May 18, 2013
Life Is Sacred
Posted on Sep 3, 2012
By Chris Hedges
The warmer water this year caused lobsters to shed six weeks earlier than usual. What happened to the sea further south is now happening off New England. Long Island Sound, two decades ago, had an abundance of lobsters. Then as the water heated up they disappeared. They fell prey to parasite infestations and shell disease, and the survivors migrated to colder water.
All natural resources are being exploited until exhaustion. They will diminish and soon vanish. Droughts are affecting forests in the Northeast as well as the Northwest. The wintertime die-off of pine beetles and other pests—a reduction vital for the health of the forests—is no longer happening as the planet steadily warms. The traditional hardwoods of the northern forests and the great conifer trees are dying. They are being replaced by oak-hickory forests, dooming the biodiversity, eradicating the habitat of a variety of songbirds and other wildlife and ending the maple syrup industry. Maple syrup was produced a few decades ago in Connecticut and Massachusetts. As a child I would hike in snowshoes to the farmers’ sheds deep in the woods containing vats of boiling syrup. We would pour syrup on the blanket of snow outside to make brittle winter candy. But production in the southern New England states has been largely extinguished and shifted to northern Maine and Canada. These are the small natural indicators that something is terribly wrong.
The daily loss of Arctic sea ice this summer is the most severe on record. The amount of sea ice has fallen by 40 percent since satellite tracking began in the late 1970s. The complete disappearance of summer Arctic sea ice may be no more than a decade or two away. And with the disappearance of the summer ice, our planet’s weather patterns will become dominated by freakishly powerful and sudden storms and other violent natural disturbances. Droughts will devastate some parts of the Earth, and in others there will be unrelenting rainfall. It will be a world of extremes. Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Floods. Dust bowls. Fire and water.
Our political leaders, Democrat and Republican, are complicit in our demise. Our political system, like that in the declining days of ancient Rome, is one of legalized bribery. Politicians, including Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, serve the demented ends of corporations that will, until the final flicker of life, attempt to profit from our death spiral. Civil disobedience, including the recent decision by Greenpeace activists to chain themselves to a Gazprom supply vessel and obstruct a Russian oil rig, is the only meaningful form of resistance. Voting is useless. But while I support these heroic acts of resistance, I increasingly fear they may have little effect. This does not mean we should not resist. Resistance is a moral imperative. We cannot use the word “hope” if we do not fight back. But the corporations will employ deadly force to protect their drive to extract the last bit of profit from life. We can expect only mounting hostility from the corporate state. Its internal and external security apparatus, as the heedless exploitation and its fatal consequences become more apparent, will seek to silence and crush all dissidents. Corporations care nothing for democracy, the rule of law, human rights or the sanctity of life. They are determined to be the last predator standing. And then they too will be snuffed out. Unrestrained hubris always leads to self-immolation.
New and Improved Comments