The Four Worlds International Institute

“The Critical State of Our Mother Earth”

 
  “The Critical State of Our Mother Earth!" 2014-02-12

 Very Beloved Relatives,

More than 40 years ago during the early years of North American’s “new” ecological consciousness, my grandfather, Vine Deloria Sr. had a conversation with one of his elder cousins on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.  As his cousin loved to learn new words in English, he asked my grandfather to explain to him what the word “ecology” meant.  “Well” my grandfather said, “you know, we have places where you can go and learn to read and study books. Then you learn how to write about what you have read about. Finally you learn to talk about what you have learned to read and write about!

This is how our young people of today learn about life.  Some people have learned this way for many, many years.  After they have read enough books, written about what they have read about and talked about what they have written about, they are given a piece of paper that say’s they are a Doctor or a Wise Person of Life.  These Doctors and Wise People of Life then get jobs where they earn a lot of money, so they can read, write, and  talk some  more.  They have even have invented machines that can look at things that are very small and make them look big. There are other machines they have invented that can look at things far away and make them look close. 

They even put different parts of Mother Earth in containers and pour them back and forth so they can find out more about the truth of Mother Earth.  Anyway, they have spent a lot of time and money and studied Mother Earth for many, many years. From all this work they have made a new discovery.  They found out that everything is interrelated.  They found out that when you pollute the air which all living things breathe and pollute the water which all living things drink, you pollute all living things. What do you think about that?”

My Grandfather’s elder cousin smiled knowingly and shook his head.  “I was wondering when they would get around to this understanding!  Just look at what we do to our beloved Mother Earth.  We cut her hair where it should not be cut and rip up her skin where it should not be ripped up, and then we drill holes inside her and suck all of her blood out and put things inside of her and blow her bones up.”

Then he looked deeply into the eyes of my grandfather, shook his finger and said, “And what would happen if you did that to your mother?  She would die!  And this is exactly what is going to happen to all of us if we do not learn to respect and understand the Spirit and Sacredness of our Mother Earth.”

The Critical State of our Beloved Mother Earth

Fast forward more than forty years and it is clear to see that what our wise elders and visionaries have prophesied for so many years is now upon us.  Our sacred Mother Earth – who gives life to all living things – is critically wounded, degraded, poisoned, and depleted by the activity of our Human Family. Colonialism, industrialism, consumerism, warfare and a lack of spiritual understanding are primary drivers of this growing, relentless assault on our beloved Mother Earth. Our ancestors have long understood and wisely shared, many times, that these destructive forces are, in turn, driven by greed, selfishness, ignorance, fear, and materialism.

In recent decades we have heard repeatedly, from the best of our world`s scientific, educational, social and environmental institutions, that our collective human activity is increasingly threatening the future generations of our children and rapidly destroying our Mother Earth. Here are some of the urgent warnings over the last decade:

 

== 2002, Business Council for Sustainable Development report: A decade ago the Business Council for Sustainable Development in Antwerp, Belgium, calculated: “Reductions in the Industrialized World – in material output, energy use, and environmental degradation - of over 90% -will be required by 2040 to fairly meet the needs of a growing world population within Mother Earth`s ecological means.”

 

== 2005 United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: Prepared by 1,360 scientists and UN contributors; reviewed by UN member governments and independent scientists, determined that:

  • Nearly two thirds of all natural services that our Mother Earth provides to humankind are in decline.
  • The world’s fish stocks are depleted and in dire condition.
  • Some 2 billion people living in dry regions are vulnerable to the loss of ecosystem services, including fuel, food, and water supplies.
  • Our Mother Earth faces a growing threat to ecosystems from climate change and nutrient pollution.
  • Human activities have caused massive species extinctions, threatening the well-being of all members of the Human Family.
  • The pressures on ecosystems will increase globally in coming decades unless human attitudes and actions change dramatically.
  • To restore and protect our Mother Earth’s natural systems will require coordinated efforts across all sections of governments, businesses, international institutions, and communities.

