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When Butterflies Were Free

Jeff Campbell

Posted on April 19, 2019 11:38

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As the Monarch Butterfly migration is becoming harder to survive, are our chances for survival on this declining planet becoming harder as well?

In thinking of the remarkable annual migration of the delicate Monarch butterflies, it reminds me of the extremely delicate balance of nature that allows us to exist on this Earth. It is truly a miracle, how everything in nature is in near perfect balance with the exception of us humans “improving” everything using our “superior” brains and technological “advancements.”

The 2020 Democratic field is warning that we will perish from the Earth very soon and maybe that’s true. Maybe we are heading the way of the Monarch. Their home turf in the forests of Mexico has been in steep decline over the past 25 years just as our breathable air, clean waters and growable land have been in decline.

Monarch butterflies in Sierra Chincua, Mexico. Photo by Joel Sartore, National Geographic

Our roadways that crisscross the country also crisscross the Monarch’s migration routes with vehicles killing an estimated 20 million Monarch butterflies every year. I am not suggesting closing all the roads in the United States, but simply pointing out one of the countless examples of we humans having no true understanding of the harm we cause the planet and its inhabitants with our “progress.”

Many seem to think we can simply keep trashing the earth and blindly dismiss its warning signs when presented, chalking them up to the old adage, “The planet is always changing.” Well, that’s a fact. The planet is always changing. But, does that then make it okay to continually mistreat our ecosystems with the assumption that everything will always be fine in the end?

We also often have a callous attitude about different species, contending after all, that we are the “masters” of the Earth. I, for one, do not believe we are masters of anything, let alone the Earth. We should try to be, to the best of our abilities, positive stewards of this miraculous planet, for we had nothing to do with how everything seemed to fall into place perfectly, but we are sure doing a good job of messing it up.

There is much discussion about the Green New Deal. Is it really full of climate healing revolutionary ideas? I would submit, no. It looks to the same science that caused all of our climate problems for the solutions.

A truly revolutionary plan may not call for the retrofitting of all of our city’s buildings, but instead call for the elimination of building filled cities altogether. Would it not be more revolutionary an idea to work towards returning to a simpler structure of agriculture and set everyone up to be self-sufficient farmers? Or better still, hunter-gatherers? Why not return to a time when butterflies were truly free?  

But alas the “Genie” is out of the bottle and technology is already way out of our control. So, relying on what got us in this mess to fix it may be our best and only shot. I hope we are up to the task.

Jeff Campbell

Posted on April 19, 2019 11:38

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