Chatting With Ishmael I

Several decades back I read a book by Daniel Quinn about a gorilla named Ishmael who was able to mind-talk with specially selected humans.  Ishmael’s sometimes  pedantic and Socratic chats were meant to describe the degraded environmental situation, reflect on why things had gotten that way, and suggest what we might do to improve the situation. I enjoyed the book then and encountered it again in late 2011.  I thought I would take this opportunity to have a chat with Ishmael.        

Ishmael my friend, it was good to talk with you again after all of these years.  I have to agree that we are, as you say, in a “disastrous cage of our own making” and once the door shuts on that cage we will pay a very heavy price. The scientific information indicates that we are already paying part of that price you mention.  During the first week of November 2011, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted increasingly extreme weather, with its attendant destruction, injury and death, caused by planetary warming, due to human impacts.  

On the other side of the coin, however, we don't yet seem to have the ability to sterilize Earth.  Also, it does not appear as if the evolution of life may end due to humanity’s toxic actions.  The United Nations Environmental Program, however, reports, continued increases in the number of environmental refugees as land previously used for agriculture and grazing becomes seriously degraded.  Worldwide, habitat for other species (including your own) continues to be destroyed by population expansion (7 billion and counting) and human habitat continues to be degraded along with lifestyles.

(Continued in the next post)


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