 

== 2009 Planetary Boundaries: A report by 28 international scientists – including Johan Rockström from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Will Steffen from the Australian National University, Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen, Goddard Institute climatologist James Hansen, and German Chancellor's climate adviser Hans Joachim Schellnhuber – in the science journal Nature, showed that human activity has pushed nine critical systems – biodiversity, temperature, ocean acidification, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, land use, fresh water, ozone depletion, atmospheric aerosols, and chemical pollution – near or beyond critical tipping points. The report warned that natural system feedbacks drive additional change and endanger other limits. The scientists warned that when human ecological impact passes certain thresholds – tipping points – we risk “irreversible and abrupt environmental change,” and that these changes risk human communities and all life on our Mother Earth. Their scientific research shows that since the Industrial Revolution, human actions have become the main driver of global environmental destruction. 

They found that four critical systems – climate change, species loss, nitrogen removed from the atmosphere, and phosphorus washed into the oceans – have already crossed the safe boundaries.

== 2012, State Shift in Earth’s Biosphere: Last year, 2012, Nature published Approaching a State Shift in Earth’s Biosphere,” by 22 international scientists led by bio-paleoecologist Anthony Barnosky from the University of California. This international scientific team warned that human activity is likely forcing a planetary-scale transition, far beyond simple global heating, “with the potential to transform Mother Earth rapidly and irreversibly into a state unknown in human experience.” Averting a planetary ecological crisis, they warn, now requires unprecedented effort of our Human Family. Canadian co-author, biologist Arne Mooers, said: “humans have not done anything really important to stave off the worst. My colleagues … are terrified.”

== 2012, Planetary Overshoot: Dr. William Rees, creator of “ecological footprint” analysis at the University of British Columbia, has compiled data to show that humanity has overshot the productive capacity of Earth. We now use about 50% more resources each year than the Earth can replenish. In “the Way Forward” in Solutions Journal, Rees warns: “Climate change is just one symptom of generalized human ecological dysfunction. A virtual tsunami of evidence suggests that the global community is living beyond its ecological means. … The human enterprise has already overshot global carrying capacity,” says Rees, “and is living, in part, by depleting natural capital and overfilling waste sinks,” including our Mother  Earth’s atmosphere. “Solutions,” writes Rees, require that we “rewrite global society’s cultural narrative” to replace a “culturally constructed economic growth fetish.”

These scientists confirm what our Indigenous spiritual leaders, visionaries and other members of the Human Family, who live close to our Mother Earth, have been warning us about for centuries: Our Mother Earth has limits. All members of the Human Family must humble themselves to the limits of our natural world so that we and our future generations may enjoy the continuing bounty of our natural world; we must share the world’s resources with all of humanity in harmony with all our non-human relatives. 

What follows is a summary of what these scientists have discovered.

 

Summary of the Critical State of Our Mother Earth, January 23rd, 2013

Forests: Humanity has leveled over half the world’s once-great forests. Over 6-billion hectares (15-billion acres) of mature forests once stood on Mother Earth, and now we have about 3-billion hectares left. But it is worse: We have taken the best wood first and left behind degraded forests. We have taken 80% of the original, ancient, frontier forests. We are losing about 15-million hectares (37.5-million acres) of forest every year, an area about the size of Nepal. The remaining wood quality has declined.

Deserts: Because of industrial agriculture, global warming, logging, draining aquifers, and redirecting river water, some 6-million hectares (15-million acres) of productive land turns into desert every year. The Sahara desert, once productive grassland, grows at about 48km (almost 30 miles) per year. The Syrian Desert was once a beautiful cedar forest. The once great Aral Sea, full of fish and able to support many communities, is now mostly desert.

Soils: Industrial agriculture destroys soils. Throughout our Mother Earth, we have depleted over half the carbon and nutrients from the soils, polluted soils with toxins, and washed topsoil into the sea. In North America, for example, industrial agriculture has mined over half the carbon from the soils, from 6% carbon to under 3% carbon. In the past century, we have lost some 500-billion tons of topsoil. Meanwhile, we now lose about 26-billion tons of soil every year.

