Global Analysis from the European Perspective. Preparing for the world of tomorrow

Earth’s Wisdom Keepers

The recent World Economic Forum gathering in Davos was accompanied, as usual, by a number of panel discussions. The participants of such panel discussions are very frequently young women. It is said that young women need empowerment. A more plausible explanation is that young women are impressionable and emotive, which is why they are used to advance ideas, but never mind. If you had had some time to spare, and listened to the discussion entitled Earth’s Wisdom Keepers, you would have been treated to a lot of hackneyed phrases and bizarre ideas manufactured by feeble minds.

As said above, it was young (with the exception of Jane Goodall) women taking centre stage, surrounded by effeminate males who created a backdrop to this panel discussion. The participants talked about the bleak future unless we did something about climate and nature. The usual stuff. The participants insisted that science and scientists ought to consult, rely on and generally kowtow to indigenous wisdom keepers, as it was framed.

The introduction was made by Ann Dumalianga from the Philippines, who blurted out of her mouth cliché after cliché after another cliché, the kind that you well expect during such gatherings, to the tune of climate change, mass! extinction caused by the climate change and biological diversity loss along with the lack of the harmony with the natural world, disconnection with the indigenous forms of wisdom, all of which allegedly threatens our collective home (earth) and makes the future of humanity uncertain.

The floor was given to famous Jane Goodall – the woman known for her love of chimpanzees – who continued in the same vein, namely that we are destroying our ecosystems, the only home that we have, that we are (verbatim) heating up the world, that the older generations have compromised the future of the younger generations, which is why young people have no hope. Hysteria in full swing.

Jane Goodall – a big pendant in the shape of Africa on her breasts – reminded the audience of the nightmare that is about to happen in the year 2050: there are going to be TEN BILLION people on the poor planet earth, something that should not happen because – here Jane Goodall quoted scientists (somehow not indigenous wisdom keepers) – to sustain ten billion people we need four planets earth. How did those scientists arrive at that inference? They somehow did. Weren’t we told the same tale when the number of humans was approaching 5, 6, 7, 8 billion?

Marie-Claire – another participant – called on resorting to indigenous wisdom and – yes! yes! – on having more female researchers! You may wonder why it is important to have female researchers rather than good researchers irrespective of sex, but then there you have it. Marie-Claire talked about acting on – listen to this! – acupuncture points, places in the political and economic structures where climate “justice activists” and “climate negotiators” (did you know such a profession existed?) could have the biggest say and consequently influence. And, sure enough, power ought to be relegated to young people (it goes without saying: to young females) because something is the matter with the world where 50% of young people are represented by merely 2% in positions of power. Marie-Claire believes we have a lot to learn from indigenous communities and from nature, which is oh so beautiful and interconnected.

Really, Marie-Claire? You must have seen animals devouring animals, you must have seen animals fighting other animals for territory, for a female or a piece of food, you must have seen parasites destroying healthy bodies, you must have seen or read about the quality of life of the indigenous people before the advent of European civilization with all its medical and agricultural benefits, and you still believe that nature is beautiful and we can rely on its benignity?

Marie-Claire then went and to talk about how much courage the likes of her needed to be different, to challenge people who benefit from the system, to go beyond science (into religion?). Marie-Claire, do you really think you are courageous? Were you not invited to Davos (I suppose with all costs covered) by the people who benefit from the system? Were you sincerely invited by the powerful leaders of the World Economic Forum because they were captivated by your courage?

By the way, if the participants of this panel are so eager to consult indigenous wisdom, then they ought to know that in primeval cultures it was the elderly who held the reigns of power and – what a bitter surprise! – males… If they so desperately advise all of us to consult indigenous people in our ailments, then I assume they never visit professional doctors if they are in need, but go straight to the Amazon medicine men (are there medicine women?) or to shamans, which is the proper term they they have been known for centuries. Is my assumption correct? I believe some of those individuals do snub European, white man’s medicine – I know such people myself – but then the results are deplorable.

