Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Ash Kicking Our Ass

In late August of 1883 the volcano at Krakatau (many know it as Krakatoa, but it's pronounced "ow" not "ohah") erupted. The eruption was so fierce and so powerful that the skies in London were red for days from ash in the upper atmosphere. The volcano itself essentially melted into the sea. It has since grown back.
Telegraph gave the news of the eruption but it was slow reaching. There was some panic, some fear in the areas that saw only a red sky. Understandable.

Last week a volcano erupted (called Eyjafjallajokull and no I am not going to try and pronounce it) in Iceland (in case you've been hiding under volcanic rock for the last 10 days) and a different form of chaos has ensued. Flights delayed and canceled because the ash is so thick and so strong that it is blocking the ability for jets to fly safely. Military operations are slowed or cancelled for the same reason.

Looking at these photos it is not hard to imagine a less educated and more primitive society predicting the end of the world, apocalypse, etc. In the last few months there have been earthquakes and tsunamis all over the place. I have to admit, even I sit here thinking what the fuck is going on.

(I took these pictures from the following site but that site seems to be blocked now. A shame. It's possible I might get in trouble for having them?)

It's very easy to start thinking of God's vengeance, as Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson and that ilk start spewing. Even in this day and age. The weak and small minded use it to shore up their superstitions, their power-structures.

Unless you're one of those geniuses that believes the earth is 6,000 years old and that man used Tyrannosaurus Rex to pull his plow etc, we know that the earth is astoundingly old and we know that our time as human beings on this earth is a relatively tiny amount.

As much as I argue with creationists and anti global warming deniers on the right, I also argue with "tree huggers" on the left. Not because I'm not a tree hugger (because I am), but because I've always had a problem with the "Save The Earth" argument.

The Earth, my friends and loved ones, will be just fine. It's us that needs the saving. We're the ones that will be wiped out when weather makes things inhabitable. We're the ones that will die of radiation poisoning if some idiot decides to follow suit on blowing up a nuclear bomb.

The Earth, she will adapt. The forms may change, may mutate, but they will push through.

When you walk down a paved street and there's a crack in the pavement, in a short amount of time, there's a weed or a tree popping up. Here in New York, when a building gets torn down and an empty lot is left...a lot of brick and dirt and mortar, nothing more, mind you. The next year, that lot is filled with grass, small trees, etc. In two years you have a forest. The Earth always finds a way, Life always finds a way to exist. It doesn't need to be human.

I do have some belief in a higher power, but it isn't the God people go to church to worship and/or fear. I believe that there is power greater than humankind, and if the volcanic eruption and the ensuing disruption to our lives isn't a clear demonstration of that power, whatever it's source, I don't know what is. I call that power Life. I don't know if it's mystical or accidental or what. I'm just pretty sure it is what it is and it will do what it will do whether we like it or not.

We are nothing.

We are a brief and tiny species in a far far greater tapestry that may or may not be "God's plan", but is certainly something larger than we seem to be able to accept or comprehend.

We ain't all that. We need to get over ourselves. We need to take care of ourselves and each other. We need to stand (or sit) in awe of Life and be humble in our actions. Our advanced form of travel is brought low before a single action by the planet we inhabit.

God's not angry folks. The Earth is just doing what it does. Living. We're just lucky enough to be here while it does.

1 comment:

Ali said...

Love the pictures, and the post!