We are deeply concerned with the unprecedented destruction of our Mother Earth and the destruction of indigenous ways of life


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WE, THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF THIRTEEN INDIGENOUS GRANDMOTHERS, represent a global alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children, and for the next seven generations to come. We are deeply concerned with the unprecedented destruction of our Mother Earth and the destruction of indigenous ways of life. We believe the teachings of our ancestors will light our way through an uncertain future. We look to further our vision through the realization of projects that protect our diverse cultures: lands, medicines, language and ceremonial ways of prayer and through projects that educate and nurture our children.


Earth Prophecy
And the way out

Earth Meanders by Dr. Glen Barry
December 23, 2006

Imagine the panic as Americans and others in the world that are ecologically ignorant and isolated realize food does not come from grocery stores but from healthy agro-ecosystems with dependable climatic patterns and rich soil. That water does not come from the tap, but from aquifers and rivers. That weather need not follow reliable cycles, that natural resources are finite, and that social order depends upon all the above. I prophesize that within my lifetime environmental destruction and unsustainable living will lead to widespread global ecological collapse and social disintegration; leading eventually to extinction for most life forms including humans and Gaia - the Earth system itself. This is the Earth Prophecy.

None of what follows need happen, and I close this essay by repeating the policies that offer the way out. We have all the tools and knowledge on hand to prevent global ecological and social collapse. Yet the hour is late, widespread political and personal will essentially absent, and the momentum behind Earth destroying trends so pernicious and constant that barring major social change unprecedented in scale and ambition, the Earth and her inhabitants are going to die a hard and brutal death. Globally as the climate becomes wildly unpredictable, droughts and floods prevalent, and the land and oceans lifeless; starvation and disease will become rampant, economies will fail, and social cohesion will break down leading to unprecedented violence and death as the truth of existence is revealed to a formerly air-conditioned, consumer society fighting to survive.

Firstly, what do I mean when I say the Earth is dying? The prevailing sentiment is whatever the fate of humanity; the Earth’s biota shall sufficiently persist to maintain other life forms. Evolution will be set back by a sixth major extinction event, but over geological time life will bounce back. I am not convinced this is the case. Given the magnitude and speed of the assault upon every aspect of Gaia’s biosphere and ecosystems - toxins interacting, oceans dead and empty, failed water ecosystems, a dysfunctional atmosphere, and the virtual annihilation of native terrestrial habitats - it is not inconceivable that the planet could essentially become lifeless. Maybe entirely, or possibly some bacteria, dandelions and rats hold on - in either case the Earth is dead.

It is prophesized that advanced, complex life including humans and the Earth as a living system are imminently threatened with extinction. Humanity’s manner of existing threatens advanced life for a very long time if not forever. The coming eco- collapse is going to be brutal and violent. And it could all be averted, or at least some semblance of humanity and ecosystems achieved post-collapse, given people power and political will now.


When will ecological collapse start? I would say it has already as polar bears drown, bears refuse to hibernate and penguins die off. What has become of winter? Falling water tables, eroded soils, desertification, extreme weather, melting ice caps, it is all happening now. Climate change is but one of many aspects of our alienation from the Earth; as soils, water, oceans, forests are all failing along with the atmosphere. Global ecological apocalypse is upon us and the day is late. Only pampered, isolated modern humans could refuse to acknowledge we have a problem. Malthus was right and we are as a species and planet fully feeling the ramifications of believing there are no limitations upon resources and that exponential growth of many types including population, economic growth and resource use can be sustained. Technology puts off limits to growth, it does not supersede them.

The ecological foundation of being is failing. And as a result here is just a sampling of what we can expect. The effects of human consumption and fossil fuel use are going to spawn tremendous climate feedbacks. The Amazon, Congo and Asia/Pacific rainforests (those that remain) will largely die releasing their carbon. Melting permafrost and ocean methane hydrates, along with heat absorbing open Arctic waters, will further consolidate and ensure run-away climate change of such magnitude that adaptation is futile.

China is going to implode under the weight of its own runaway economy, followed closely by India, the U.S. and Europe. The collapse of these over-developed regions will destabilize the entire world, leading to military adventurism to access resources including water, energy and fertile land. Rising seas, extreme weather, degraded soils, desertification, dead oceans, scarce water - and the resultant militarization to maintain over-consumption - are going to make billions of refugees. And as these human beings lack places to run too; they will die from disease and starvation, and from violence including murder, rape and slavery by those in technologically rich, well stocked compounds seeking to protect what they have.

