THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE:
The image of four horses mounted by skeletal riders brandishing scythes and swords foretells a grisly future: Famine, war, pestilence and death. An old image from ancient to medieval times, those four horses have many times visited humanity reflecting an annihilating scourge. Here they come again.
This time they have new names and new powers, and they come from the pandemic already upon us when the corona virus hit. We need to retitle the event, though: What we are really seeing is the geo-bio-aero-aquatic-pandemic eroding our very life framework, otherwise known as climate change, since every fiber of our lives is affected.
Yes, “geo” because the land itself reflects the brutal, industrial attack we have made on it over the last century as war machines from World War II rolled over the land in the form of huge tractors with diesel engines. Not wrong just consequential.
“Bio” because the thinning of once-abundant species has cleared our skies of birds, our seas of fish, our forests of abundant food chains.
“Aero” because our skies, now empty of so many thick flocks of birds now fill with fine ash from 253 million cars and trucks a day (just American statistics from eia.gov) spewing 7.8 trillion pounds of ash per day—don’t say you don’t have an effect on this when driving), and “aquatic” because the square miles of gorgeous and fruitful coral reefs now lie bleached and lifeless—about half gone already—We have exchanged the numberless links in our food chains and intricate life systems for our own simplified chains of economic units that each deliver a profit. . . .
I recently saw a package of candied seaweed . . . . Really? For every strand of seaweed removed a strand of nursery infrastructure for underwater life disappears. . . . So that you and I can thoughtlessly munch on this disappearing link in our life support? A species’ support?
“Pan” because it is planetary, and finally, “demic,” that’s us—because we are the root of all this.
Here are the four horsemen of the environmental apocalypse, all of enormous size and power. Tell me you recognize them even if you have not yet been visted by them:
1. Violent weather–firestorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, heavy rains
2. Drought–like the American Midwest, East Africa, Australia
3. Disease–escapees from the jungle
4. Ice caps melting, sea level rise: soggy shoes ahead
If we can calm the Earth’s attempts to create these, we certainly ought to. Stopping using gasoline is certainly one of the most effective things we can do individually and collectively because we suffer these effects together. Each of us together and collectively. Mother Earth has given us our electronic world intact and only asked us to use it, to replace the hurly burly and wear and tear of physically moving from place to place with staying in one place and communicating.
If we want to eliminate these effects from our collective lives, let’s work and live in place and eliminate the climate change that includes these destructive forces before they get any worse.