Friday, September 09, 2005

Burning waters - the Katrina aftermath

The water burns constantly in New Orleans, day and night, as the waste of civilization is found everywhere. The city of New Orleans has become a cesspool, literally. And even the most optimistic prediction says it will take years and years to restore something as basic as the water supply to full capacity.

What amazes me the most about this, really, is how unprepared the various parts of the United States government was, on all levels, from local to national administrations. I mean, I know well that modern society, civilization itself, is far removed from nature, and will always be unprepared for its random qualities, for the ongoing storm of the Universe, but this is ridiculous.

When the entire countries of Nicaragua and Honduras were leveled by hurricanes years ago, when it became clear that restoration would take many years, it was said that that wouldn’t be the case with advanced technological nations. Comments were quite patronizing. Well, it is now clear that that was just more technological conceit, hubris.

Katrina was a Category Five hurricane when closing in on New Orleans. It could very well have stayed that way, and caused even greater devastation. Everyone knew it was coming, but still they failed miserably to prepare for it and its aftermath in any way even approaching sufficient. It took a week, a week, before aid arrived in earnest.

Thousands have died. The actual number will more than probably never be known. Bodies still float in the water. People still die of starvation, lack of water and disease. They are boiled to death inside hot, disease-ridden rooms. They can’t drink the ever-present water. It’s a cesspool of pollution, bacteria-infestation, dead, rotting bodies and excrements.

Many reasons have been mentioned why this happened. Some say that it was allowed to happen, and that is certainly true, on many levels. Some say it is a ghoulish exposure of modern racism. That is true as well. Some say it is a war against poor people, a show of contempt, of ignorance, well beyond criminal negligence. One thing is certain: The message this event sends to the world’s poor is loud and clear: You are worthless. You are nothing but filth worthy of nothing more than a watery grave. George W. Bush says that no one could predict that the levees would break, and that is merely yet another of his boldfaced, absolutely amazing lies (and still a LOT of his mindless supporters say he reacted in time and generally does a good job in office). A number of local people and authorities have been screaming their lungs out in warnings for decades. The United States government abandoned New Orleans long before this. Everybody knew heavy investment was needed, on a broad front, both in the city and Louisiana in general. But nothing happened.

All these things, and more, are true.

But what I will say is the obvious, major reason is this: We humans have built walls around ourselves, between ourselves and beautiful, savage nature, and now the payback is here. Through centuries and millennia we have removed ourselves ever further from our home, from the world, from Life itself, and this is the inevitable reckoning. The Earth has fever. It is sick. The temperature is rising and the host’s antibodies are being deployed, and the disease humanity has become is attacked with an ever growing force. We have massively scarred the planet. We are killing life wholesale. In short: we are committing slow suicide.

The fever won’t subside. It won’t cease. But on the contrary continue to grow on a geometrical scale, until we, the disease come to our senses, and reject civilization, and everything in it, and stop acting like a disease and once again begin acting like the savage, ferocious beast we truly are.

Then the Earth will accept us again, and stop killing us on a massive scale, and the massive suffering we submit ourselves to, will end.

If we don’t do it ourselves, if we, ourselves don’t end the tailspin suicide existence we have created for ourselves the Earth will force its very, very brutal end on us.

Katrina and her like are a mirror, one in which we see ourselves.

Feverish Earth on the Midnight Fire weblog so far:

July 30.
August 4.
August 24.
Late August.

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