Conservatives have long derided the idea of Earth as a ‘her,’ or as more popularly known, Gaia, or “Mother Earth.” According to the so-called Religious Right, reverence for the planet that sustains all life, including our own, is a form of paganism.
Pink Swastika author Scott Lively even traces reverence for the planet to the Nazis he is so obsessed with, claiming “Equally revealing are the Nazi pagan earth worshiping rituals directly parallel to the Gaia followers of today.”
Bryan Fischer mocked the environmental movement as somehow opposed to God, in a “secular ten commandments” asserting that “Gaia is to be worshiped, and any blasphemy against her, by plundering her for such things as the fuel on which the world runs, will be met with the severest punishment and condemnation.”
Well, if the world runs on fuel, nobody will need it if we can breathe the air it pollutes. The effects of that pollution on global warming might be beyond Fischer’s ability to comprehend, but there is no denying its effects on asthma sufferers, including the 10 million Americans with asthma who live in areas with high levels of pollution.
Of course, there are those who see Gaia as a goddess, others to whom it is a more nebulous spiritual concept, and there are Pagans (like me) who accept that the world is full of the divine, that our gods, if not the earth itself, are of this earth and not somehow removed from it.
There is no need to be religious, however, to revere the Earth. Without our fragile environment, all life perishes, including people like Donald Trump and his cabal of rich-white-men out to rape the planet for what they can get in the here and now.
“I’m with her” became a rallying cry for Hillary Clinton supporters, but few would argue that support for the Earth supersedes any other her. Yet we are destroying her at an unprecedented pace, and not only her air and her trees and her soil and water but the oceans whose bounty supports millions.
Yet according to ABC News, “28 billion pounds of plastic enter the ocean each year.” And the San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program (SMCWPPP) tells us that “The latest figures estimate there is up to 236K TONS of plastic in the ocean.”
It is impossible to wrap your mind around such numbers, but a picture, they say, is worth a thousand words.
It is time for all Americans to look and weep and try to explain to their children why they weren’t with her when it mattered.