Tag Archives: Avatar

I’m not inviting you to my Planet!

If mankind disappeared today

What would all the animals say?

Birds, koalas and even bees,

Would sing with joy – they’d now have trees!

Tigers, elephants, all kinds of bear,

Could now roam free- without a care.

Their rivers would run unpolluted

Man and Earth are so unsuited! 

If you inherited a perfectly good planet with lovely oceans and jungles and fascinating animals, birds and fish, would you invite man onto it?

If you did you’d be crazy.

Picture the movie ‘Avatar’ and you’d see what I mean. Of course that’s only a movie, but why does it ring so true?

That’s because deep in our hearts we know that man can’t be trusted. Of course we’re all complicit, but somehow individually we all feel powerless.

As governments do extraordinary things that are not in their own country’s interests and as multi national corporations trash the planet with their slovenly work practices, we can only sit back and ‘cop it sweet’ as they say in Australia.

Only a couple of weeks ago we heard that Australia, which has ample home grown apples and pears, is opening the floodgates to Chinese grown apples and pears and all their attendant diseases. Yippee.

On a global scale we watch as oil spews into the oceans right across the globe.

The BP disaster in Mississippi is just one of many, many disasters. Oil spills are an every day part of life in the Niger Delta in Nigeria where oil pipelines have destroyed the livelihoods of  Nigerian farmers by poisoning the air, soil and water. Here oil pours out of oil wells continually, rendering swamps lifeless. Just recently a burst pipe belonging to Shell spewed out oil for two months, killing all the life in the local mangroves. It was only stopped a couple of weeks ago. The Gio Creek is still black from an oil spill in April.

Everywhere fish are dead and prawns and crab, once abundant, are now non existent.

I dread the day when there is either an explosion or oil leak in the British oil wells in the waters off the Falkland Islands or a ship crashes in Antarctic waters and drops its oil into the ocean. One day I fear we’ll be seeing photos on the front page of our papers of Emperor penguins, seals and whales coated in oil.

On land the mass extinction of plant and animal species proceeds at up to 1000 times the natural rate. As every country chops down their jungles, forests and spare trees as fast as they can, thus effectively destroying the habitats of every wild animal on earth, I don’t think many of us have much hope that anything except cats, dogs, caged budgerigars and farm animals will be alive by the end of the century.

Indonesia is now preparing to clear 1.6 million hectares of land in the Merauke district of south-east Papua for development, but this could expand to 2.5million hectares.

 The rainforests, which include swamp forests that are ecologically fragile, contain stores of peat that absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The land has been earmarked for agricultural projects including palm oil plantations, soy bean plantations, sugar cane, corn and rice farms. Already, throughout South-East Asia, palm oil plantations have been responsible for destroying millions of hectares of jungle. Throughout the world, soy bean plantations have been responsible for the destruction of huge tracts of the Amazon jungle and Argentinian forests. Environmentalists claim that up to 2 million hectares of jungle in Merauke are under threat.

There is no guarantee that the project will be successful even if the jungles are razed. A similar Indonesian project – the Kalimantan mega rice project that caused the devastation of peatland forests in Kalimantan – did not produce a single bushel of rice.

As the earth watches the small amount of its remaining jungles and forests being slashed and burnt to the ground, one wonders what price will be paid in years to come.

In the Zamfara state of Nigeria, in a village close to a gold mine, numerous children have recently died from lead poisoning. The ore that the gold is found in has a very high percentage of lead which has contaminated the soil in the village, and inside the households.

Across the globe mines have destroyed the landscape in all countries.

Our own Blue Mountains in New South Wales have collapsed in different spots due to coal mining beneath them.

New Guineans have long rued the day that gold miners entered their territory, poisoning their waterways and destroying their land.

One of my acupuncture patients, a Philippino, sadly recalled the beautiful natural scenery and waterfalls of his childhood which have now been destoyed by mining. For that matter, I believe that nearly 95% of original jungle has been chopped down in the Philippines since the end of World War Two.

I would like to think that earth’s glass is half full rather than half empty (make that three quarters empty). Unfortunately it does seem that while we’re all cruising along in a state of materialistic bliss, our planet is being trashed.

Let’s put it this way – I won’t be inviting mankind to MY planet!


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Avatar Rules

I have just come home from seeing Avatar and Wow and double Wow! What  a movie!

James Cameron has done what the Doofuzz Dudes have been trying to do since book one in the series – alert the world to what mankind has become – so far removed from nature that all that matters to it is money, profit and more money and profit. 

In the back of the Blood Tree  I wrote about how King Charlemagne chopped down the sacred tree of the pagans all those years ago thus severing man’s link to nature.  I was knocked out to see how the humans in Avatar had brought a tonne of dynamite to blow up the sacred tree of the inhabitants (the Na’vi) of  the planet Pandora  because under the tree’s roots was an extremely valuable metal. 

But then, even as we watched the movie, hundreds of hectares of rainforest in Indonesia, the Amazon and probably Australia, had been burnt down, logged or blasted.

When did we decide that everything would be all right as long as we had heaps of money and possessions? When did we decide that the lives of animals were worthless?  When did we lose our bond with nature?

And are we happier for it? Apparently not. There were quite a few suicides related to the current financial crisis – people who couldn’t go on due to their monetary losses. People feel empty inside – they are stuffing a big hole inside themselves with more and more money and ‘things’. 

But how happy were the inhabitants of the planet Pandora?  The joy of sitting in front of a computer in an office for eight hours of every day or the joy of battling to get on board an overcrowded train twice a day could hardly be compared with the joy they experienced in their daily lives, flying on wonderous birds, riding amazing horse-like animals and running through the jungle. 

And was the audience barracking for the humans? Were they hoping that the humans would be able to chop down the sacred tree and get their mineral quota?

I don’t think so! Could this be because deep inside of all of us is the memory of Irminsul, the sacred tree of the pagans? Somewhere in our genetic memories is our connection to that tree and to nature.  If only we could find that bond with nature again. Maybe then we could be kind to the animals who share the earth with us and also to the last vestiges of greenery that still stand.

However, it is exhilarating that people like James Cameron in Avatar and Dr.Seuss in The Lorax are making us aware that there are choices. And maybe it’s still not too late.

Post Script – Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with my sentiments.  Miranda Devine in the Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/hit-by-the-leftie-sledgehammer-20100101-llpp.html has quite a different view. She sees the movie as an attack on the US military and on humans in general. Actually, I don’t think that it is at all improbable that a company searching for a valuable mineral would employ soldiers to travel to another planet and instruct them to employ force to overcome the  inhabitants of the planet (‘savages’) and destroy their ‘flaky pagan’ religious artefacts if they stood in the way of the goal.  I suppose that if natives or aliens for that matter, have a religion which doesn’t have the right credentials in Miss Devine’s eyes, then they jolly well deserve to get what’s coming to them.

New Guinea is hardly another planet, but mining companies have dumped contaminated waste in the rivers which is destroying the environment, killing fish and natives.

See http://www.oxfam.org.au/explore/mining/our-mining-ombudsman-project/tolukuma-papua-new-guinea

River of poison

Each year, Tolukuma Gold Mine – formerly owned by Australian-based Emperor Mines Ltd – dumps more than 230,000 tonnes of mine waste into the Auga-Angabanga river system.

It’s a mining practice that’s illegal in Australia, but companies can get away with it in Papua New Guinea, and it’s destroying people’s lives.

“Please don’t do it to us … what you do not do in your own countries,” says local resident and Oxfam partner Matilda Koma.

This is why.

Communities living downstream from the mine report that:

  • People have become sick or died from drinking and washing in the river
  • Fish have died and food gardens have been destroyed, threatening their food supply
  • Changes in the river flow have caused flash flooding, making it difficult for locals to cross the river and access their market gardens

In 1996 the following was written on http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P1-2272355.html

Pratap Chatterjee
Inter Press Service English News Wire
LONDON, May 13 (IPS) — The mining of minerals from coal to
uranium has transformed mountains into craters and turned rivers
the color of blood, said representatives of indigenous peoples from
some 50 communities around the world, gathered in London this week.
From Namibia in southern Africa to Siberia near the Arctic
circle, from French Guyana on the north-eastern shoulder of South
America to Fiji in the South Pacific, speakers are in London for
the 6-16 May Consultation on Indigenous People and Mining,
organized by the World …Pratap Chatterjee
Inter Press Service English News Wire

So, Miranda Devine, if mining companies do that on earth, do you really think they would act ethically on other planets?

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