Opinion: This planet is all we have

It’s why I oppose drilling in ANWR

  • Monday, December 28, 2020 12:53pm
  • Opinion

By John Sonin

I am strongly opposed to any plans to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The science is clear. We must phase out fossil fuels if we are to skirt climate catastrophe. This vindictive inhumanity of profit-seeking commercialism is an aberration in the biorhythmic cycle of Earth. A biosphere concurrently on the verge of disassembling. It’s not the “other” — it’s our mother!

There is a difference in how we humans communicably interact in commercial relationships and commune with autonomous, self-sustaining, complex (multi-cellular) life-systems with which we have intimate connections. Our Earth is a system and alive. Life-systems that require, and/or expect, another life-system’s energy for sustenance are of this intimacy, on point, our children. We sustain their growth and they in turn, instill in us a sense of enveloping-joy and longing-anticipation as we nurture their emergence to adulthood. The intimacy of our mother is knit so closely that moms often seem able to read our mind. As if she knows “our will?”

Ultimately, this may be true; and quite possibly, it is the dominant, though unspoken, manner in which all of Earth’s sentient organics are in a ‘mesh-like’ connection with all else—all the time: It’s an energy matrix of will.

We can imagine that unseen energy messaging all around us. Cellular devices transmit signals/voices everywhere, wind and tidal forces alter our landscape, the sun heats our backs and tans our hide, etc., why not the energy that animates our wills, our souls, messaging back and forth amidst organic activity? Our brains have compatible neuro-circuitry! Why not?

We have been treating Earth a capitalist commodity to be traded commercially. Our will has been growing more indifferent to Her needs with human development. Our mother, Earth’s will for us, on the other hand, is nurturing organic resplendence. Our will must reciprocate this care to maintain the organic sustenance that She always provides us, as part of Her self-regulated, automatic feedback system, or her autopoiesis.

Contrarily, the automatic hybrids humans create, like corporations and keyboards or factory machines and power plants, are not self-contained and have no sustaining feedback interaction for its components. We must constantly input these hybrids with energy for their maintenance. The animating message travels in only one direction — human to hybrid.

Earth’s autopoiesis of give and take with its component humanity has been frustrated. It may have been as long ago as industrialization, but Reaganomics, when the supply-side economic theory took hold and inspired resource extraction non-reciprocal to Our mother’s natural reduction, that now the balance-of-nature teeters. Precarious wherein what we take from our mother cannot be returned without setting the “payback” terms well into the future—we are uploading our mother’s gifts to her children before She is ready to offer. Case-in-point is the pandemics of plastic waste and a wet-market’s COVID-19 release, both retarding population growth of the human component.

Disturbing any of the remaining Earth-system components as they are now ordered will only ensure long-term human deficiency. This planet is all we have! We are reliant on her wealth provisions, and her’s only. Unless we (the current generation) seek to further de-humanize the efficaciousness of Earth’s current resplendence for our children, we need “tread lightly” with fossil-based industry.

The Arctic is already experiencing the impacts of a rapidly changing climate — the region is warming faster than the rest of the world, and the sea-ice and permafrost is melting with devastating consequences. For the communities to whom the area is sacred and the wildlife that live in and upon it, I urge you not to allow oil and gas lease sales in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

John Sonin resides in Douglas. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

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