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A Perilously Difficult Birth of the Ecological Age

As Norman Cousins wrote in the 1980’s in the introduction to Earth at Omega, “Global civilization must come into its own [in these latter days of the 20th century]or mankind’s magnificent experiment in self-awareness and socialization will abort in titanic catastrophe. A new organism is in the process of being born and will be born unless it is destroyed.”

The agents of the Technozoic seem to be making their final onslaught through the cabinet proposed by not-yet-president Donald Trump. We are in an extremely tenuous situation. Like a body riddled with disease, will the immune system of planet Earth prevail against these grave pathogens? Or is it so collectively compromised by apathy, ignorance, fear and greed that it cannot stand against what the Cree call Wetiko—a malignant psychological disease driven by greed that destroys everything—that it cannot survive? These are the questions I am asking myself now.

Thomas Berry noted “We live in heroic times.” Part of that heroism is in holding a vision of Beauty and the Life Force on Earth prevailing when we are surrounded by what looks and feels like doom. Now more than ever, Ecozoans need to hold fast to the vision of an Ecological Age and act boldly, knowing the Body Planetary cannot sustain any more assaults. We already know our use of fossil fuels up to the present moment will have effects for many years to come.

That is why I am doing everything in my power to prevent a Trump presidency. I cannot see how our world can recover from the malignant effects of such an administration. The Electoral College, which was created to function as a fail-safe mechanism to protect the country from just this kind of attack, is where I am concentrating. I am placing my faith in the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and the decency of that body to protect the larger organism from what I feel would send our world into a death spiral.

By the time this is published, we will know the outcome of the meeting of the Electoral College on December 19th. Thomas Berry said we should have confidence in the continuing revelation that takes place in and through the Earth. To quote another Berry (Wendell), “We don’t have a right to ask whether we’re going to succeed or not. The only question we have a right to ask is what’s the right thing to do? What does this earth require of us if we want to continue to live on it?”

Do I have confidence? No. But I do act from what I believe to be my calling and with what Joanna Macy calls Active Hope.