Arctic 30: Freeing our old ideas of relationships!
by Hakim (Dr. Teck Young Wee) mentor for the Afghan Peace Volunteers
November 28, 2013
Writing from Afghanistan, recently ranked by Australia’s University of Queensland as the most ‘depressed’ county in the world, I understand that the ideas and experiences of happiness are varied and elusive.
Even in one of the poorest countries of the world, where 84 percent of households are multi-dimensionally poor, T.V. adverts and consumer culture persuade us that an i-phone is more valuable than a tree.
We don’t relate with trees and forests, so the denuded hills and mountains in Afghanistan can wait. We don’t miss water when it is depleted from our underground water tables in Kabul or imprisoned in years of drought in Afghanistan.
We behave as if we can survive happily alone, without Mother Earth, just as long as we have our cars to bring us to concrete shopping complexes.
Living in landlocked Afghanistan, the Afghan Peace Volunteers (APVs) don’t think about the oceans much, so when the international 30 were arrested trying to stop oil drilling in the Arctic Sea, the APVs wondered, “Why?”
Do the oceans grieve? Do the penguins and polar bears feel sad?
We risk being seen as esoteric when we relate with nature. Some people are prompted to talk to the trees, to the flowers and to other living creatures. But it wouldn’t be so curious if we extended to the wild our long-standing domestic friendships with cats and dogs.
The crisis of global warming has precipitated a time for humanity to free our idea of relationships to include the Earth.
That was what we began considering as Abdulhai encouraged the APVs to dye the water in several basins the color of the ocean-skies, to specially ask a friend in Kabul to make two blocks of ‘Arctic’ ice with his refrigerator, to learn about how our consumption of oil is changing the face of more than the North Pole, and to be in solidarity with the 30 stranger-friends behind bars for loving something bigger than themselves.
When, as part of a video project, Abdulhai and the youth were shouting ‘Free the Arctic 30!’ they were learning to free the Earth from human exploitation.
Many thanks to the Greenpeace activists and so many people who are joining hands the world over to urgently address climate change, despite the profit-driven opposition from oil-extracting governments and corporations.
We take heart in Mother Earth, who beckons for us to build a world free of the borders separating homo-sapiens from the rest of the natural world.
She is coaxing us to free ourselves from the material domination of happiness, from the old ideas of relationships
NASA photos show that the Arctic Ice Cap is diminishing!
This is the earth. The Arctic North Pole had that much of an ice cap in 1980.
By 2012, the Arctic ice cap had diminished by 50%
Photographer Denis Sinyakov
Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel from Brazil
30 Greenpeace activists ( trying to stop an Arctic Gazprom Oil Rig from drilling ) were imprisoned by the Russian authorities.
We do not want our use of oil to cause further global warming
If the earth gets warmer, humanity will not survive.
To the 30 people in prison, “We are with you!”
We ask governments and oil companies to free our 30 friends!
Free the Arctic 30!