In these strange times we need, I think, a new paradigm, a new way of looking at the world, which can best come from new terminology, new phrases, new words. Change the language and you change the world, or, as George Lakoff famously almost put it “Think of an elephant” and as the other George famously put it “Mission almost accomplished”.
Let me point out the strangeness to you. Here we are, the year 2012. We are near the start of an unprecedented experiment – see how many people are left on the planet if you burn all the fossilised carbon under the earth and convert it into CO2. Or, if you prefer, just how hot can we make this mother? It is a brave endeavour, a courageous decision. I mean there probably are people in the universe who wouldn’t try this without a second equally livable planet nearby, just in case. But that’s never been the way of this particular branch of the ape family. “Live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself” has been the motto of the residents of this ancestral home.
So, here we are, planet in a pot on the stove, getting warmer, getting warmer, but is that enough for us? Hell NO! While the rest of us are busy burning as much carbon as we can in the shortest possible time (trying for a new record for “The Guiness Galactica Book of Records”) there are others hard at work in other directions. They have declared war on the planet and their mission is nearly accomplished.
But there is only so much whimsy a Polar can Bear. You get my drift. It has seemed, in the last fifty years, that the worse damage was done to the planet, the more people wanted to damage it. That instead of saying, “Oh, hang on, bit of a mess here, time we stopped the party, sent the guests home, and cleaned up the house before the Oldies get home” we have turned up the music, ordered more alcohol, and published the location of the party on the Australian Bikies Club Facebook Page.
Bulldozing and burning forests, polluting the seas, overfishing, coal fracking, oil drilling in Arctic, plastic waste, whaling, poisons, hunting, killing tigers and rhino for aphrodisiacs, killing elephants for ivory, chimps for meat, well the list is endless, feel free to add your own. And then the big one – climate change denial. We tend to see these actions as separate, each one to be fought by different groups of activists in different places. But just as the Global War on Terrorism brought together apparently disparate groups under one heading, so that authorities worldwide could more effectively cooperate and work together, so we need a new approach to planetary destruction by whatever means.
So I propose we call actions that damage the planet Terrarism, and that we declare a new Global War on Terrarism.