the world (as we know it).
 
It’s a wonderful movie full of surreal and wild nature life (above and below the ice).  There’s also a good group of interesting and eccentric scientists and workers.  Ah Antarctica!  Ah wildlife!
 
Let’s all do what we can (both little victories and large victories).  Extinction issues, global warming, pollution, disease, starvation and hunger and more are all linked in ways.
 
 
 
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