What I saw
I can never tell.
A fleeting glimpse,
A flash of a shadow
and it’s gone.
Did you see?
~ Matthew B. Peters
“a poem I call Extinction Witness”
Extinction Witness is being incorporated into Project VIRGin.
The full website is in transition.
Following the philosophical brief below are links
to some of what’s been produced since 2012.
collaborative creative witness to loss, pain, and suffering
Extinction in Extinction Witness refers to the death of species, as well as the reduction of light (physics).
Sometimes, like now, extinction gets really big – the world gets really dark. Right now the rate of species extinction exceeds that of past mass extinction events. The present mass extinction is considered Earth’s 6th really big death. Or one might say, near death experience, since biodiversity has in the past regenerated over the course of years in the millions.
Numbers to grapple with include those in World Wildlife Fund’s Living Blue Plane Report 2015, which suggests that Earth has lost half its non-human population in the last 40 years. Human population increased by 55% in same time period.
At this rate, ecologists forecast 95% terrestrial species loss (Win-Win Ecology: How Earth’s Species can Survive In the Midst of Human Enterprise – Michael L. Rosenzweig, 2003).
Biodiversity is social diversity.
Earth’s society is biodiverse. When Earth’s society is dominated by one species thinking only of one species, and members of that species thinking only of themselves, the whole bit fails very fast.
There is no environment, only community. Another word for environment and habitat and ecosystem is community. Everyone depends on community and community includes everyone.
Rousing heaven from a living hell
Like any exchange currency, industry and technology themselves are not inherently devastating. Devastation occurs when tools are developed and used for the benefit of a few at the expense of most.
The present mass extinction is the wake-up to reality call catalyzing mass transformation of individuals, whole human institutions and operating systems equivalent to the transformation of individuals and Earth’s society since the human industrial and technological revolutions began.
The wake-up to reality is to be reminded that humans are not alone. Humans are connected with and dependent upon one another and other organisms determined by water. Thus, human consumption and use of fuels and materials is being adjusted to accommodate everyone’s needs and safeguard everyone’s health.
Emergent is the dawn of something careful. Emergent is a compassionate market place that encourages local trades in a circular economy and prioritizes common vitality. Emergent is a slower rate of species extinction, revived biodiversity and associated cultural diversity.
…When that emergent is imagined. Remember, death happens. There are no guarantees. There are choices. There is agency. There are human hands capable of much. Someone who is waking up can be distracted or overwhelmed.
To know one is to adore one is to, eventually, grieve one. Sometimes ahead of time. Grieving anticipated loss changes the mind by opening the heart.
To know – intimately - disenfranchised community members, the vast majority of whom are not human, ignites genuine personal and social transformation required to make living a lot less painful for everyone even in the darkest hour.
Grieving lost ones – past, present, and anticipated - is a healthy, healing, transformative first response to awareness of mass species extinction and ongoing genocide. Grieving clarifies what is needed. Grieving inspires truly helpful action.
Films at Vimeo
Read the latest:
Letting Go of the Wheel
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