This week’s prompt is “earth”
When I think about “Earth”, I think about the element, deities and our planet.
In the Old Norse Faith, there are two Entities connected to the Earth.
One is the Jotun Jord (whose name means “earth”) also known as Fjorgyn. She is the mother of Thor.
The other is the Vanr Nerthus, who some believe is the sister-wife of Njord, and the mother of Freyr and Freyja.
I’m very much an urban Pagan, and a Lokean. The element I have the least affinity for is earth. My element is fire.
My praxis isn’t earth-centred. I don’t go out and frolic in nature and get in touch with Mother Earth and nature spirits. I go down town to cafés and drink coffee mocha, and get in touch with the city spirit. It’s energetic, fast flowing and swirling. I love to sit and watch all the people passing by.
I know where the heart of my city lies, and I go to an outdoors café there during summer. This place is quiet and sheltered, like the eye of a hurricane.
So, when I think of “earth” I mostly think of our planet.
I once heard this on a radio show:
There are now nearly 7 billion people on this planet. 100 years ago there were 2 billions. The last billion has been born in the last 12 years.
If we and our planet are to survive, our species has to seriously reduce our excesses, to change our attitude and priorities from greed and consumerism to conservation and moderation.
My first thought was: “We’re so screwed”.
There is a saying: “We don’t own the Earth, we borrow it from future generations”. It doesn’t seem to me that many live by that. It seems to me that we are a very selfish and greedy species.
There is an attitude in our species that is: “I want everything I can get, and I want it now, and I don’t care what happens with the planet after I’m dead”.
Yeah, I don’t have a very high opinion of my species…
I’ve just seen a BBC TV program called “How many people can live on planet Earth?”
Many scientists think Earth has a maximum carrying capacity of 9 billion to 10 billion people. Some scientist think that we will be 9 million humans by 2050. If our population continues to grow at about a billion per decade, we might be 9 billion people by 2030.
Our ability to produce food doesn’t increase as quickly as out population growth. Fresh water doesn’t increase at all. There are already more than a billion people who lack access to safe, clean drinking water. At some point we’ll also run out of fossil fuel.
Humans are the biggest threat to it’s own species, other species and the environment.
A scientist in the program believes that today’s population requires the equivalent of 1 1/2 planets to support our current way of life. We’re living beyond the means of our environment to sustain us. Industrialised countries need to drastically reduce their use of resources to give the necessary space for ecological growth to developing countries.
Yeah, good luck with that. I don’t think people in industrial countries are willing to give up their level of consumption of resources and change their lifestyle.
When it comes to other species, thousands are endangered by our current excessive use of resources:
There are now 41,415 species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, and 16,306 of them are endangered species threatened with extinction. This is up from 16,118 last year. This includes both endangered animals and endangered plants.
The species endangered include one in four mammals, one in eight birds, one third of all amphibians and 70% of the world’s assessed plants on the 2007 IUCN Red List are in jeopardy of extinction. The total number of extinct species has reached 785 and a further 65 are only found in captivity or in cultivation. In the last 500 years, human activity has forced over 800 species into extinction.
More and more people are becoming aware of ecology and the balance of nature, but I fear that it’s too slow; that it will be too little, too late.
In my praxis not being materialistic is important. I have spent the last year decluttering my home, and giving a lot of my possessions away. I don’t care about the status many people feel expensive things give. I am only one among 7 billion humans, though.
I fear that greed, consumerism and materialism will continue to be very strong driving forces among our species. I don’t think enough people are willing to change their lifestyle and focus on conservation of our planet and on moderation.
I fear that in my lifetime we’ll see widespread famine and epidemics, maybe even pandemics. And the loss of hundreds of more species, both flora and fauna.