Species: Humanity is now causing the fastest rate of species collapse in 64-million years, since an asteroid hit our Mother Earth, wiping out the dinosaurs and over 3/4 of all species on Mother Earth. Today, we are the asteroid, causing some 100 species extinctions every single day. Since 1974, terrestrial species biodiversity has dropped by 40% and since 1990, in twenty years; the marine species index has declined by 21%. Today, over 30% of all remaining mammals, and 20% of all birds, are endangered with extinction. Since we are destroying natural habitats, new species development has collapsed, except for micro-organisms and bacteria. Humanity is causing an Earth-changing species extinction disaster. With each lost species we lose a magnificent gift of our natural world that has been entrusted to all of us by our Creator.

Fish: The world’s fish are in crisis from over-fishing and pollution. We have depleted most of the large commercial species by 60-80% and some species by 90%, including the tuna, marlin, swordfish, cod, and halibut. We destroyed the North Atlantic cod fishery and now face the demise of west coast salmon. We have destroyed fishing communities around the world, in Africa, Asia, Europe, and throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Bees Colony Collapse: Bees pollinate most of the world’s food crops and other flowering plants, but world bee populations are plummeting. Since 1960, the United States has lost half its bee population. Bee colonies are dying off in Europe, Central America, Asia, and elsewhere around Mother Earth. The die-off has been occurring for a long time and results from multiple causes, including pesticides, industrial gases, urbanization, and habitat and food destruction.

Global heating from industrial gases: The amount of carbon-dioxide in our Mother Earth’s atmosphere has increased by 43% since preindustrial days, from 280 parts-per-million (ppm) to nearly 400 ppm. During that same period, methane – a more powerful, shorter-lived greenhouse gas – has more than doubled (from 0.78 ppm to 1.76 ppm, +125%). Other industrial greenhouse gases include carbon-monoxide, halocarbons, volatile gases, and the black carbon from burning wood and diesel. After 20 years of climate conferences, including the1992 UN Earth Summit, with 255 governments participating, 144 sending their heads of state or government, along with some 2,400 representatives of NGOs and 17,000 people at the parallel NGO "Global Forum", who had UN Consultative Status; annual gas emissions have been greater and greater every year, not less.

Almost half the summer arctic ice is gone. The oceans are 30% more acidic because of these industrial gases in the atmosphere. Mother Earth now experiences land, air and water temperature increases, drought, deluge, flooding, forest fires, desertification, insect migrations, dying forests, and violent storms caused and aggravated by global heating from industrial activity. With Hurricane Sandy simply being the latest demonstration of the growing impact of global warming, with many more yet to come.

Runaway global heating: Meanwhile, the heating is now creating system feedbacks that cause more heating. The warmer atmosphere is now melting the polar permafrost, which releases methane, causing more warming. Receding forests store less carbon, reduced ocean algae stores less carbon, disappearing ice fails to reflect as much heat, and added water vapor increases the greenhouse effect. We now face the real threat of runaway global heating beyond anything that human actions could reverse. Scientists now warn of “irreversible” changes to our Mother Earth’s climate.

Coral reefs: We have lost over a third of Mother Earth’s coral, and most of the remaining coral reefs are in danger of complete destruction over the next few decades. Because of hotter and more acidic oceans caused by industrial CO2, destructive drag net fishing, and pollution, our world’s coral is dying. In 1998, in a single year, we lost 16% of the ocean’s coral reefs, which are the oceans nursery. By killing the coral reefs, we destroy ocean biodiversity and productivity.

Material Limits: We have depleted virtually every non-renewable industrial and economic natural material in the world including wood, aluminum, copper, phosphorus, nickel, tin, zinc, platinum, and so forth. Humanity took the best, cheapest, easiest materials first, so the remaining stores are more expensive to extract, with greater energy, human, and ecological cost.

Energy limits: For the first time in our human history, humanity can no longer increase its energy output. We have reached the peak of net energy input into society. More and more energy is drained away in efforts to retrieve the deeper, more expensive, dwindling energy stores. Conventional oil production has peaked and is in decline.

