The Opinions of Evil Slime

I’ve tried to be quiet. I’ve tried to let others get on with the so-called discussions. But I think I need to say something…

If you ask for my opinion on a topic:

  • then feel free to discuss my opinion with me but do not attack me for holding the opinion
  • then this needs to be because you are interested in what my opinion is
  • do not ask just so that you own opinion can be validated.

Debate and discussion are essential. Ad hominem attacks are not valid arguments. Just because someone holds a view different to you doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong, nor does it necessarily mean that they are evil slime that needs to be exterminated.

Debate can help change opinions. Calling people names as a response to them voicing an opinion will not change that opinion, more likely it will reinforce it.

Recognising that your own opinion can change and that you may indeed be wrong really helps when discussing a topic. Going in with the conviction of a sledge hammer may result in the nut bringing its own sledgehammer out.

Someone may indeed be evil slime but that shouldn’t stop you debating with them. Everyone is a mixture of light and dark. Those qualities can change in nuance over time. Better to debate than reinforce them.

The evil slime may produce something interesting, even good. They make want to work and earn money to feed and clothe themselves. The reactions of some towards evil slime would suggest that these basics should not be allowed.

Even evil slime can do good. In fact they are likely to.

But remember we are all a balance of light and dark. A balance of evil slime and bright blessings. Without some darkness there is no light. Without light there is no darkness.

Remember too, that the balance can change through debate and discussion but it won’t change through name calling and entrenchment of position.

A time of balance (or not)

The Autumn Equinox, Mabon or Alban Elfed (the festival of the elves). A time of balance, the moment that light and dark are equal. But a moment that sees us on a journey towards darkness, towards winter and death.

The news this month has been the opposite of balance. Arctic sea ice at its second lowest ever, the northern hemisphere recording its hottest summer ever, the UK failing almost all of its biodiversity goals, the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Report identifying that the animal population has fallen by 68% since 1970, 8% in the past two years alone.

The early signs of ecological recovery during COVID1 have been snubbed out as we head into COVID2. Is 2020 the Earth’s Annus Horribilis?

The UK government is going full steam on major construction projects, ignoring that it has already declared a climate emergency and that most of these projects will increase CO2 emissions. HS2 will reduce travel times by a few minutes at the expense of ancient woodland and its creatures.

It’s all about the economy and how to squeeze a little more growth out of it. Have they forgotten that many don’t need to travel to work now? Particularly those who will be using HS2…

So it is all the more incumbent on us to speak out. To speak for the Earth, Sea and Sky. To walk the walk and talk the talk. To celebrate life and death. To speak truth to power. But to do these with balance and reason.

I will be celebrating the festival of elves this evening and into that celebration I will renew calls to protect the Earth and renew my vows to stand strong against the humans who are killing the world around us.

Silent Autumn

The findings of the WWF’s Living Planet Report published this week are stark. Two thirds of the animal population have disappeared in the past 50 years. 8% have gone in the past two years alone. This is what the sixth mass extinction looks like.

Our living planet, Nature, the Earth, is being actively and systematically killed by humanity and its failings. There remains a denial of the problem at all levels of global society, not just in the bizarre world of Trump but right through humanity.

The BBC replied to complaints by a number of my friends stating that the ‘the notion of their being a climate emergency is the subject of some debate’. The denial runs as deep in the climate emergency as it does in the wider ecological emergency.

As a Druid, this hurts. One of the themes of Druidry is that of truth. “Tell the truth” shout XR to the media and politicians. They shout that for good reason.

It hurts too as Nature is sacred. Our gods are being killed by our fellow human people.

The question is always what should we do?

  1. Tell the truth. We have our own media now. Don’t limit it to your own bubbles but tell it more widely (and wear a thick skin for some of the replies). Talk to your elected representatives, tweet the corporations, write to papers and wave a placard.
  2. Reduce our footprints. Stop flying and consuming unnecessarily. Buy local and ethical. Eat less meat (give it up if you can).
  3. Remember the sacredness in Nature. Worship and honour her whenever possible.
  4. Tell the truth…

Nature is practical, not vindictive

As we leave the hot summer months and head into a stormy and cooler autumn in the most turbulent year that I have ever lived in, the need for connection with Nature could not be stronger yet humanity’s willingness to do so grows weaker by the day.

Coronavirus infections are on the rise again in the UK it feels like there is a real division in life. Younger people seem less concerned and us slightly older folk are a little more wary – obviously this is a generalisation. But as coronavirus is more harmful to older people, that is not surprising.

Nature is not vindictive, it is just practical. Every so often a new disease appears that kills off weaker, older people. This is the way of Nature. The stronger people survive and develop immunity until they grow old and a new disease takes them.

We are the apex predators on the Earth, allegedly, but even we have to die. We may think our position is above Nature, that we have dominion over Her as some religions might suggest, but in truth we are part of Her and She had a role in maintaining balance on Earth.

Maintaining balance has been difficult for Her in recent centuries. Our discovery of energy sources has seen a rapid rise in power and technology but also in resource depletion and pollution. But Nature needs to restore balance and pandemics are one way of doing this, although not the only way. There are Limits to Growth as the Club of Rome explained prophetically in 1970.

Humans have a responsibility to Nature but we have ignored that and claimed rights instead. That separation of rights from responsibilities is evident in so many areas of society but is one of the biggest failings of modern times.

Responsibility needs to take centre stage now if we are to avoid further chaos, bit we also need to learn to deal with the encroaching storm. There is much to learn.

We are going to need to deal with bereavement at a variety of levels. Not just the impact of the deaths of friends and relatives from Covid but from the wider changes that humanity either brings in voluntarily or the Nature will impose on us.

It is that latter aspect of bereavement that will become increasingly important over the next few decades. Learning to cope with less. Learning to pollution less. As JMG has said many times, the future is LESS: Less Energy, Stuff and Stimulation.

It is time for LESS if we are to work practically with Nature rather than simply letting Nature sort out our mess.

Just a reminder of the current trajectory, this is the BAU scenario from Limits to Growth: