EcoPunk #79

The Global Holocaust vs Peace Punk Love
    On June 30, 1908 a meteorite penetrated the Earth’s atmosphere in a flaming burst of joy. Four miles above the Tunguska region of Siberia, the meteorite exploded with the force of a 10 megaton nuke, leveling 500 sq. miles of forest and annihilating several dozen herds of reindeer and as many indigenous communities.
    Of course, the Tunguska Fireball (as this tiny meteorite is called), was a puny little runt compared to the 90 mile diameter Chicxulub meteorite that landed off the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico 65 million years ago. This falling rock caused a massive chain reaction of forest fires, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that so disrupted the global biosphere that 99% of the Earth’s species perished in a firestorm that even Earth Crisis would be proud of.
Although such harbingers of death offer much promise for cockroaches, armored fish, and phytoplankton, they offer little hope for those of us whose entire preoccupation with life is an end to the human species. Global holocausts of a significant enough magnitude to kill off huge chunks of humanity are rare, sporadic and like a good cup of coffee, never available when you need one.
And to tell you the truth, I don’t really mind. Misanthropy has become a tired old horse for those too cowardly to deal either with their own emotional issues or the complexities of the natural world around them.
    It’s far easier to say “Massive human die off is the only way the Wild can ever reclaim itself” than it is to fess up to the fact you got picked on in school and have some lingering resentments. Life is far easier when you can say “That entire rural community with its loggers/ranchers/miners/hunters should all fucking die”  than studying the extraordinarily complex relationships between humans, history and the land. And then again is the omnipresent whine of Catholic guilt which manifests self-loathing and low self-esteem into political doctrines like “Human populations have far exceeded the Earth’s carrying capacity. Unless a few billion of these motherfuckers die, the Earth is going to suffer in terrible, horrible ways.” (Read: I hate my life and wish I was never born.)
    In a lot of ways, the misanthropy trend has become not only a way to dodge the real tenets of an issue, but to enact horrendous acts of hate, malice, and spite onto other people. There is something extremely wrong when people who are kind and compassionate enough to dedicate their lives to the preservation of the Wild begin ranting off clichés that would make Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, and Mau all join hands and dance in glee. It breaks my heart to hear my dear friend Pinenugget talking about how AIDS is a good thing ‘cuz the Earth is rebelling against humanity. (Why then has it killed off 90% of the most fabulous non-breeders in North America?) Or Sisterwaterbear telling a group of young tree huggers that she doesn’t care if loggers get killed by the trees she tied together. Or Dreadylove explaining to a room full of middle-aged liberals how if she ever got an incurable disease like cancer, MS, or herpes, she was going to strap herself with dynamite and blow up a Forest Service office full of low level bureaucrats.
    Whenever you hear folks putting politics above people, something has gone awry not only in our heads and hearts, but also in our principles. There’s a big difference between being ecologically minded and being plain mean.
    But not only is misanthropy ideologically tacky, it’s also a recipe for impotence, ineffectiveness and defeat. Humans are part of the ecosystem in most of North America and will be until another big ass meteor or supervirus comes and sweeps us away to the sweet by and by. To act as though humans don’t exist in the natural equation is the same as overlooking a variable in an algebraic equation; a guaranteed error in the end.
    When we in the environmental movement try and remove humans from our thinking about ecological issues, we’re dooming ourselves to not only looking like mean, upper class imperialist bastards, but also to knocking ourselves out of the fight in the first round. We can say, “Fuck the loggers, fuck the poor rural communities, you ain’t taking a stick out of here.” but more often than not, this NO FUCKING COMPROMISE! ideology is actually worsening the situation for the Earth. Rather than working on sustainable projects that take into account both the needs of the Earth and the needs of local people, we like to unnecessarily polarize issues into an all or nothing dichotomy that gives us a place to exercise our deep seated lusts for power over and hatred of people we do not know.
I’m not saying we should open up the world to highlead logging on sensitive soils, mining in virgin rivers or opening ski areas on every mountain, but that there are many different alternatives to ecocide that also take into account the needs of the human stomach. There are 200,000 miles of forest roads to be ripped, a few billion acres of tree plantations that need work to rise again as forests, and several million miles of streams that need rehabilitation. With what we spend on logging, road building and wars, there is a ton of good work that can be done in the world that not only breathes life back into rural communities, but into hammered ecosystems.
Only when our strategies and campaigns begin incorporating the needs of all beings, including mammalian bipeds, will we ever begin undoing the wounds of the past and defending what’s left from the saws and bulldozers of the future.

mike antipathy
PS- Anyone know a girl named Kimba Wolff? She hung out in NoCal, Athens and Colorado. If so, tell her the Cascadians miss her and want her back. Thanks…