In one century, humanity used up the best of our Mother Earth’s store of easily accessible hydrocarbons – representing 500-million years of solar energy stored as biomass and oil in our Mother Earth’s crust. This energy storehouse has been squandered on wars, over-heated buildings, unneeded lighting and many other forms of wasteful consumption. The oil left is dirty and expensive. Today, when we invest one barrel of oil energy into getting new energy, we retrieve 30-times or 50-times less energy in return. The net energy available to our human society from one-barrel invested has dropped from 100 barrels in the early 1930s oil fields to 1:3 in today’s tar sands and 1:2 in deep oil wells.

Humanity has high-graded everything. We took the best land, best trees, best oil, best fish, and so forth. We now have to make do with the lower-quality materials, energy, and natural bounty.

Water: Over 1.2-billion members of our Human Family lack adequate water every day. Over 2.3-billion people, 1/3 of our human population, lack fresh, clean drinking water. We have polluted and drained our Mother Earth’s aquifers and rivers. Water tables have dropped by 50 meters (more than 164 feet) drops in Mexico City, Beijing, and Madras. Over half the lakes are gone in Qinghai China, some 2,000 lakes. Since glaciers are melting from global heating, many rivers don’t reach the sea. The Aral Sea has been drained to water cotton plantations, and former fishing fleets sit idle in growing deserts.

Human Population: There are now over 7-billion members of our Human Family and we add 75 million every year. Over 1 billion of our human relatives go hungry every year and 30,000 actually starve to death every single day.

Social Injustice: About 1 billion members of our Human Family consume 85% of our Mother Earth’s material and energy bounty. The poorer 6 billion of our Human Family must make due with 15% of the materials and energy. The richest 2% of our Human Family owns half the world’s wealth, while a billion of our relatives live on the edge of starvation. This growing scale of injustice and failure to practice common human decency is leading to greater and greater human conflict.

Warfare: The wealthy industrial nations spend some $2-trillion each year on weapons and military destruction, at the cost of millions of lives, destroyed communities and devastated ecosystems. Imagine if these resources were instead expended on uplifting our Human Family.

Industrial Disasters: These human and ecological disasters are not “accidents.” They occur daily, as oil spills, toxic dumping, mine tailings, and other normal operations of industry. In “cancer villages” of industrial China, for example, virtually every inhabitant suffers from cancer, birth defects, or other diseases.

The following are only a few examples of the ongoing destruction of Mother Earth and of innocent human communities:

1928-68, Minamata, Japan: The Chisso Chemical corp. dumped mercury in Minimata Bay for decades, poisoning an entire village. By 2001, 1,784 people died and over 10,000 people suffered birth defects and other disabilities.

1952, London smog: Over 12,000 people killed, over 100,000 suffered from respiratory illness.

1920–78, Love Canal: Hooker Chemical Company dumped dioxins and other toxins near the community and sold the land to the School Board. The chemicals caused birth defects, enlarged limbs and heads, deafness, miscarriages, retardation, and sight illness.

1975, Banqiao Dam, Hanan, China: During record rains, 62 dams collapsed; 26,000 people died at the time, and 145,000 died from resulting epidemics and famine. Six million buildings collapsed, and over 11-million people were displaced.

1976, Seveso Italy, Dioxins: A runaway reaction at a chemical factory poisoned four towns and 100,000 people with toxic, cancer-causing dioxins. Villages were evacuated, thousands of animals died, and children were hospitalized. People suffered skin lesions, diabetes, and some later died from cancer, immune dysfunction, and cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

1984, Bhopal, India: Union Carbide Chemical Company leaked toxic, lethal methyl-isocyanate gas. Some 8,000 people died within weeks, thousands more died in the following months, and over 500,000 people were severely injured. A community was virtually destroyed.

1984, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy: In the United Kingdom, the crowding of cattle led to a new disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy or “mad cow disease,” a progressive neurological disorder of cattle infected by a mutated protein.

1986, Chernobyl: Nuclear plant explosion and fire, irradiated millions of people locally and at least 1-billion people worldwide. Cancer deaths caused by the radiation have been estimated from 25,000 to one million.

