Friday, January 15, 2010

At Times Like These…

Tens of thousands, possibly over one hundred thousand people have lost their lives in the 7.0 Haiti Earthquake this week. More will surely die, many are dying as I write this, and many more will perish by the time these words are read. Such is the nature of these kinds of disasters that are only possible because of our mortal fragility.

The violent events in Earth’s geology are one of the crucial components that make life possible on Earth. Dead planets; satellites that have no currents, no volcanic or electromagnetic activity are unlikely to develop anything that we would call life. Everything from the first single-cell organisms to immobile plants to fancy post-knuckle walkers like ourselves owe our earliest shots at existence and continuing survival to Earth’s violent systems of distribution. Minerals, metals, solids, liquids, gases, plasmas ad infinitum move and bustle about recombining and repelling -sometimes unnoticeably, sometimes dangerously.

We owe our lives, and can blame much of our death and grief on this activity.

These perennial events; (catastrophes and disasters to us when we’re in the way) respect no aspect of our lives. They occasionally, quite literally, wipe us off the map. They wipe us off of the face of the Earth or swallow us whole while we try to settle our nerves with the cold comfort that a border separates the fortunate from the destroyed.

Even now, the familiar, predictable nonsense of wasted or delayed aid efforts coming up against the walls of bureaucracy or simple institutionalized disconnection are costing human lives as food water and other bottom line goods necessary to support life are kept from those in need.

At times like these, our borders and all that dehumanizing segregation we call nationality, and even the structure of modern civilization feels suicidal and impractical at best.

At times like these I ask myself: What about real Globalism for a change?
-The kind of Globalism that recognizes borders as points of exchange, not as closed doors. Too naive a thought, too costly an idea in this age of terrorism and disease I know, I know.

It won’t stop the waves, the storms, the quakes the eruptions, but it may save the lives of children caught in their destructive wake around the world, -at times likes these.


MadMike said...

Yes SJ...Not in this age of terrorism and sadly, not in any age. Humans are not mature enough to share without coveting. We are a greedy species indeed.

Beach Bum said...

At times like these, our borders and all that dehumanizing segregation we call nationality, civilization feels suicidal and impractical at best.

Yeah, but it wouldn't be fair to all the rich and powerful to make them share. pay fair and just taxes, and be like common folks.

A thought that has passed through my strange gray matter after hearing Limbaugh and his slimy cohorts complain about using government money to help those in Haiti. I'm sure you know Yellowstone is a mega-volcano thirty or forty thousands years overdo for an explosion. While nothing suggests it will blow anytime soon karma is a vengeful bitch and if it did the United States would pretty much cease to exist.

What few survivors there were would need help from the rest of humanity.

SJ said...

I was just watching Ken Burns's latest documentary on national parks where Yellowstone's true volcanic potential is touched on very briefly...

The Karmic retribution you brought up is even scarier.

Beach Bum said...

SJ: Cruise the History Channel, they almost make their living off doomsday shows and they mention Yellowstone many times. The subject has even had its own doomsday show a couple of times.

SJ said...

I'm just realizing now that I did catch a piece of one of those programs, they did a series of aerial views around "Old Faithful" to show the volatile topography.
Thanks for the recommendation, -will do.

TomCat said...

It would have been easier to coordinate aid had Bush and the GOP not overthrown their government and blocked international loans they needed to build up their infractructure.

I'm proud of the Obama administration for their timely response and the people of the world for their generosity. I hope and pray it reaches the people today.

SJ said...

@Tom Cat,
listening to George W. Bush this morning, -he actually agrees with us about Obama's response...
how about that?

Jack Jodell said...

The horror and anguish these people have experienced is almost incomprehensible. I am heartsick watching the suffering and devastation. But I am also proud of our Presidents and our people for jumping on the response wagon as quickly as they did. THAT is the GOOD side of our country!