Activist and author Naomi Klein tells about the time she travelled to Australia at the request of Aboriginal elders. They wanted her to know about their struggle to prevent white people from dumping radioactive wastes on their land.
Her hosts brought her to their beloved wilderness, where they camped under the stars. They showed her "secret sources of fresh water, plants used for bush medicines, hidden eucalyptus-lined rivers where the kangaroos come to drink."
After three days, Klein grew restless. When were they going to get down to business?
"Before you can fight," she was told, "you have to know what you are fighting for."
Nature is worth saving for its own sake.
However if we as humans want to co-exist, we need to realise our connectivity with it. We can so easily disconnect ourselves, particularly if we are sitting in an office feeling far removed. It can bypass us that everything around us is born from the earth, that everything we do has an effect. To ponder on the raw materials and production processes, that made this home, this computer, this cup of coffee, one can only be humbled and awed at the gifts of nature and the ingenuity of people, and be pained at the impact we have.
This Earth Day lands in a particular moment in time. In a Rosa Parks kind of way, Greta Thunberg, has sparked a gear shift change in the conversation about our existence on earth. Individual and collective awareness and action are ramping up, with the likes of SchoolStrike4Climate inspired by March4OurLives, and Extinction Rebellion undoubtedly fueled by the Brexit shambles. The call for systemic, structural change is getting louder and louder, as here with George Monbiot. It has to. Everything and everybeing is interconnected.
Photo: Delfino Corti