Thursday, February 18, 2016

What we can Abide

My fellow travelers.

We have crossed the vastness of space, left scarred mother earth and come here, to St Alban. To start over. To begin a new. To create a world created well and safely and with respect to the environment and for each other, in short, a world done right. From the start.

We fled a world while somewhat recovered from the ravages of human presence, a world emerging from the anthropogenic mass extinction, there were still other oppressions and degradations we could not abide. We wanted our children to grow up without these. Without fear. Without seeing a world torn asunder, even if it was no longer being abused by her brightest children. People still did unto people what they ought not. And we could not abide.

Yet as we stand here, looking down upon the St Alban, we see a vibrant and living world. One untouched by sentient life. One more complex and beautiful than Earth has been since the Pliocene, before the evolution of any sentient life back home. I am concerned. I am worried we may inflict the same horrors on St Alban as we did to Mother Earth and this we cannot abide.

Humanity has never lived in harmony with its environment. Not in the PreColumbian Americas where the Maya stripped the Yucatan of its jungle. Not in North America where the natives hunted the horses, camels, mammoths and more to extinction. Not in New Zealand, where the Moa no longer roam and Haast's Eagle no longer soars. Not in Europe, where the last tigers were wiped out in the 15th century and the last European lions were destroyed by the Romans. Not in Africa where the North African elephants ceased to exist. Not in Asia where the Sumatran Rhinos went extinct. Not in Australia, where the thylacoleo was gone even before the devastation of Europe's arrival. Nowhere, humanity has left untouched. Nowhere has humanity ever lived in harmony with nature. Let no one convince you otherwise. They will be lying to you, denying you the terrible truth of what we are: we are the one creature that can utterly reshape a world. From the moment our line acquired fire, we have been the single most disruptive force on Earth. And on St Alban this we cannot abide.

Since we are that destructive race, that oh so powerful influence, one that cannot be denied nor resisted, we are likely to unleash our disruption on St Alban. This we cannot abide.

We cannot return across the stars to the world we cannot abide.

What then ought we do? We cannot do anything other than disrupt St Alban but we cannot go home. There is another option, one that does not lead to self immolation, self extinction either. For that last we cannot abide.

St Alban is exists on the outer edge of the habitable zone. Cold, if beautiful, relative to Earth. There is another planet, within the habitable zone, devoid of life, hot though and mostly water, St Florian. It is somewhat smaller than Earth, about the size of Venus. It has a surface temperature about 10 C higher than Earth. It has only 10% of its surface above water. It appears to be a Polynesia writ large, one on a planetary scale, with a singular Australian sized continent.

There, we can land and make our home and build a world anew. We shall not disrupt St Alban. We shall remake lifeless St Florian. We shall terraform it. We can make it a paradise.

We shall visit St Alban, when we can and use it as a lifeboat, if we must, but St Florian, St Florian can be the home in which we can abide.

Where our great grandchildren will walk without mask or suit, and in good conscience, abide.

What say you?

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