Michael Pilarski | Resist the slaughter of the world

I cry for the world a lot. How can you live in this world and not cry? Do you live under a bushel basket? Or perhaps you only read the mainstream media? Or perhaps you think that your lot lies with the oppressors? Perhaps you think your fate doesn’t rely on a healthy Earth? Or that the brutal oppression of people in far-away places won’t affect you. I vividly remember a person from El Salvador saying “All these tortures, murders and death squads that the USA uses against us in El Salvador, someday they will use them against the people in the USA. If you let them get away with it here, you will suffer them too.”

The three permaculture ethics are “Care of People, Care of Planet, and Fair Share.” Everywhere across the planet you can see these principles being violated – daily, routinely, and officially sanctioned. We try to bury our heads in the sand, go to work, pay our bills, stay under the radar. The world’s wildlife has been reduced dramatically in the last 20 years. Traditional cultures are under the gun or enticed to the cities. Forest cutting and ecosystem degradation continue at a fast pace. Extinction rates are high on land and sea. The portion of the world’s wealth owned by the top 1% is increasing by leaps and bounds. Dictatorial and/or corrupt governments run pretty much every country on the planet. Oppression and repression abound. Can this continue? A resounding NO!!! If there is no revolutionary change, we will all die as the planet’s ecology collapses.

I have children and grandchildren. I want them to have a good future. I fear for them. What can I do for them in the years remaining to me? I have dedicated my life to building an alternative to the death and destruction. My efforts are joined by multitudes of others, and we have won some battles and lost many others. The war is raging: the war for Earth; the war for human souls. In the end, I do believe in evolution towards the Light. I do believe that nothing is in vain. But still I weep for the losses of today. I weep for the Earth despoiled and the people who die unjust deaths at the hands of the takers and the agents of death.

Let’s call a spade a spade and wake more people up. To be clear, I am not calling for a violent revolution. I do not fight with guns and swords but with words, seeds, tree-planting and building alternatives to the destructive methods in place. Education, yes! Protests, yes! Boycotts, yes! Non-violent resistance, yes!

In October 2017, I attended the Economics of Happiness Conference in Port Townsend, Washington. Helena Norberg-Hodge was one of the keynote speakers. She said that the main solution was localization, building local economies, reducing our dependence on globalization.

Here is a video of someone who is resisting. Ahed Tamimi is the 16 year-old Palestinian girl who slapped an Israeli soldier during a confrontation outside her home. An hour earlier, soldiers had shot her cousin in the face with a rubber bullet at short range, shattering his skull.

What does this have to do with trees and permaculture? As Tamimi says, “We are all victims of some kind of occupation” and should extend our struggles to each other, to resist the slaughter of the world.

Michael “Skeeter” Pilarski is a lifelong student of plants and Earth repair. His farming career started in 2nd grade and his organic farming career began in 1972 at age 25. He founded Friends of the Trees Society in 1978 and took his first permaculture design course in 1982. Since 1988 he has taught dozens of permaculture design courses in the US and abroad. His specialties include Earth repair, agriculture, seed collecting, nursery sales, tree planting, fruit picking, permaculture, agroforestry, forestry, ethnobotany, medicinal herb growing, hoeing and wildcrafting. He has hands-on experience with over 1000 species of plants. He is a prolific gathering organizer and likes group singing.

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