Earth Calls for Radical Social Change and Spiritual Transformation

The population bomb has burst, the climate and biosphere are in tatters, and tyrannical, militaristic governments rule; yet there remains a path to global ecological sustainability

Earth Meanders by Dr. Glen Barry
September 26, 2007

The Earth is a living organism, which some call Gaia. Humanity is taking apart Gaia's life support systems in an orgy of procreation and consumption. Only radical social change and profound spiritual transformation can save us now.

Radical is not a dirty word. It means markedly new opinions and actions far beyond the norm, often is response to dilemmas that stymie conventional wisdom. Many times in Western history radical political ideas expanded human dignity and opportunity.

In this era of resource gluttony, tyranny and militarism, and post population bomb explosion; the Earth and her humanity are crying out for radical social and ecological change. From one billion to over 6.5 billion people in just over 125 years. Dying oceans, an end to ancient forests, water scarcity, unknown toxins interacting, over-consumption amongst grotesque inequity, and climate processes disintegrating -- all are the face of a dying Earth as humans eat, and shit on, their home.

How can humanity lighten its load upon, and restore, the biosphere's ecological systems; even as plagued by war, injustice, poverty, disease and ignorance?

This is the question of all remaining time, and I welcome all comprehensive, sufficient policy prescriptions. However, I am highly skeptical regarding the ability of liberal democratic capitalism, Islamic fundamentalism, Chinese market communism; nor any other existing religious, political or economic traditions' ability to equitably and justly feed 9 billion people on a failing Planet.

Sometimes radicalism and revolutionary thinking are the only way forward when liberal and conservative status quo responses have failed society and the Earth. Clearly this is now the case as over-population and inequitable over-consumption well beyond the carrying capacity of the Earth threaten the very biological basis of being. Radical political ecologism is the way forward.

Life, biological being, and ecological systems' very existences are threatened. Wanton death and suffering loom. Where to go to escape China's tyranny and America's imperialism, and their combined militaristic and ecocidal drain upon Gaia? Where to go into exile from a collapsing Earth? When and how will the liquidation of life end? Can we end it? How?

These are not my governments. I and my brethren are Earth citizens. This is not my economy. We imperfectly seek to live in a manner that the entire world could enjoy forever. These are not my wars upon the Earth and the poor. Tyrannical and imperialistic governments do not speak for me. This is not my ecological science, demonstrating plodding incautious caution in the face of global ecological collapse. Nor is this my environmental movement, with allegiance to what is in vogue and stylish half-measures rather than a commitment to sufficient truths.

I am repulsed by all their Gods and prophets of war and oppression. In all my life I have really only learned one unique thing: The Earth is Truth. Truth is God. Thus the Earth is God.

What do I mean by this simplistic, transitive statement of my youth? In all my early soul-searching and truth-seeking, the only demonstrably objective truth I could find is my and your utter dependence upon the Earth. We need water, air, land and other elements of good habitat to live. Thus the Earth is Truth.

God has been and is many things to many people, and I strongly suspect we are all pursuing alternative ways to the spirit(s) in the sky and Earth. Yet the idea that this spirit is best exemplified by what is truthful continues to resonate with me as I grow older. The truth found in a beautiful blooming spring flower, a laughing child and an intricate ecosystem is God.

And as every pre-algebra student knows, this leads us to the tautology that the Earth is God. There are many ways to this place of transcendent truth beauty -- philosophical, scientific and ecological intuitions are all equally valid paths to Gaia.

So what shall we do with this knowledge? If the Earth is truly God, which could be called Gaia, then she and all of her lively components are worthy of awe filled worship; and of unflinching, devotional protection at all costs.

Saving the Earth will require embracing Gaia spiritually, and pursuit of radical change on her behalf. We are called back to the land even as we engage the Earth destroying global growth machine. Certainly ending coal use, protecting ancient forests and flying less are worthy and necessary rituals of Gaia worship.

Dr. Barry is founder and President of Ecological Internet; provider of the largest, most used environmental portals on the Internet including the Climate Ark at and http://EcoEarth.Info/ . Earth Meanders is a series of ecological essays that are written in his personal capacity. This essay may be reprinted granted it is properly credited to Dr. Barry and with a link to Earth Meanders. Emailed responses are public record and will be posted on the web site unless otherwise requested.


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