1991, Sea Island, Kuwait oil spill: During the Gulf war, attacks on oil fields spilled 8 million barrels of oil – 345 million gallons – into the Persian Gulf.

1991, Ixtoc oil spill, spilled 3 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, killing sea life over hundreds of square kilometers; oil remains in the substrate to this day.

1996, Marcopper Mining, Corp., Philippines: Placer Dome Mining subsidiary Marcopper Mining, dumped 84-million tons of toxic mine waste into Calancan Bay, Philippines, poisoning thousands of people and virtually killing all life in the Boac River system. Toxic spills caused floods, isolated five villages, and buried the village of Barangay Hinapula under six feet of toxic mud. Local drinking water was contaminated; fish, shrimp, and pigs died; and 20 villages were evacuated.

1999, Tokai nuclear plant, Japan: A runaway nuclear reaction burned for 20 hours at the uranium enrichment plant owned by Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd., releasing radiation. Two workers died from radiation sickness, and 68 other workers were irradiated. The public received radiation doses, and the company paid out over 7,000 damage claims.

2000, Romania, Baia Mare cyanide spill: The Aurul Company gold mining operation leaked cyanide into the Someş River, which polluted the Tisza and Danube rivers, killing fish from Hungary to Yugoslavia. Toxins contaminated drinking water for 3 million people. In sections of the Tisza River, all fish and animals died; in the Serbian section, 80% of aquatic life died. Foxes, otters, ospreys and other animals died after eating contaminated fish. Hungarian fish catches in the rivers dropped by 80%.

2009, BP deepwater oil spill: Three blow-out protectors failed, the deepwater well exploded, and dumped 5-million barrels – 210-million gallons – of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven workers died instantly; birds, fish, marine mammals and other sea life perished; the region’s fishing and tourism industries collapsed.

2011, Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown: Following an earthquake, equipment failed, water boiled away, nuclear fuel rods melted, and three reactor cores melted down. Radiation contaminated air, water, and land in Japan, and moved with wind and tides across the Pacific. Two workers died immediately, over 300 workers suffered high radiation exposure, and over sixty elderly and infirm patients died during disorganized hospital evacuations. Future cancer deaths remain unknown, but will likely exceed several hundred, or possibly thousands.

These incidents are only a few of the more dramatic. We could add in the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown, the industrial deaths of coal miners, lead poisoning of ethyl-gasoline workers, mercury and dioxin poisoning from pulp mills in Canada, Lyme disease outbreak in the US, industrial radiation poisoning, world-wide cancer epidemics, and of course ongoing starvation, malnutrition, and deaths from water-borne disease. One of the most serious ongoing ecological crimes is the development of the Canadian tar sands.

The Canadian Tar Sands ecological disaster: The development of the Canadian tar sands may be the largest, most devastating ecological disaster in world history. The tar sands development starts with the destruction of the boreal forest, scrub plains, lakes and wetlands, and the displacement of the animals and the peoples that live there. The project drains and pollutes water tables and the Athabasca River. Toxins are released into the air. Local communities – primarily Indigenous communities, who have lived in this region for thousands of years – suffer from respiratory disease, cancers, and toxic poisoning of their food and water. Boreal lakes are turned into black sludge pits where all life dies, where migrating birds mistakenly land and perish.

The project requires so much energy to produce the bitumen (tar) that they require gas pipelines from the British Columbia gas fields to Alberta, gas which is retrieved by fracturing the geological substrate of northern British Columbia. The bitumen is so thick and toxic that it has to be diluted to move through a pipeline. The project imports liquefied gas condensate to mix with the tar. The diluted bitumen is then sent down pipelines, which routinely spill onto land and into wetlands, river systems, and ultimately our aquifers. The thick bitumen crude oil is then loaded on oil tankers in Vancouver Harbour for shipment, via the Salish Sea to China and the US, endangering the entire west coast of Canada and into the northwest coast of the US.

