Having written, once again, of my frustrations related to Quakers and the environment, more specifically about how Friends have not given up personal automobiles, I have to wonder if part of the problem is how I have been expressing this. The issue is, of course, about much more than just having personal automobiles.
Maybe it would help to bring attention to the Native American principle of the 7th generation, that every decision be evaluated in terms of how it will affect our descendants seven generations into the future.
Fossil fuel is non renewable. Each gallon of gas burned is a gallon that will not be available for future generations. Additionally, easily accessible deposits of oil have been drained. That is why the fossil fuel industry has been forced to use extreme extraction practices for tar sands and natural gas. These practices are highly energy intensive, energy wasteful. Vast quantities of toxins are produced, ruining huge quantities of water. Hundreds of square miles of boreal forest stripped away. Earthquakes from fracking. Huge increases in greenhouse gases, and rising air and water temperatures.
This is what we are leaving for future generations to deal with.
It seems to come down to environmental privilege. “I should be able to buy and burn as much fossil fuel as I want.” Which is saying, “I don’t care about the 7th generation.”
The following was just written by my friend and local #NoDAPL organizer, Joshua Taflinger, who has spent time at Standing Rock this winter. Quakers will recognize the spiritual message.
The mistake they made, however, was that while driving blindly towards us with all their force, they woke the world up and a new Army of physical/spiritual warriors has risen. An Army who will never back down, for we know, the future of human life depends on us.
The time for rest is over.
Every able minded and able bodied person alive on this planet today, must take action, NOW. Find out what you are good at and perfect it and then teach your neighbor or friend. We can take back control, but it will take every single of us, working tirelessly and supporting each other.
What has risen to the surface at Standing Rock is a physical/spiritual movement. Learn how to quiet your mind. To find the silent receptive space to receive guidance. To learn to adapt and follow the pull of synchronicity to guide you to where you will find your greatest support and strength.
What I have found in my time praying in the indigenous earth based ways, is that it’s not about putting your hands together and talking to god…. It’s about quieting and connecting with the baseline of creation, of nature. Tuning into the frequency and vibration of the natural world, the nature spirits. The beings and entities that have been in existence, for all of existence, the examples and realities of sustainability and harmony.
It’s about becoming receptive to these things. Being open and flowing with them. The spirit guides us, but we have to make ourselves receptive to feel, sense, and respond to this guidance.