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Sunday, June 04, 2017

Trump, Paris,The Old Farmer, The Mule And Climate Change: A Parable

I remembered a story my brother told me about an Old Farmer who had a Mule. This was a story with a lesson. My older brother was directing the lesson of that story at me on that particular day. But it is the kind of story whose meaning can be applied to different situations and I remembered it this morning when thinking of what President Trump had done to us all by deciding against preserving the environment. This is a decision contrary to the well-being of not only Americans, but the rest of the world. Well anyway, the Old Farmer liked to brag about his Mule by telling visitors that it would obey voice commands.

Mules are notorious for being obstinate. One day a visitor to the Farm, after being informed of the Mules characteristics, replied that he did not believe it. The Old Farmer said: "Go ahead and tell him to do something."

The visitor went over to the other side of the barnyard and called to the Mule to come to the cart that was under the hay loft. The Mule was accustomed to being hitched to the cart on a daily basis around the Farm, but today it didn't move. The visitor gave the same command a few more times with similar results and then turned to the Old Farmer and said: "I knew he wouldn't do it."

The Old Farmer replied: "You didn't ask right."  The Old Farmer picked up a six foot 2 X 4 and walked over to the Mule and whacked the beast in the head so hard the animals knees buckled. Then the Old Farmer turned to the visitor and said: "Tell him to do it now."

The visitor told the Mule to go to the cart. The Mule went directly to the cart and backed up to be hitched directly under the hay loft. The visitor looked at the Old Farmer as if he had caught him in a lie and blurted out: "That's not what you said, you said all I had to do was tell him what to do."

The Old Farmer replied: "That's all you did. We just had to get his attention first!"


There's several lessons to be garnered from this simple story. The one that is coming to my mind this morning concerns the imminent effects of climate change, global warming and all the associated social consequences which are inevitable. (some of the social consequences have been enumerated by the climate action network website) Now that President Trump (who fulfills the role of the Old Farmer in the story) has revealed his intentions by removing the U.S. from participating in the Paris Climate Agreement (in depth info in this NPR report) you and I have been smacked with a big 2 X 4 right between the eyes. 

The writing is indeed on the wall for the future of life as we know it on the planet.  Are you paying attention? 

This lesson I'm drawing from the story this morning places the populace in the position of the Mule. Now the Mule has gotten it's attention grabbed with that whack in the head in Paris by the Old Farmer. What do you think the Mule WILL do? What do you think the Mule SHOULD do? Will the Mule pull the cart until it drops dead?  Or will it behave like a camel that knows when it's being taken advantage of?

The application of the story gets fuzzy at this point. The Old Farmer (played by Trump) is making decisions that are predictably going to affect the Mule (played by the people) negatively. The Old Farmer displays little concern for the negative effects which the present and future generations will encounter because of his decisions to make a profit instead of making sure the Farm can continue to provide the means of life for the Family. (Article in National Geographic report on climate change and related effects)

Humanity, it would seem, finds it incumbent upon itself to modify the anti-human activities of its culture if it is to survive. I have begun referring to the decisions of the Old Farmer as anti-human and it is a poetically as well as literally apt designation. 

When our way of life requires that 7 million people die prematurely each year anti-human is an excellent way to describe those kind of goings on. As many as 7 million human beings die each year prematurely from effects related to air pollution according to the WHO. Let that sink in, 7 million unnecessary premature deaths each year! 

To be fair not all air pollution is caused by industry and our way of life. The majority of pollution is created by our way of life. The pollution created by our way of life is the only pollution able to be curtailed and it is able to be curtailed by deliberate choice, by simply changing our minds. 

Volcanoes cannot be stopped, methane eruptions occurring from the gut of the earth cannot be stopped. But we can stop using coal and oil and natural gas. We must stop the pollution we are making. If we do not stop polluting, the designation of being anti-human is a perfect fit!

Maybe if Trump has done one good thing, and that by accident, he has the world set against allowing his attempt at 'bio-cide' to succeed. Can it get anymore insane than this? 

Damn.  I almost wish I were young again so I could see what happens.

The connection is genuine. The decisions of the corpocracy which have guided the ship of state have brought us to the shores of an ocean whose rising temperatures are whipping up winds and dropping water in far away places causing floods, wreaking havoc over the length and breadth of the earth. This is not a joke. 

The problem is a genuine problem. (Bill The risks are genuine risks and if we fail to turn this around we who have sown to the wind will as the night follows the day reap the proverbial whirlwind. 

My personal understanding may differ from yours.  I believe the roots of the problems facing us are spiritual. Why else would we shit in our own bed and refuse to admit it?

Others who do not think in spiritual categories also understand the problem is of our own making. Regardless of which perspective we understand the problem we are agreed that we as a culture must make changes in order to be responsible to ourselves, our children and the future of our children's children. The culture that has sown carbon death to the winds awaits the harvest.

The artwork and text in the body of the post above was done by myself.(David H. Roche (C) 2017) 

I am appalled at the plan to lay waste to the nation's environment by the Old Farmer and his band of corporate enablers. This art and writing is how I voice my opposition. Thankfully i'm not the only artist who has seen that a problem exists. Hopefully more will appear to educate, motivate, shock and instigate for Climate Justice for all.

One of my favorite artists, Alex Grey, has made a much more eloquent and artistically esthetic defense of the environment and the Spirit than my feeble attempt. I would encourage you to watch his wonderful poem / art / play / visual odyssey titled World Spirit.  It's primo, click the orange letters!

Below is a video poem I wrote and put together.  It is titled "The Death Of Love" and seems to go with the reasons I feel are the cause for the present state of society.

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.