As energy supplies are disrupted and run out the whole industrial, agricultural, transport and production system will grind to a halt. Those that have access to land and seeds - from small farms to suburban lawns - will be called upon to raise their own food, while fighting off marauders and with shortages of seeds and tools of self-sufficiency. Two approaches will emerge to combat the gravest threat ever to civilization. One will strive to return to, and restore the Earth. The other will try to engineer a way out of a crisis caused by over-engineering with such things as fertilizing the oceans with iron, installing space mirrors, and releasing sulphur pollution. The latter can only fail as the biosphere is too complex to be engineered, and unknown effects guaranteed.

The way out

Clearly there is much individuals can do to reduce consumption and lead an eco-conscious lifestyle. And by all means we should eat less or no meat, drive little, consume only quality items we need but disavow conspicuous needless consumption, and a hundred other things. But the uptake of such beliefs is spotty, human numbers too great by at least four times to sustain anything approximating our present lifestyles, and thus personal action alone is unlikely to in itself nullify the Earth Prophecy. In addition to taking personal action, we need to organize and work for a movement that envisions and implements societal changes truly adequate to avoid ecological and societal collapse.

On other occasions I have written in depth regarding what is necessary in terms of Earth policy if humanity is to have a future. There are two critical variables that influence the Earth Prophecies likelihood, and whether the coming ecosystem collapse kills the Earth system and its inhabitants, or whether it is weathered and after much death and suffering a new, simpler yet fuller ways of ecologically restorative living embraced. The first is how quickly humanity embraces reduction of industrial greenhouse gas emissions as a central organizing principle of global community and responsibility. We should have started in earnest in the booming 90s, but barring that we need to have started and made real progress in decarbonizing our economies within the decade, and continue until emissions are reduced to the extent that global heating can be managed. Further keys to address climate change include renewable energy subsidies, energy efficiency and conservation, and leaving our coal in the ground.

Ecological Internet's "Sustainability Solutions Initiative" runs through the whole gamut of the top ten governance policy initiatives necessary to avert the coming ecological apocalypse. A more full accounting of this new project meant to identify sufficient policies to save the Earth can be found at http://www.ecoearth.info/ssi/ . Let me paraphrase here. We need to go far beyond better light bulbs and hybrid cars and fundamentally reorganize human existence. In addition to the adequate climate policy above, major initiatives are needed in the realm of population control and reduction; terrestrial, aquatic and hydrological ecosystem protection and restoration including no more logging or other industrial development in ancient forests; the pursuit of sustainable economies requires a rethinking of both agriculture and economics, and the embrace of appropriate green technologies. And finally the world can not be saved and the prophecy averted without strengthened global governance, global demilitarization and a reallocation of these funds to the programs above and urgent efforts to tackle terrible inequitable poverty which plagues the world.

Maybe world environmental leaders like Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurie David will embrace this ambitious yet sufficient agenda. Or maybe they will continue talking, hawking light bulbs and virtually marching. But as all hell starts breaking loose, and society and individuals refuse to make the types of changes listed above, there is another option I have considered academically in depth - and that is an Earth Revolution to topple the whole rotten, polluting, inequitable and Earth killing economic system (see http://earthmeanders.blogspot.com/2006/06/earth-treatise-living-for-earth.html ) .

If all else fails, a band of Earth insurgents must rise to eliminate Earth destroyer’s property, principles and economic system. A vast, well financed network of Earth rebels will develop to make a last ditch effort to save salvation. Simultaneously such a movement would promote practitioners of truly sustainable agrarian, relocalized and democratic living to step in to provide the solutions to reconstitute humanity and the Planet post collapse and revolution. We must be prepared with seeds, workable permaculture methods, and ways to help people reconnect to the Earth to feed and house themselves while nurturing a sick global patient - Gaia, the Earth system.

Let us all recommit ourselves this year to organizing, advocating and protesting to stop and reverse Earth destruction; at the personal, campaign and global policy level. And let us prepare for the final battle to avert global ecological Armageddon, by living as sustainably as possible given social constraints and preparing the knowledge, seeds, tools and methods to fight for a future for Homo sapiens, the millions of species with which we share existence, and the Earth's being. I love the Earth so much and my heart is breaking, yet the above is a truthful examination based upon decades of learning and action. It is my gift to you this solstice season. Let us together find the way out from this horrific Earth Prophecy.




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