The recent bitumen spill in Michigan demonstrates the level of damage from a bitumen crude oil spill:

Kalamazoo River spill: In July 2010, a 30-inch bitumen pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy, burst, spilling 20,000 barrels of tar sands bitumen into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. The challenges of tar sands bitumen shocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Costs of even partial cleanup soared to more than ten times historic crude oil costs. “I don't think anyone at the EPA anticipated that,” said EPA Incident Commander, Ralph Dollhopf. “I don't think anyone in industry anticipated that.”  Now Enbridge is proposing a pipeline and related tankers through one of the last pristine temperate Rain Forests. The huge tankers they propose to carry the bitumen oil to China will have to travel through difficult to navigate waters in some of the most delicate ecosystems on Mother Earth.   

Bitumen is a particularly dense, toxic version of crude oil. Bitumen, diluted with solvents, separates in the marine environment. Volatile gases – toluene and carcinogenic benzene – rise into the air, causing headaches, nausea, coughing, and fatigue among the local population. One may fairly assume all other animals experience similar symptoms. After the Kalamazoo River spill, toxic fumes remained for weeks and could be smelled 50 kilometres away. Two years later, 30 miles of the river remained closed to fishing, swimming, or even wading in the water.

Bitumen contains sulphur, paraffin’s, asphaltics, benzenes, and other toxic compounds. Animals and plants are suffocated and poisoned. In water, the die-off starts at the foundation of the food chain, obliterating the bacteria, micro-organisms, and vital biofilm that provide food for shorebirds and amphibians. Bitumen moves with wind and tides, kills bottom life, mixes with the intertidal sediments, and kills shellfish, ocean plants, fin fish, and marine mammals. Toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (“PAHs”) dissolve in the water and kill micro-organisms. Most of this damage could not be “cleaned up” at any price.

Connect the patterns: More people, hotter climate, less forests, depleted soils, melting glaciers, dry rivers, drained aquifers, disappearing species, acidic oceans, toxic pollution, dirty energy, and depleted material resources. Not only is each one of these environmental and related challenges before us monumental in themselves, but when we understand that they are intimately related and are rapidly meeting at an inevitable crossroads, it may seem almost overwhelming.

Yet if we don`t take urgent, bold, courageous and unprecedented unified action to mediate the depth and degree of these deepening, interrelated catastrophes, locally, regionally and globally, most recently illustrated by Hurricane Sandy, there will be  grave and irreversible consequences for ourselves, our future generations and all life.

It is clear that piecemeal ecology isn't working. We must recognize, as our wise Elders who walked the Path before us, that we are all parts of a dynamic, interrelated, living system. Our reckless industrial activity now disrupts these natural systems at their fundamental core. We are unraveling the very web of nature. Our Mother Earth is resilient and will endure, but our careless actions are destroying life for millions of other species and ultimately for ourselves. We must remember that the “Hurt of One is the Hurt of All and the Honor of One is the Honor of All!”

We have critical decisions before us.  Will we continue to walk the destructive path that has brought us to these growing global challenges or will we choose to walk the life-preserving, life enhancing, principle-centered path of protecting and restoring the Human Family, our future generations and our beloved Mother Earth? 

The path we choose has clear consequences and the choice is ours.  Our Mother Earth is in a Critical State. We can choose to urgently take unprecedented unified action to protect and restore our beloved Mother Earth, or we will witness the end of life as we know it, for ourselves and our future generations.  As the age-old realization of the Oneness of the Human Family and all life returns with greater and greater understanding, it is clear to see that by choosing to walk the Red Road of love, forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation, and by standing up for our beloved Mother Earth we will fully realize the fulfillment of the prophecies, long foretold by our Wise Elders and Spiritual Leaders.

With Warm and Loving Greetings,

 

Brothers Phil Lane Jr., Ihanktonwan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations, and Chairman of the Four Worlds International Institute, and Rex Weyler, Co-Founder of Greenpeace and journalist, ecologist and author.

 

 

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Comment by Laura Grizzlypaws on January 25, 2013 at 9:24am

Kukwstumckacw ti amha qwalut.swa - Thank you for your words. Stexw t'u7 wenacw! Very True! 

