Whatever may be the reason for it, our world has experienced a lot of natural disasters in 2023. Just making a short list of some of those that have been discussed a lot in American media recently would include the Maui wildfires, Hurricane Idalia, the Moroccan earthquake, the Libyan floods, and Hurricane Lee. Actually, all of these happened just in the last month. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t remember another time when so many destructive climactic events have been clustered so closely together.
Meanwhile calls for dramatic action on climate change are being raised all over the world. There is this so-called tipping point wherein if the average temperature goes up too high, we will have passed a point of no return, and we will really start experiencing a horrific transformation of the world climate on an ongoing basis. And there will then supposedly be nothing we can do to stop this terrible transformation. The dramatic measures required to put a brake on what could happen will require all of us to change the way we live our lives. Changing the kinds of energy we use as well as how much energy we use. And the nations of the world have been meeting in different cities all over the world for a number of years to discuss how they are going to implement these and other relevant changes. Through executive action, President Biden has just created the American Climate Corps, a training program for young people who are interested in acquiring the skills that will later on allow them to go into jobs involving clean energy and climate protection. And although this program represents a significant step in dealing with the climate crisis, it is one step in one country.
There is no question but that some governments have been making greater concerted efforts than others. And whereas there are private citizens that have really shown a profound concern about what is happening to our global climate and through protests and demonstrations work to raise awareness among the people around them, there are others who are either indifferent to what is happening or else simply don’t believe there is a problem. There are people who are owners of or executives within companies that pollute and these industrialists blithely go ahead producing their products in their polluting ways, even though on some level they are certainly aware of the consequences of their company’s actions.
And yet, on another level they go on denying. Denying that they are simply standing by and witnessing the destructive transformation of their planet. So, what is going on here? What if instead of viewing the destructive transformation of the earth as something negative, these deniers, on still another level, look at it as something positive.
In many previous articles, I have discussed how modern technological living environments make human life too frictionless and too remote, and then people feel a need to pull themselves out of the numbness into which they are sinking, as a result of this frictionlessness and remoteness, by generating abrasive stimulation either through harming others or else through harming themselves. But there is a third category of targets that is used as a vehicle for generating abrasive stimuli and, by doing so, works to help people pull themselves out of an experiential vacuum. That third category relates to the global living environment. In particular, harming what remains of nature in today’s world: natural organic physical grounding and natural organic cycles.
There is a term for describing this kind of human action. The term is ecocide. Ecocide refers to the human destruction of the natural environment through deliberate or negligent action. For our purposes, it would translate into conscious or unconscious action. But in both cases, it would be carrying out a similar purpose: the desperate short-sighted attempt to pull out of numbness and feel alive in the short term by destroying the grounding that allows us to feel alive in the long term. Unfortunately, ecocide is occurring all over the world today from the Amazon to the Arctic. And, in my opinion, the main cause for it is that many people get some kind of kicks out of destroying natural environments. They can be conscious kicks or unconscious kicks, but they are a form of kicks nevertheless. However, it is a much more impersonal form of kicks than the direct harming of humans. Unfortunately, many humans simply don’t feel any sense of visceral pain when animals and vegetation are harmed and even destroyed by human activity. The kicks come from simply seeing the destruction taking place. And experiencing all the abrasive stimulation being generated as a result. The important thing to realize is that ecocidal actions are a vehicle to pull people out of the numbness generated by modern technological societies. And this is why there is such enormous resistance among some segments of society to trying to protect nature and save our planet.