On Tuesday morning October 30th 2018, I turned on the news and saw the 2018’s WWF Living Planet Report…
Humanity has wiped out 60% of all animal populations since 1970. SIXTY PERCENT!
“If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done,”- Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. Imagine a world where two thirds of all animals no longer exist? Imagine a world where elephants, tigers, and orang-utans are extinct… these losses are not just the loss of some obscure tree frog in Panama - farewell Rabb’s Tree Frog, one casualty of 2016.
The irony is that most charismatic megafauna* are endangered.
[*large animal species with symbolic value, whose widespread popular appeal is often used to raise awareness for environmental activism: lions, whales, pandas, eagles, condors, seals, penguins, etc.]
When I grew up in the sixties and seventies, we were all aware of the Dodo, who had become extinct in 1681.
Yet, how many of us are aware of why?
Evolving isolated from significant predators, Dodo’s were entirely fearless of humans; this fearlessness and their inability to fly made them vulnerable to predation. Additionally, the introduction of alien species including dogs, pigs, cats, rats and macaques plundered dodo nests, competed for limited food resources, and at the same time humans destroyed their forest habitat. Here was one creature gone forever. However, their extinction is commonly told in a humorous light… as though we are not in the midst of our planet’s sixth Mass Extinction. Now there are countless creatures. A famous child’s book was called "Where the wild things are" - in the near future, a more appropriate title would be “Where the wild things were”
There was a long time we were unaware of what needed to be done, now however, we have the information we need to make the right choices and yet, still “we are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff.”[Mike Barrett] The extinction of land and marine animals is tragedy by itself, but it also carries major implications for the survival of the human race.
We cannot thrive in isolation, disconnected from the world in which we live.
We are all interconnected.
Time for us to wake up and move ~
From Denial to Awareness ~
From Defence to Acceptance ~
From Distraction to Action ~
We have to accept that a continually progressive mindset and economy in a world of finite resources does not make sense. Consumerism has become the opium of the masses. We can never get enough of what we don’t need. It is time to become honest enough with ourselves to acknowledge the error of our ways and to choose a path less convenient and less comfortable. Focusing on community and compassion over consumerism and convenience can make a significant difference for all of humanity - and all the still living creatures. As the recent slogan says, “There is no plan(et) B."
As I work on my PHD into the living experience of Hope, I am fascinated by the concept of hope amidst adversity, and how that creates an energetic intention to change. We are an incredibly intelligent species - how do we use that ingenuity to halt our own demise? For creatures so obsessed with immortality, we’re doing a lousy job of ensuring it. This site and blog is a place to share thoughts, feelings, words, art, poems and importantly actions that we can all take - small, daily steps as well as large bold leaps - to ensure continued flourishing in this more-than-human world.
What Did We Do Once We Knew?
[Let that question not prompt sadness, shame, nor fear.]
Let us stand up and proudly proclaim:
~ Once We Knew, we came through ~
For our children and a future more favourable.
~ Once We Knew, we started anew ~
Reduced replaceable, embraced recyclable.
~ Once We Knew, we grew ~
We finally focused on being truly sustainable.
We need this World, that much was always true,
A fact our heads and hearts always knew.
There is no Plan(et) Two.
With Hope and Action,
We gain traction,
Our will becomes dependable,
Our resolution unbreakable.
"So What Did We Do Once We Knew?"
We had the courage to change what we pursue
In line with a more compassionate World view.
We did what we had to do,
Once We Knew What We Knew.
[Art + Edited + Poem (inspired by Hieroglyphic Stairway): GoldsWoof - Sydney Goldsworthy]