The Trial of Earth
[thoughts from the mind of ~burning woman~ ]
The verdict is in, from a jury of one: “Planet earth is…”
Wait. Let’s examine some highlights of the trial before the verdict is revealed.
The following is a caption of evidence presented, and closing remarks made, from both prosecution and defense in the great case called the trial of Earth. Though only a mock trial, the final verdict will be recorded for future generations to ponder.
It’s wasn’t at all black and white. I was swayed, here and there, by presentations and arguments, and of course throughout the trial I had problems with much of the evidence. Problems of conscience, I guess you’d call it. Perhaps problems with aesthetics, although that is not my area of expertise. Problems of responsibility, certainly. I would be deciding the “reputation” of a world that has been mine for several lives, and judging a people, some of whom provided me with parenthood, upbringing, guidance and the wherewithal for survival. On the other hand I have to also remember that my life in many instances was terminated, often violently and painfully, also by some Earth people. The dichotomy of earth: the giving and the taking, all with expectations, none with permission.
From the beginning of the trial, it was obvious that the prosecution was going to focus almost entirely on man’s treatment of his world, and also wander through the whole concept of predation. A whole lot of destruction; of blood and gore. National Geographic videos of predators stalking and killing their prey followed by disingenuous arguments designed to “prove” that man’s predatory ways were rooted in his mammalian evolutionary past, arguments which the prosecution easily tore to shreds. These were followed by old movies from various wars, and new ones from genocide documentaries in various parts of the planet. Anecdotes were told about the Inquisition tortures, and the crusades; the conquests of Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. Massacres by the British Raj armies in India and Pakistan. More pictures of the Nazi holocaust of Jews and other “lesser races” in WWII. My Lai, Wounded Knee, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Armenia, the American and Spanish civil wars… until my eyes were so wet I couldn’t see anymore, and my ears were drowned in pathos.
Yet those weren’t the worst events I was to be subjected to. There came modern images of city landscapes; of overcrowding, inadequate public services and horrible conditions in jails and detention centers; of strip mining and logging; of the burning of the Amazon rain forest. Then came pictures and videos of child slave labour in mines all over the world; of pornographic “studios” and child sex trade. Many pictures of homeless people and refugees in hastily erected camps, without food, water or protection for women from armed male predators. Pictures of bodies after man-made catastrophes like mine cave-ins and Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Images and videos of massive crude oil spills, particularly the BP spill in the gulf of Mexico. Videos of men killing women and burning them, sometimes while still alive; of cruelty to animals in zoos, on farms and particularly in slaughter houses. Picture after picture of contaminated waters and lands with bloated bodies of birds, fish and animals; of skylines forever hidden in toxic smog and fumes. And noise, noise so loud and ear-wracking as to make one want to slip away to some hell just for a break.
I must admit the defense did its best to counter that avalanche of horror. Obviously someone had gone on Google or Facebook or wherever and collected thousands of beautiful images of a pristine planet. Birds flying through the skies, alone, in pairs or in flocks as in murmuration performances. Birds in trees and fields, one particular field white with the presence of snow geese feeding. Hummingbirds buzzing each other in amazing aerial displays and feeding from flowers and home feeders. Lions and monkeys lazing around on the ground or in trees, yawning, or grooming each other, their young playing harmlessly around them. Monarch butterfly swarms. Fish swimming streams on their spawning runs. Antelopes running free. I heard the beautiful cacophony of birds and tree monkeys in equatorial forests; the soothing sound of rain forest downpours through thirsty leaves; the thunder of majestic waterfalls and the vista of high, snow-capped mountains, their tops pink in the rising and setting suns. The inviting swells of waves on the open oceans. A clear night with a camera pointing at the stars and the aurora borealis.
Another witness brought forth a varied collection of man’s art: paintings, drawings, music, plays, movies and various colourful and pleasing performances. A new born baby in its mother’s arm; another suckling at the breast. Naked children running after retreating waves on a beach somewhere. A young boy sitting alone on a grassy knoll also somewhere, looking out over the land with a look of intense wonder in his face; a look of hope for a good and peaceful future. Colourful dances; individuals tending their backyard gardens. Many were the presentations and they were very, very good.
The case for the defense was almost over the top, but it just wasn’t enough. I knew that if push came to shove, the defense had fired all of its guns whereas the prosecution had only touched the surface of the nightmare and was ready to launch more salvos. It would not be needed.
My verdict is unequivocal and final: earth is a dump. It is a natural, moral and social waste land.
Roughly 90% of that is due to man; 10% due to natural violence. According to the rules of this trial there are grounds for appeal but they are rigid. Man must stop exploiting and oppressing; the earth must give up on her own violence. Any appeal can only be granted upon these two conditions being met.