Sean,

Your point has far reaching implications. In the name of “national security” or “national defense” or “religious superiority”, man in general can make any damned fool claim he wants to rape, pillage and murder. It was and continues to be sanctioned by the Catholic Church by papal law in the 1400s, was later adopted by Protestant nations- after all, it’s handy to use planting a flag on foreign lands to justify genocide in the name of a search for wealth. We are swimming in very different waters these days. A hokey claim of WMDs might have justified an invasion a few years back but in a future of disappearing wildlife, wildlands, wilderness, and water and food, nations that were once colonized and manipulated are not now so small. LIke India. China is working hard to build the world in exchange for resources and far, far more. They know what they’re doing.

The argument that we or any nation has the right to move in and take over, or dump our trash for decades, or simply grab what we want to expand and uphold our extraordinarily decadent- by comparison- way of life is no longer justifiable. I’m sure nations will use any argument they can to take from the weak what will help their nation survive. One hopes, as we move into a very different future, that people begin to see that the only hope for survival not only for us as people but for the animals that we like to paint on our nursery walls is a future of collaboration, shared wisdom, shared resources and cooperation. Otherwise we are headed for a nuclear winter- a fact of life that those of us who grew up in Florida in the mid sixties remember all too well. There is no bomb that goes off anywhere that doesn’t affect us all.

We cannot continue to suck up the fast majority of resources without a bill coming due. And it’s coming. That receipt, for all developed and colonizing nations, is to help rebuild what we tore apart, dumped garbage upon, committed genocide against, and ignored or looked down upon as unworthy. One who was considered “unworthy” became Nelson Mandela. There are plenty more like him in the world waiting to be educated enough to be statesmen, world leaders and advisors in a world desperately in need of humanitarians, not corporate destroyers.

I do hope. I have to hope. As I sit here in teeming city of Taipei, where the airport MRT train floor is painted like flowing grass (which is hard to come by around here), I refuse to give up. Because there are people who think, care, and who understand that our greatest gift is our willingness to sacrifice for one another. When you travel as I do, and am faced with kindness, graciousness, genuine interest and curiosity in the poorest of poor villages, you really do understand us as One World. The kids I carry on my back in Rwandan backwater villages have just as much right to water, food, an education and the right hope as we do. When we really do understand this, we have begun to grow as a species. If we only see them as in the way of some resource development, we are nothing but predators. We’ve had plenty of that already.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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