Hosana Silva from Brazil revealed frankly what she came to Davos for: “climate negotiators”, indigenous “wisdom keepers” and the company should be paid more! (By whom?) They supposedly contribute so much to humanity and they are underpaid or not paid at all! Thank you, Hosana, for your frankness. To make her appeal stronger, she depicted a terrible world she and the people in Brazil lived in: for instance, for weeks they could not see the sky because such was the pollution! Water, air – about everything – was polluted and people were… dying not only because of the pollution but also because of – lack of food! You take a look at Hosana, at her well-rounded body, and you wonder what she means by starvation, but never mind the detail.

Hosana has solutions! She told a story about African slaves in Brazil how they were capable of figuring out how to deal with the primeval forest and feed on it without, however, destroying it. Now, this “technology” ought to be applied in the modern world. African slaves were so much advanced in this (and I’m sure in many another) respect! Solutions are ready at hand at the lowest hierarchical social level, one only needs to take them. Solutions are offered by simple people without university degrees! Hosana really said: people without university degrees know how to save the world.

Strange individuals in a strange gathering. But then, no wonder. One of them came to Switzerland from the Philippines, another from Brazil, others from other places around the globe. Surely, they did not pay for the journey or the accommodation! They have found a way to make a good – very good – living. You just keep repeating the same clichés about climate change and the impending global disaster and that’s it! You feel important and courageous! You do not need to study something real like physics or medicine, you do not need to raise a family, you do not need to work in a bakery or in the fields. You enjoy yourself to the full in Davos, Switzerland!

Being what they are – all those silly, young women – they have certainly never been bothered with a few simple observations that:

it is precisely because mankind has subjugated nature that we all live longer and better quality lives;

it is precisely because mankind has developed technology (which was conditioned on the development of industry) that starvation and epidemics (real epidemics, not the one that was recently proclaimed as such) are basically a thing of the past;

it is precisely because mankind has put a yoke on nature that we do not fear fire, lightning, heat, cold, drought, disease and the like and we have long stopped bowing to them and offering to those elements regarded as deities human sacrifice;

it is precisely because mankind has driven away shamans (the right word for the medicine man) that we have stopped deluding ourselves with magic, superstition and irrationality.

What the participants of the panel seem to propose is going back not even to the Middle Ages, but to the primeval times when humanity was totally dependent on nature and feared it. Fearing it, it prayed to it and – let us repeat – sacrificed animals to placate gods – which was nature personified – and not infrequently – human beings.

What purpose does the term “wisdom keepers” serve? What is it for goodness’ sake? What knowledge, what wisdom do indigenous people store? Something about herbs and their beneficial effect on human bodies? If that were so, we wouldn’t stand in need of modern, advanced medicine! Hey, are you, participants of the panel, in your right senses? Do you want to make an impression that the indigenous people possessed wonderful, beneficial, useful wisdom and white people purposefully rejected it although it was oh so efficient and effective? Please…

Quite the opposite is true. The indigenous people were the first to fall under the spell of European technology. Do you know of an Indian who would have preferred his bow and arrows rather than a rifle?

Talking about indigenous people: what would happen to the planet earth if we reverted to their “technology” of tilling land and hunting animals for food and fur? Such questions never bother participants of such panels.

Jane Goodall was asked to conclude the discussion (or rather the exchange of pleasantries and sweet little nothings). Doing so, she showed the audience and the participants a teddy-bear-like monkey gifted to her decades earlier by a blind African artisan (emotions at play). She went to say that she’d been travelling with this monkey for years and that she’d been having people touch it because it imparted something good. She than had the monkey passed around. The young women were more than happy touching, caressing and hugging it. Yes, nature – the kind of nature they do not want to recognize in themselves – got the better of them: they are devised by nature to give birth to children and to raise them. Rather than idly talk about the planet, climate and the bleak future, they all had better have a family and a child to take care of. Why won’t they? Why won’t they follow the voice of this beautiful, resilient and interconnected nature? 

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