Making Peace with the Earth

In the foreword of her new book The Living Earth Dr. Vandana Shiva warns that now, when humanity have come to terms with the huge powers we have accrued to manipulate nature, we face a choice of enormous importance. We must choose, claims Shiva, between a destructive anthropocene, where our polluting and destroying ways are continued, or a creative anthropocene, where responsibility and humility towards nature is key. Tvergastein Journal is proud to present an excerpt. 

Illustration: Heida Mobeck.

Illustration: Heida Mobeck.

From a Destructive Anthropocene, to a Creative Anthropocene Guided by the Living Earth

The Economist special Issue on the “The World in 2012” ends with an obituary for The Earth. The earth is not about to die. What is dying is an outmoded paradigm and world view that has created multiple crises, beginning with the ecological crisis. The Mayan Prophecy, to which it refers, is not about the end of the Earth, but our age of ecological destruction.

By working on models of human progress based on the false assumption that we are separate from the earth and the earth is dead inert matter, humanity has pushed species to extinction, destabilized the climate, destroyed water, and polluted the rivers and oceans. The illusion that we are separate from the Earth is eco-apartheid. Beginning with separation from the Earth, we create separation within the human community. Finally, we separate ourselves from our own humanity, our being, our purpose on Earth. We start believing the Earth is to be owned and conquered. We accept the brutalisation of our brothers and sisters. And we shrink ourselves into appropriateness or consumers.

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