Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day: The Struggle For Survival

Today is Earth Day, a day that we have set aside to be mindful of mankind's first enemy, the Earth. Yes the Earth, our home and birthplace, has been trying to kill us for uncounted centuries. Millennia ago we were just another of her species, struggling day to day in the ongoing battle for survival. It's a game she forces creatures to play for her own perverse amusement, pitting beast against beast, creature against climate and catastrophe. One day a small band of humans rose above the fray and beat a small patch of the Earth into submission. Agriculture was born. The dangers of hunting and gathering were put behind us as ranching and farming were embraced. The Earth was tamed. She has never forgiven us.

In time we began to beat more of the Earth into submission. We gathered together in settlements to keep the powers of the Earth at bay. We called them cities, and from this was civilization born. Civilization has been our bulwark against wildness.

While we have advanced, the enemy has not sat still. She continues to be a threat. Hurricanes ravage our coasts. Earthquakes crush our cities and kill our people. Mother nature's hit squads, the beasts of the land and sea, threaten to tear us apart. If it's not sharks it's bears, if not bears it's whales. And if it's not whales, it's microbes. Lately our homicidal mother has been using a giant volcano. What's next, drought? Locust? Killer penguins?

The history of civilization is the history of our war against nature. Some of us seem to have forgotten that. But I say that today, this Earth Day, we should stand up as one and shout no! We will not go quietly into that dark night. We will light it up with electricity and coal fires. We will pave over the Earth and build walls to keep it out. We will cut down trees, eat beasts, and burn what we don't use. Then, one day, as we board spaceships to take us away from the lifeless cinder called Earth, we will remember this day. It will no longer be called Earth Day. It will be our new Independence Day. These future Earth-free men and women will remember us as the fly away. Then they'll nuke the Earth from obit. It's the only way to be safe.

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