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THE TRIUMPH OF THE SERPENT

We are the Future. Not them.

Pakal's Mayan Store

 

 
 
 
 

Consider these facts. Agricultural practices in North America today destroy topsoil at the rate of six billion tons per year. Topsoil is the matrix of all our lives-the lives of the plants, the animals who live on the land and eat the plants, and the humans who eat both the animals and the plants. It takes God and nature ten thousand years to produce one inch of topsoil, and the typical agricultural region contains only six inches of this precious gift. It has been estimated that the state of Iowa, as rich a state in healthy topsoil as any in the United States, will be a desert by the year 2020 if the current rate of soil depletion continues. If we will continue this abuse of the land in fifteen years the planet's fertile land will be reduced by one-third. This means that, even as the human population expands, the demands for more living space and more food will increase, yet the amount of fertile land will shrink 33 percent. Once fertile, life-giving land will be replaced by deserts of increasing size.

The world's forests are disappearing at an alarming rate - one third of the planet's total will be destroyed in the next fifteen years. Each year forest land half the size of California vanishes. Most of this destruction is occurring in Third World countries. First World corporations and governments exploit these lands in order to satiate First World appetites for beef (used in fast-food chains) and other luxury items such as sugar, coffee, tea and cocoa. In these forests dwell the world's most diverse species of plants, birds, and animals. When the forests go, many of these species will also disappear.

We know now that a species is a once-in-a-universe event, never to be repeated. Along with the forests, birds are disappearing. There are approximately ten million species of living things with whom we share this planet. These creatures range from fishes and porpoises to ash trees and rose bushes to coyotes and lions, to dogs, cats and humans. The human is only one of these species and, indeed, among the most recent. Species as a whole have a life cycle - they are born and they eventually die. In the ordinary course of events one species disappears about every two thousand years. Currently, however, species are disappearing at the rate of one every twenty-five minutes. At this rate human-kind will eliminate ten percent of the remaining species (one million of the remaining earth creatures) in the next ten years. If current rates of destruction continue, within the next one hundred years there will be no living species left on this planet - including humankind, since we are totally interdependent with all these other creatures. (Ref. Matthew Fox, 1980)

The Triumph of the Serpent is a factual story of a United Nations expedition in 1967 when I went to live with some tribes in the South American rainforest. At that time, there were 60,000 indigenous people living near the tributaries of Rio Negro, Casiquiare and Orinoco rivers. Today, there are only 6,000 survivors of these natives. A negative environmental factor but important human indicator of our current status in this planet and survival probabilities after the year 2012 in underdeveloped countries.

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