Tony Hoagland passed away on October 23. The poet hoped for humankind’s peaceful transition in the world it has diminished.
We are diminished: The World Wildlife Fund released a report that found a 60% decline in the size of populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians in the just over 40 years.
The WWF report preceded the UN Convention on Biodiversity meeting in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt later this month. Pașca Palmer, executive director of the UN body, hopes the conference will initiate the process on reaching an agreement that can stem the tide of anthropogenic extinction, the worst loss of life on Earth since the demise of the dinosaurs.
The news in the US was of the midterm elections. A number of ballot initiatives sought to mitigate climate change and achieve conservation goals at the state level. The midterms are primarily seen as referendum on the machinations of the current regime in Washington.
A fervent supporter of that regime was arrested for sending mail bombs to leading Democrats and a committed white nationalist was arrested and charged with committing the deadliest attack on Jews in American history.
It does feel as if there must be a link between our diminishing biosphere and the rise of fascism. Mark Bray, a historian currently lecturing at Dartmouth College, wrote about some of the connections.
Certainly, a new economics would help, and a newfound kinship with the natural world might dispel some of humankind’s anxiety about its place in the universe. Last month saw the North American publication of Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris’s The Lost Words. The book, published a year ago in Britain, has sparked a movement to reunite children and nature.
According to myth, we have been here before. The Lenapé tell a story of how they came to respect the animals upon which all our lives depend.
“What we need,” says mythologist and storyteller Dr. Martin Shaw, recently interviewed in Emergence Magazine, “is a great, powerful, tremulous falling back in love with our old, ancient, primordial beloved, which is the Earth herself.”