Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

30 August 2005

Creative Commons for anarchists?

I agree with Jeff Vail in that I don't want a Creative Commons licence on this site. I don't want to own my words or the content. I want it distributed and shared as widely and freelly as possible. This obsession with ownership that we humans have is what's destroying us. We need to learn to share, focus on community and look after each other, instead of just looking out for number one.

I learned a big lesson about such things this weekend, when I learned that a big chunk of what I thought was "our property" is not. It's a beautiful piece of wild veld that I thought I could protect, by owning it. But that's not the way it works anyway. I know that in my heart.

Numbers, numbers. Our world is obsessed with numbers and measurements. Sifuna zonke! That's why we're so screwed in the head. Numbers are more important than people, animals, trees and the survival of the earth. If we destroy her, we destroy ourselves. We are destroying her and therefore our children will have nowhere left to live. So we are effectively destroying ourselves.

ps Katrina is a child of the planet, she is an embodiment of nature fighting back, trying to reclaim what's rightfully hers ... or ... for the reactionary (aka arnold de governator swartzenegger) version see weatherwars website for an alternative explanation.

26 August 2005

Do you have to see a tiger to save it?

I had the privilege of meeting Surita Narain in person some years ago, and she made a huge impression on me. In those days her website was open source and free to view. She and a small team of committed environmentalists were taking on The Machine.

Originally uploaded by KiMbali.

I read today that she has been invited to join an organisation fighting to save the tiger (wild tiger that is!!!). Anyway, the "conservationists" involved were horrified when they heard she had never seen a wild tiger and therefore questioned her credentials in terms of being capable of helping save the species.

Sunita writes:

"She has never seen a tiger": this is how some conservationists questioned my credentials to chair the tiger task force when it was set up three months ago. It did not surprise me. Cola, pesticide or diesel car-making companies reacted precisely like this to our work. Discredit the messenger and hope the message also gets dismissed.

But it did worry me. Here were people we work with. Saving the tiger is surely common to all environmentalists. So, was it really so important for me to have seen a tiger to have the expertise for what could be done to safeguard it? Why did I need to prove my 'loyalty'? After all, this was not the fanaticism of religious extremism or the jingoism of right-wing nationalism. Was it?"

I can identify with this. Especially regarding my experiences as a science writer. When interviewing a scientist, I am often asked, "but how can you write about science if you have no scientific qualification?". I always answer that it allows me to write better, because I come from a point of no knowledge of a subject. This allows me to explore it from all angles, not only the scientific.

This has also shaped my beliefs as they stand today. Science is not only the preserve of scientists, because science impacts the lives of each and every one of us - person, tree, beetle, frog and sea. Fellow anarchist Bertrand Russell puts it so well when he says:

"Science as the pursuit of truth is the equal, but not the superior of art."

And then there's Einstein: "Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgements of all kinds remain necessary."

01 August 2005

Endocrine disrupters

Feeling slowtoday
Pulling this endocrinedisrupted body fromthebed
Got some plastic
Got some dioxin

Feeling lowtoday
Hiding from this destructiveculture
Got Hollywoodstars
Got swollencollagenlips

Did you ask the cow if you may inject its collagen into your lips?

Watching DesperateHousewives
Means I don't think about the desperatewildlife
Got some darts
Got some guns

Aah no, can'tcopewiththis
Let me just switch on nationalgeographic and pretend allswell
Lifeonearth is dying

*Endocrine disrupters are ietsiebietsie, teenyweeny little chemicals, herbicides, pesticides etc splattered all over the planet. They are "increasingly associated" with birth defects in teenyweeny, little humans. Oh and by the way, they are also associated with the feminisation of several species of frog and fish, reproductive disruption in salamanders and oysters, abnormalities in arctic seals, walrusses and polar bears, in whales, turtles, alligators and not to mention what they are "possibly" doing to invertebrates everywhere. Insects, mollusks, lobsters .... oh god do I need to spell this out? We are fucking up the planet dear friends!

Cleaning products are increasingly suspected as being a key source of endocrine disrupters in the environment!

Are my animal friends happy?

Can a committed eco-anarchist love and respect animal friends and at the same time believe that all animals should be wild and free? Are my "pets" free?

My dog friends are my teachers. Jupiter teaches me to live in the present moment at all times. Tsepe teaches me to be wise and regal. Peppa teaches me the importance of acceptance and community. My cat friends set examples that we as humans can only strive to mimic. Sakkee teaches me that we can love each other, even from a distance, because he and I are one. Sakkee only kills for food. He always eats the animals he catches, every last scrap including bones. Mielie is love. He reminds me that the whole of earth is one. (He doesn't kill or harm the birds, mice, lizards etc that he catches? Mielie has never killed or hurt an animal that he has caught.)

I can no longer comfortably view animals in a zoo. Even animals behind fences in large nature reserves are not free. So, are my household friends - my "pets" as some would call them - free? Are they happy? Do they want to return to the wild?

I have asked them and they always seem to be saying that they are happy and proceed to ask "when's the next meal?" But sometimes I'm unsure about this. I know I'm not happy in chains. I know I want to return to the wild. I know I want to be free.

The ideal world seems to be one in which all plants and animals are free and wild. But as long as the destruction surges forth and extinctions occur daily this is all just asilly pipedream.