A brilliant blue jay is springing up and down, up and down, / On a branch. / I laugh, as I see him abandon himself / To entire delight, for he knows as well as I do / That the branch will not break. –James Wright (1963)
A trailer for David Quammen’s new book, Spillover, detailing the pathogen blowback our environmental destruction has set off, elicited a number of like-minded comments,
Earth, healing itself.
The Tibetans say that Mother Earth will shake us off the way a dog shakes off his fleas.
I could say Earth isn’t a person (or a dog), but even a well-deserved allegorical warning needn’t be served with such resplendent misanthropy. We’d hope all parties–even pro-sustainability–would recognize we are–the planet–an integrated ecosystem. Indeed, even if our entire race of ‘fleas’ were wiped out tomorrow, by our impact Earth’s biospheric trajectory would still be altered forever.