That’s the five-word message to us from the globe’s participation in the current COP15 conference in Montreal: we agree on protecting the natural world, and we commit to bringing these measures back home. That’s a tall order for the Pontiac — since we have so much “nature” here. The natural world is in our face every day, almost everywhere; this is not true for those delegates from the world’s big cities.
They are looking for nature; we look at nature. That’s our advantage, every day.
Can do we do it, walk the walk, take the necessary steps? Perhaps we have a second advantage. Our country is in the middle of fulfilling the Indigenous Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations. How about launching a “Reconciliation with the Natural World”? Here’s a format ready for us to follow.
It’s not hard to picture a new Commission — a formal process of examining our past attitudes, practices, and approaches to “Nature”, with proposals of remedial/healing attitudes. Commercial media and the advertising world won’t lead us there. After generations of humanity exploiting, using and misusing, mining, cutting, draining, damming and re-directing, butchering, netting and poisoning the globe itself — plus all its inhabitants, whether they be “just like us” or living beings of a very different nature. We’ll examine how we’ve finally “won” the battle to conquer the natural world (treating it, and them, as mere “resources” – anything for our own use). The sheer vanity of this “victory” is embarrassing: we claim to know better than the cosmos (however defined) what can and should be done with, and to, all other beings on this planet?
This is not the place to try outlining our relationships with the natural world — COP15 may accomplish that. The COP process could even devise a Nuremberg Trials process. With a reconciliation process chaired by Indigenous leadership … ?
The best Pontiac can do is to get on board, cut the rationalizations, stake our claim to being inhabitants of this planet with all the other beings who make it work as a functioning whole. We can import COP recommendations into our daily lives and habits. We can make this topic fundamental in every election. And if there are folks who still feel we humans have a right to own and use “everything” – because we need oil to drive to work, trees for building supplies, metals, beasts to eat – we don’t need to meet everyone’s morality. Ethics and morality are human creations. This Earth is more than human; it needs more than black & white answers. Its and our survival require compromise. Compromise comes down to self-preservation; it’s our personal survival that’s under threat … so today’s the time to start being more than the blind humans we’ve beenfor so many generations.