Stages of the tragic ecological aggressiveness of human beings

If we reduce the 13.7 billion years of the existence of the universe, to just one year, the current human being, sapiens sapiens, appeared in the process of evolution on December 31, at 23 hours, 58 minutes and 10 seconds, according to calculations by several cosmologists. So we appear less than two minutes into the final cosmic year. What is the point of having arrived so late in the cosmogenic process? To crown such a process or to destroy it? This is an open question. What we can see is our growing destructiveness of the environment in which we live, nature and our Common Home. Let’s see some stages of our aggressiveness. It leaves us with disturbing questions.

1. Interaction with nature

In the beginning, our ancestors, lost in the shadows of time immemorial, had a harmonious relationship with nature. They entertained a non-destructive interaction: they took what nature plentifully offered them. That time lasted a few millennia, starting in Africa, where human beings appeared 8-9 million years ago. Therefore, we are all, in some way, Africans. Our bodily, psychic, intellectual and spiritual structures were formed there, which are present in the unconscious of all humans until the present day.

2. Intervention in nature

More than two million years ago, skilled man (homo habilis) erupted in the process of anthropogenesis (the genesis of the human being in evolution). Here a first turning point occurred. It began what culminated in an extreme way today.

The skillful man invented instruments with which he operated an intervention in nature: a pointed stick, a sharp stone and other similar resources. What nature spontaneously offered him was not enough. With intervention, he could wound and kill an animal with the sharp end of a stick or he could cut plants with sharp stone tools.

This intervention lasted millennia. But with the introduction of agriculture and irrigation it developed much more intensely. This occurred around 10-12 thousand ago (different in different regions), in the so-called Neolithic era. Waters were diverted from rivers, such as the Tigris and Euphrates in the Middle East, the Nile in Egypt, the Indus and Ganges in India and the Yellow in China. They improved crops, raised animals and birds to be slaughtered, especially chickens, pigs, oxen and sheep. The human population grew rapidly. It is the time when humans stopped being nomads and became sedentary. They created towns and cities, generally, along the rivers mentioned above or around the immense internal lake, the Amazon, which thousands of years ago flowed into the Pacific.

3.Aggression to nature

From intervention we moved on to the aggression of nature. It occurred when metal instruments, spears, axes, and weapons were used to kill animals and people. Aggression specialized until it culminated in the industrial age of the 18th century in Europe, starting in England. Vast machinery was invented that allowed extracting enormous riches from nature. A decisive step in aggression was taken in modern times, when techno-science emerged with an immense capacity for exploring nature on all levels and fronts.

It was based on the premise that human beings felt themselves to be “masters and owners” of nature and not part of it. The driving idea that guided them was the will to power, understood as the ability to dominate everything: other people, social groups, peoples, continents, nature, matter, life and the Earth itself as a whole.

The Englishman Francis Bacon expressed this purpose by saying: “One must torture nature as the torturer tortures his victim, until she gives up all her secrets”. Here aggression gained official status. It was and continues to be applied to the present day.

The starting point was the (false) assumption that natural resources were unlimited. This allowed forging a development project that was also unlimited. Today we know that the Earth is limited and finite and that it does not support a project of unlimited growth. But this belief is still dominant.

4. The destruccion od the nature

In recent decades, especially after the Second World War (1939-1945), systematic aggression gained dimensions of true destruction of ecosystems and biodiversity. Mother Earth itself began to be attacked on all its fronts. To meet current human consumption, we need an Earth and a half, which produces the Earth Overshoot, which this year occurred on July 22nd.

According to notable scientists, we have inaugurated a new geological era, the Anthropocene, in which human beings emerge as the greatest threat to nature and life. It has reached the point where our industrialist process and consumerist lifestyle decimate around 100,000 living organisms annually. Based on this true biological tragedy, we speak of the necrocene, that is, the era of mass death (necro) of natural lives and also of human lives. Entire ecosystems are also being affected in the Amazon. Finally, some already refer to the pyrocene (Pyros in Greek is fire). The change in the climate regime and the unstoppable warming dry out the soil and also heat up the stones in such a way that sticks and dry leaves catch fire that spreads, generating huge fires already experienced throughout Europe, Australia, the Amazon and other places. .

Who will stop the destructive impetus and fury of the human being who has already built the means of his own self-destruction with chemical, biological and nuclear weapons? Just divine intervention? God, according to the Scriptures, is the Lord of life and the “passionate lover of life.” Will you intervene? Questions remain open.

Leonardo Boff, wrote The satan man or good angel? Record, Rio de Janeiro 20


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