Comment by White-Bear on January 24, 2013 at 2:35pm

Thank you, Brother, the truth is from your lips...

Comment by Wendy Jones on January 24, 2013 at 11:48am

A dizzying read - incredibly comprehensive and landing a bullseye on our collective clock of destruction.  Here's to 'growing forth' in a rightful, principled direction.  

Comment by Kathie Wallace on January 24, 2013 at 9:45am

Thank you Phil and Rex for all you do for all of us.

Comment by Therese Blackwell on January 24, 2013 at 9:02am

But, as a "Keeper of the Vision" I've also been shown this.....

NEW WORLD

As I sit and listen to the song of the trees
They give me their strength and valuable keys
To solutions of problems and everyday strife
While the flowers share insights on their view of Life
Birds sing to me in their ancient tongue
“There will be Peace when It is done”
All is well with the Ancient Plan
This grand and glorious evolution of man
When time has dissolved the spell that we’re under
The only thing left will be magical wonder
So each day think of all that can be
Think, “what if” and you might see
The World I see of Beauty and Grace
Rainbow rivers and Queen Anne’s Lace
Shimmering beings who radiate Light
With powers of healing and prophetic sight
Come with me - let your fears abate--
Together we’ll let our thoughts create
That wondrous World right here on Earth
And then there will be an explosion -- a Birth
Of knowledge and wisdom like never before
It’s all around us -- just open the door
To this magical place where no one mourns
Where the children play with their Unicorns!
Where nature spirits are no longer shy
Where little children no longer cry
A World with integrity and no more lies
No longer distorted through opaque eyes
Where Hearts are filled with Joy and Light
IMAGINE --it’s all within our sight!
Man’s thought and Heart recreates the Plan
Just as the Creator’s Thought created man.

Therese Blackwell
1994

Comment by Therese Blackwell on January 24, 2013 at 9:00am

LAMENT FOR THE MOTHER

Oh! My majestic Mother Earth
Once so pristinely pure
A dazzling Garden containing all of mankind’s needs
Asking nothing in return.

How could we have been so blind
To so shamefully abuse this Grand Lady of our Universe?

In our unrelenting quest for power and control
We have poisoned her with our pernicious chemicals
And hateful tools of war
We have ripped open her perfect body
To fuel our insatiable greed
We have polluted her crystal blue skies
Which now rain poison down on us all.
We have raped her virgin forests
And plundered her magical playgrounds of plant and rock
All in the name of progress and profit.

Can’t you hear your Mother crying?
We have broken her Heart
With every broken man, woman and child
Whose anguished plea of suffering
Has been ignored by their fellow man.
We have diminished her Spirit
By every judgment made against another
And every act of deceit performed
In the mindless pursuit of personal power
So enmeshed in our fear and Disease of Denial.

With every loveless thought of malice,
Word of gossip or deed of manipulation
Inflicted on a fellow creature,
We have added to the weight of her shoulders
And to her collective consciousness of pain.
The magnitude of man’s folly, so steeped in blinding ignorance
With his eons of delusional battles of status, country, race and creed
Leaves my mind screaming in silent horror.

What have we brought upon ourselves
With our hypocritical ego and smiling, smug denial?
We, so long ago, closed our eyes and minds and Hearts
To the great wisdom of our Red brother
As we systematically decimated his dignity
And unflinchingly plotted his demise
While he so desperately tried to teach us:

What we do to our Mother
What we do to our brother
We ultimately do to ourselves.

And now we come full circle
And for every action, there is a reaction
Listen…..

The Mother’s bowels are beginning to rumble
As we continue to look the other way
Earthquakes erupt the cancerous toxins
Man has injected beneath her fair skin
Her rivers cry poison
As they flood our cities and towns
Begging for our attention, longing to be cleansed
Her winds wail wild with warning
Of a probable future holding in the balance
Superquakes that will rock our minds out of delusion
Volcanoes that will spew the pus
Of our insidious and infectious pettiness
Oceans that will overflow with the
Vomit of our anger and negativity.

