Monday, February 22, 2010

Connections and Fall Out

When one tugs at
a single thing in nature,
he finds it attached to
the rest of the world.

~ John Muir

James Cameron's blockbuster movie, Avatar, reminds us of the subtle connections we have to this planet.  Although the Na'vi are highly idealized, falling easily into the category of Rousseau's Noble Savage, it challenges us to question our version of civilization, technology, science, etc., over the simpler state of existence or have we reached a place where the two can enhance one another.

As Obama moves forward with plans to support the building of a nuclear plant in Georgia, we are reminded once again of the catastrophe that is nuclear energy. We still have no methods of dealing effectively with the waste produced. The potential hazards due to human error and time are far too great to make this a feasible option. Yet there are technologies that do work with nature to enhance our lives with electric power. Solar energy, wind power, wave power, etc. We know how these work and there are no nasty side effects like the heart breaking birth defects as noted in Tom Hasting's recent blog, Nonviolence Unplugged

In Avatar the Na'vi could tap into the network of the planet.  We need to learn to listen to our mother planet just as well.  She's speaking loud and clear with increasingly severe and unpredictable weather across the planet.  We may not be able to network through some cool dread locks or braids, but we can use this media, the Internet, and connect to each other to work toward nonviolent solutions to not only the energy problem, but war, hunger and so much more. 

Cameron also reminds us of the deadly connection between the US military and corporate powers in this world.  This is not myth.  This is all too real and has taken countless lives of indigenous peoples across this planet.  Even now the oil we crave is being purchased with blood,  as have cocoa beans, diamonds, and anything else coveted for its profit margin.  It's time to stop this monster.  Cameron's film is a wake up call.  Enjoy the painfully beautiful pictures painted of a planet with 10 ft tall super models and glowing forests, but be sure not to miss the message.  Cameron failed to show a true solution to the problem.  If the "unobtanium" is precious enough to the powerful, bigger guns will come.  Without a nonviolent solution, this cycle will never end. 

Simple living in tune with nature is sweet living indeed.  But if we make and use technology wisely, it can enhance this existence in new and exciting ways.  We can all be connected, and we can also win this battle nonviolently.

1 comment:

Tom H. Hastings said...

So now that you've inspired me to watch Avatar I'm still trying to make my braid live up to its full potential. I think I need to go barefoot more. Please see if you can get our leaders to grow braids, if not consciences...instead we have a capital full of horribly beweaponed ignoble savages. Thank you for helping us think about these connections. I hope the fallout from the film is more toward a naturalistic indigenous than a violent battle. After all, nature bats last no matter what planet we're on. If we allow the profiteers to transmogrify nature to nukes, nature will remove humanity from its list of evolutionary experiments at some point.