A Speech, by Roy Luna
Greetings, fellow… Hello. Is the mike on? Hello, can you hear me? Greetings, fellow Earthlings… and if you are a member of the species Homo sapiens sapiens, fellow Parasites. My name is Ernest, Ernest Matamoros, and my subject here tonight, on this beautiful, cool evening in Miami, that magical place teetering between the sea and the swamp, is matricide, the killing of Mother, our Mother. But first, a little about me. I was born on Earth, three-fifths of a century ago, and I count all 7 billion Earthlings as my brothers and sisters. I’m a Buddhist, and believe that world peace begins with me. I’m a vegan, and wear no clothes that come from animal skins or any animal parts, so that means no leather, no fur, no feathers, although I can’t think of anything made of feathers that I would have worn, anyway, not even a feather in my cap. I’ve never had a need for a boa.
I am of the mindset that we are all responsible for the health of our Mother Planet, whom we are killing. We are suffocating Her with our fumes, poisoning Her with our pesticides, injuring Her deeply with our fracking into Her epidermis, our atom bombs that give Her such deadly bad breath, our excavations into Her sinews to extract metals and diamonds; we even climb up her bosom and devastate Her wholesomeness with our pervasive garbage that is guaranteed to last thousands of years. We mistreat Her, despoil Her, mar Her beauty. Where we once had a rich, bountiful jungle, we lay waste and pillage Her abundance, killing off—to the very last one—many of our fellow tenants, just because they get in the way. Acres and acres of our Mother’s sylvan Eden, forever gone, just to have coffee and sugar and cereal for breakfast in the morning. That is why, even though I had four grandparents and two parents, I refuse to have any children of my own. Having children, anyway, is a measly futile attempt to grab for immortality. Don’t people realize that it’s only their genes that continue? They, however, won’t. And their genes won’t remember them, after they’re gone. When they show two old geezers on television surrounded by their clan of eight children, fifty-two grandchildren, and twenty-seven great-grandchildren (and counting), I get a feeling of utter disgust in the pit of my stomach. How dare they, how do they dare be so flagrantly irresponsible and swarm their brood to suck the Earth dry? Just because God supposedly said to be fruitful and multiply, govern the earth and reign over the animals, doesn’t mean it’s true. What was true for a tribe of Jews living in the Middle East, when expansion of their numbers meant survival, no longer holds true for us. Expansion for us means death. Moreover, it’s a silly myth that Man will ever be able to govern the Earth and reign over all the creatures of the Earth: Nature is too strong, too elusive, too mysterious, too unwieldy, and She has too many moving parts. The only thing men have ever been good at is irresponsibly meddling with Nature, willfully destroying animals and their environments, and unintentionally causing changes in Nature that will eventually come back and bite us in the ass. We change Nature by mistake. We interfere with Her at our peril. We are the intruder, and we poke at Her without knowing how She will react. There are now more than seven billion intruders poking at Her from all sides and angles; there is, however, a limit to all this pestering.
Apparently, seven billion, which was reached in 1999, is not enough for Man. He continues procreating at such a Malthusian exponential manner, that we will have reached the eight billion mark in 2028, a billion more people in just under thirty years. Doesn’t Man realize that having such a horde of descendants doesn’t help, anyway? Here’s the proof. Do you remember both of your parents? Most of you answered that question in the affirmative. How about, do you remember all four of your grandparents? Fewer of you answered yes for that one. Finally, do your remember all eight of your great-grandparents? You’re lying if you said yes. Or you’re an aristocrat whose lineage goes back to Charlemagne.
Most of us will go into oblivion within two generations, and all we will have had to say for ourselves was that we took, and took and took from our planet what we needed to survive, and most of us gave absolutely nothing back. Our lives made our planet poorer. Our ingenious inventions choke Her waterways, smear Her air, poison Her land: and we remain blithe about—and willfully blind to—the devastation we wreak, when it is our water, our air, our land that we ruin. Mother has been good and kind to us, for she has shared of Herself with us. But we make the world worse for those children we insist on having. How do we expect our species to survive, without that water, air and land, especially when there is no end in sight to our exponential fruitfulness and our rapacity? We are a parasite species, sucking like a vampire at the breast of our Mother Earth, lacerating Her and crippling Her.
However, if we have the ego to think that we’re strong enough to kill Mother Earth, in this we are laughably wrong. We think ourselves high and mighty, our intelligence powerful and impressive, as our Science continues to eke out Nature’s mysteries, as we begin, barely begin, to be conscious of our predation and injuriousness. Our growing knowledge doesn’t make us powerful, it just makes us the world’s most self-centered creatures. Knowing what we are doing to Mother, establishing empirical logs and labeling pictures “before” and “after,” aware of our pernicious attacks on her, and still—and still!—the vast majority of humans scoff. “God gave us the Earth,” we the children say. “It says so in the Bible that God gave us the Earth, to be her Master, and use Her as we want.”
Well, I say, be aware of this: We are a ridiculous parasite, because of our willful blindness to the obvious. The more we harm our Mother, the more She rallies Her strength, and Her minions, to direct them against us, and one day, mark my words, one day, She will make us get our comeuppance. She will be the final harbinger of death and desolation of truly biblical proportions. With a flick of a flagellate, a redirected vector of a virus, a minor adjustment of meteorological import, or, why not, a minor relocation of Her continents as She shudders, because we continue to inject Her skin with poisons and pollutants. She will no longer succor us, rather She will drive us all into oblivion. Then it won’t matter who our great-grandparents were, including the aristocrats’; it won’t matter who discovered TNT and the uses of uranium; no one will care who created, who planned, and who planted huge swaths of monocultural crops; and there will be no one left behind to identify, and testify against, the ones who discovered, manufactured and used toxins that ran into the rivers and fell red into the seas, or rose into the sky and billowed into artificial clouds of chemical chaos that envenomed the heavens, blackened the seas, and reversed the currents. The last human children will observe all of this with eyes-wide-open bewilderment and wonder why Mother is angry with them. That last generation will be the one to feel Mother’s rage. And She will move Her hand as if over a palimpsest and wipe it clean. The traces of Her cruel and greedy and ungrateful children will be lost to the ages, and the resurgence of new life, a new cornucopia of fresh and pristine species, will bury our fossils under the muck.