As time races us along our path
I stand before the Mother
And humbly ask for her forgiveness
For the Creator is watching closely now
And feigning ignorance is no excuse
In the Eyes of the Law.

Mankind, so incredibly accomplished
At pointing his crooked finger
To the other who is always to blame
WAKE UP!!!
Each one of us will stand accountable for our actions
And our personal part in her pain.

Hear your Mother crying!
Understand that we can no longer afford
To look the other way
We are so dangerously close to breaking her back
With the weight of mankind

And if we choose to let that happen
The sound of the break will reverberate and echo
Around and around the world
All hell will break loose on that fateful day
When the Redman’s prophecies come to pass
And the Creator asks:

What kind of children would do these things
to their own Mother?

And in the silence that remains
Mankind will know
His grand self-righteous march to extinction is over

And there is no one left to blame.

Can’t you hear your Mother crying?
She cries for her children
Lost in illusion
For they know not what they do.

Therese Blackwell
1992

Comment by Nancy Oakes on January 24, 2013 at 8:57am

Thank you so much for sharing with all of us. We need to fire up, guided by the wisdom of elders like yourself. If we don't wake up NOW we will inherit the left over gunk, the nuclear waste, the industrial polluted water,  the polluted air, the desert that will grown no food, oceans with no fish, and land with no animals.  The rich and powerful, "Evil Ones" who have plundered, and murdered the original people would have won. Those "Evil Ones" would be glad to give back to us Mother Earth now that we are so close to her destruction They would be glad to say to all of us who love her, take her back, clean her up, she's yours again. They would also be glad to sell us all the equipment we need to do that clean up. I have people that say to me every day, I am a spiritual, peace person; therefore I will pray for Mother Earth. Ask Tibet, it is way past time for prayer. We have to take action now if there is going to be anything left for our children. I join with you, and am proud to be a strong voice for the original people, our sacred creation and the return to our planet of the feminine energy. I support you Brother, if we all take this fire message into our hearts and stand together we will take back our planet before she dies. This is not the time for the faint of heart, but for the "lion of heart." All of us together not separated by color of skin, nor origin, nor cultures. We who have gotten disconnected from our heritage are reconnecting. We who did not know where we came from, or were decieved about our birth right are awake. I am not afraid to be brave, a warrior for our Blessed Mother Earth. That is what it is going to take, and millions will follow I know this in my heart. We need everyone right now to support you and all the people,  who have reached deep within their own hearts, and declared ENOUGH! This Blessed Earth was created for the people, who were created to have joy and abundance. I am fired up. www.lovetothelight.weebly.com

Comment by Carole M Friesen on January 24, 2013 at 8:15am

Jennifer Berezan, Joanna Macy and Anne Symens-Bucher bear witness to Alberta's Oil Sands. In response to the experience, Jennifer, singer songwriter native to Alberta, wrote "My Memory Forever", expressing her deep concern regarding oil sands expansion across Canada's Boreal Forest.

Comment by Michelle Morning Star Doherty on January 24, 2013 at 7:56am

Thank you dear Chief Phil and Brother Rex. Words cannot describe my deep appreciation for what you are doing for all beings. All my Relations!

Comment by Mushin Mato Wambli on January 24, 2013 at 2:15am

Brother Phil,

Thank you for this grounded assessment of the creative collapsing opportunity to awaken from the imperial, colonial, missionary nightmare of western civilization.  Knowledge making has failed us and unintended consequences are unsustainable even in the short term.  We are in a state of planetary emerge~n~see where aboriginal peoples still walk the earth in touch the mother and have have so much to teach us in our mutual liberation.  You are laying out in detail the challenges of the current mess requiring a clearing for learning bringing forth a unitary human ecology for our mutual liberation.  Let us begin to care for the sacred beings of tomorrow, our children and end all violence. Let us design a gentle new beginning in a child centric manner with Mother Earth that inspires unity in action and solidarity in humanity's spirit. Wolakota!

Guiding Principles

Starting From Within, Working in a Circle, in a Sacred Manner, We Heal and Develop Ourselves, Our Relationships, and the World.

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