Looking For Trouble
Undermining the Patriarchy Every Chance I Get. And I Get a Lot of Chances
The Coathanger Five
It has not escaped my attention that of all of the drugs and medical procedures that have ever been, birth control (including IUDs) and abortion have the greatest potential to save the Earth. Right now, we face a terrible contradiction: Too Many People & Not Enough Planet.
As Peter Grey says in his latest essay*:
[W]e do not simply have peak oil, we have peak water, peak wood, peak rare earths, peak everything that is drawn into the maw of the inexorable algorithim of industrial culture and the inevitable wars and revolutions that resource scarcity produces.
I once reasoned that, in a long slow decline of living standards, witchcraft as a low tech, local response could perhaps survive the coming storm and that hand in hand with rewilding habitats as re-enchanted sacred spaces it offered the potential for a post-industrial recovery of bio-diversity. Examples such as Yellowstone, and in particular Chernobyl, showed how seemingly impossible recoveries could occur. Rewilding offered the possibility to heal the land and with it ourselves – that is, those of us who made it through the choke point when the oil based economy failed to feed us all. If I want to be mischievous, I would have extended the metaphor, suggesting that by reintroducing the practitioners, the wolves, we would have kept down the population of neo-pagan apologists, the deer, and in doing so gained a thriving diversity.
Now everything has changed. We have a different ordeal that we need to undergo.
Rewilding is alas the final position of an ecological movement facing catastrophic losses.
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Yet the essential failure of rewilding is this: we cannot simply introduce new predators, or species such as bison or beavers, into small isolated environments whilst industrial culture is destroying the entire matrix of life on the planet. These sanctuaries will inevitably be deregulated by government, hand in glove with industry, and overrun.
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I am not suggesting quitting. Far from it. These small victories will make a difference as we approach the choke point and particularly for those who have or choose, in spite of the facts, to have children. Witchcraft, being animist, is not so selfishly anthropocentric, our personal loyalty lies not with our genetic survival but aligns with the fate of all things to which we are innately bound.
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We are living in a mass extinction event. This is not a theory. Over half the species on earth will be extinct by 2050. Let me repeat that fact: over half the species on earth will be extinct by 2050. We are on track to kill off 75% of life in no longer than 300 years, assuming we make it that far. This is the fastest and largest extinction event in history, including that of the dinosaurs.
This disaster has many fathers, not the least of which is patriarchy. But its most proximate cause is overpopulation. A small human population could burn coal for a long time before creating a mass extinction. And our one, great hope for bringing overpopulation under control within a few generations lies in the drugs and medical procedures that allow women to control how many children they bear.
I am a Witch and my allegiance is with the planet, with the living body of the Goddess, with Mamma Gaia. And it has not escaped my notice that the five Catholic men on the Supreme Court are happy to do all that they can to make those drugs and procedures that could save Mamma Gaia impossible to achieve for millions of women.
There is such a thing as karma. Karma is freakish and karma is fervent and Witches have been (pace, Mr. Benet) karma's willing servants.
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