Saturday, July 3, 2010

From the Columbia River To The End Of The World

"As of 2008, 1 million US gallons of highly radioactive waste is traveling through groundwater toward the Columbia River. This waste is expected to reach the river in 12 to 50 years if cleanup does not proceed on schedule." ~ wikipedia

Fuck us. We have ruined everything. I'm so tired of all our shit. Native American people would never have done this or allowed it to happen. What are we? Monsters from another planet? It's like a mad experiment: "What happens when when you take one hostile universe, add one beautiful planet, and seed it with something of extraterrestrial origin?" Do we not seem as a disease? Something that possibly arrived here on an incoming meteor or an alien ship? During the Lewis & Clark expedition, one of the tribes they encountered told them, "You are from the sky, you are not men."

Why did the Indians say that? What did they mean by it? Two hundred odd years later it gives me pause to wonder, because today I can turn on the History Channel and watch professors discuss the same idea -- that maybe we're not really from here. They take it a step further, asking if aliens visited this planet in the distant past. Let's say they did, and brought a technology with them that initiated evolution, or at the very least influenced it. Fast forward to the present and we've reached the point where that same ancient alien technology is now us, just in an advanced form. So we look around and see we have un-made the planet. We can't ignore it. Forced to confront the consequences of our actions, we see our real selves. Isn't it time to take a hard look at what the true purpose, source and sustenance of life might be? Is it all an accident, or is it by design? Where are we from? Why are we the way we are? What are we doing? Where are we going?

We need to figure these things out and choose the right path, because I don't like that my beautiful river is full of radiation. I'm not looking forward to a future of more nuclear energy, and suffering the idiots who contend that it's "sustainable." One of the definitions of "sustain" is "to supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life." I don't recall nuclear waste supplying any food, drink, or "necessities" for oh, I don't know, about four billion years. I guess the definition they're thinking of is "to suffer without yielding." We humans seem to like suffering (as personified by the icon Jesus, champion of misery), regardless of the philosophical, spiritual, and consequently environmental consequences for civilization. I think to myself, "You think the BP oil spill is bad? Imagine the future." At some point you have to ask yourself what the last survivable disaster will be. I guess all you can do is be thankful it's not another Chernobyl.

The human population has been growing continuously for the past 600 years. We are projected to be 9 billion somewhere between 2040 and 2050. Based on the results thus far, that doesn't look very promising to me. What I see is a sustained human march toward total self-destruction. In answer to the question "What are humans for?", I inevitably start thinking that the reason is to carry out an already established objective. Maybe in the long run, that is humanity's purpose: not to destroy the Earth, but to destroy just enough of it that we ensure our own extinction. Okay. Why?

Because this planet deserves better than us.

Maybe that's been the plan all along. Perhaps we are merely the pioneers, paving the way for those who will come after us -- our future selves from the distant past. From animal to human to machine... What's next? What if there's a civilization somewhere in the universe that got their start 5000 or 50,000 years before us? Is it not likely, if they evolved in a similar way to us, that they would have solved the problems of intergalactic travel and the origin of life already? Having acquired that knowledge, isn't it conceivable they'd want to apply it elsewhere? What better laboratory than another planet?

I see three potential sources of life here: Water from meteors that hit the Earth, aliens who seeded the Earth long ago, and from the Earth itself, as it formed. Native Americans strike me as having come from a terrestrial source, and it's interesting that many of them cite this in their religions, as with the Pueblo People, whose "sipapu" represents the portal through which their ancient ancestors emerged. In contrast, those of us descended from Europeans (in my case English, Irish, and German) have generally subscribed to religions based on gods or a god from somewhere "up there." Why is there a difference? Somehow the Indians sensed it. How did they know?

There is a war between us and the planet we live on, and I want to know why. Is our species a race of suicide-bombers in a terror campaign against every living thing? What I see us doing doesn't make sense to me. What is the explanation for it? What drives us along this path? I think we've done enough damage already. If we are really from the sky, then it's time to return and leave this place alone.

Earth: a formerly pristine world...