A rate of extinction estimated at “up to 100 times higher than the background rate” should provide adequate motivation to reconsider the deep ruts of human supremacism.
A DP correspondent steered us to an excellent online resource curated by the Center For Humans and Nature, including essays from a wide range of writers and thinkers invited in response to a series of key questions such as “What does it mean to be human?”
David Abram begins his response with a quote from Robinson Jeffers: “I have fallen in love outward.” Further excerpts below, with images from an Art & Extinction series by the Irish artist Diarmuid Delargy.
In a Postscript, Abram adds:
What ails us can also obliterate us; extinction events slowly but surely work themselves up the food chain to the alpha predators. In this progression, our connection to and dependence on the whole of life will become painfully evident.
The Jeffers poem also spins these lines forth from the mind of Cassandra, o force of the earth rising:
Plant the earth with javelins? It made laws for all men, it dissolved like a cloud.
I have also stood watching a storm of wild swans
Rise from one river-mouth . . . O force of the earth rising,
O fallings of the earth: forever no rest, not forever
From the wave and the trough, from the stream and the slack,
from growth and decay: O vulture-
Pinioned, my spirit, one flight yet, last, longest, unguided,
Try into the gulf,
Over Greece, over Rome, you have space O my spirit for the years