The Boy In The Bubble
A straightjacket of hopelessness immobilised me this morning. In the inbox: A link to an article in the Irish Times by environmental commentator, John Gibbons. One of the many canary in the coal mine articles, one of the many voices raised in alarm at the rapid climate change that will certainly culminate in a new world. John Gibbons quotes Professor Peter Wadhams of the Polar Ocean Physics Group stating that the Arctic summer sea ice will turn to slush in three to four years.
Like a repetitive drum-roll, we’ve heard the apocalyptic refrain before. As ancient glaciers disappear, polar bears drown, rivers run dry and dust bowls fill deforested wastelands, impotent politicians sit around conference tables in expensive hotels, unwilling or unable to do what needs to be done. Not everyone agrees that global warming, extreme weather, mass extinctions, or a shrinking ice caps are “bad” things. Says John Gibbons, “one person’s global catastrophe is another’s commercial opportunity. Governments and energy companies, notably Shell, are busy jostling to be in position to loot the oil and minerals hidden beneath the region’s fast-disappearing ice. This is akin to setting your house on fire to keep yourself warm.”
So, like the Little Match Girl, we light our matches: We add our protest to an Avaaz.org petition. We plant a tree, walk to work, sell the car, buy a bike, install solar panels and eat organic. We do what we can as concerned citizens, walking through the ethically “correct” minefield littered with plastic bags versus jute. Perhaps we must question our motives. Be wary of a fear-based resonance that vibrates in the belief that the world is sick and dying, or a need to feel pure, worthy or good. Polarised thinking is tinder for the bonfires of war. By staying stuck in the Pain Body we are part of the problem. By projecting our disowned parts, our shadow onto governments, industrialists, Shell, or the dying polar bears, we cling to fear-based thinking. Writes spiritual teacher Gill Edwards “if your vibrations hover around self-righteousness you are in fear-mode, so you tend to push against the negative, instead of reaching towards what is positive.” Perhaps this is just another great evolutionary mass extinction? Just part of the great cycle of death and re-birth? “Perhaps in the world’s destruction it would be possible at last to see how it was made,” says writer Cormac McCarthy.
And yet, amidst all the thousands of scientific reports, government papers, dire warnings by climatologists, no-one even dares whisper the obvious: We are breeding like bacteria in a warm Petri dish. Now there are an estimated 7.042 billion people on this good earth, according to the United States Census Bureau. With projected growth rates, the world population is expected to reach between 7.5 and 10.5 billion by 2050. Does it really have to be an extreme solution to an extreme problem? Does it have to be Sophie’s excruciating Choice: Genocide or mass sterilisation? Then who must die and who must be sterilised? And who will make this dreadful decision? “So I’ll continue to continue to pretend my life will never end, and flowers never bend with the rainfall,” sang Simon and Garfunkel prophetically. Perhaps like rabbits immobilised in the lights of the oncoming car, we do nothing. Perhaps our only hope is our state of consciousness.
As we shift more into an energy that is coherent with our soul song, as we open our hearts to love, to compassion, to gratitude, we will expand our awareness; perhaps only then we will know that we are all part of the Whole. We’re all in this together. The birds, the bees, the great leviathans, the polar bears – and us, wearing our clumsy, hob-nailed boots.“Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting” says writer Cormac McCarthy. “These are the days of miracle and wonder and don’t cry baby, don’t cry, don’t cry…”
Art by Pat Rawlings.
Paul Simon’s Boy In The Bubble.
John Gibbons is an environmental writer and commentator
Songwriters: SIMON, PAUL / MOTLHOHELOA, FORERE
These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long distance call
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all
The way we look to a distant constellation
That’s dying in a corner of the sky…