A triad of intersecting world-wide pandemics simultaneously threatening humanity today are the end results of its own insatiable greedy human desire for endless, unchecked growth. Ugly, profit-based, commercial development, unimaginative high-rise towers and mega-social housing projects continue to destroy everything in their wake in an impossible attempt to try to accommodate the out-of-control millions of human refugees, of one sort or another, who continue to everywhere spread like a deadly virus. The simultaneously-disastrous spreading effects of an out-of-control over-heated planet, with its own endless hosts of mutant variants, each as potentially ugly and menacing as all the others before it, continue to adversely impact upon the earths flora and fauna. A fourth worldwide pandemic that adds to the other three involves the gradual deterioration and loss of democratic principles and rules of law. This quartet of pandemics is what the human race now faces in kind because of the particular choice of moral universes it has chosen to create for itself. A universal effect of these intersecting pandemics leads to the ultimate demise of the principles of democracy and democracy itself.
Such principles either begin or end with how much real democracy exists at the local level of every community and the humans who inhabit them, as well as how much latitude and control they collectively have over their ultimate destiny and extent to which they are externally-driven and conditioned by a one size fits allphilosophy mercilessly driven by the market forces of the Bezos-Zuckerberg-Musk originators of mega-entities like Amazon, Facebook and Space X, rather than each communitys own collective existential sense of itself and unique reason for being.
THE CAUSE & EFFECTS OF OUR OVER-HEATED PLANET EARTH
As the Earth becomes hotter and hotter with each passing year; the ever-expanding populations of human societies and cultures, combined with the ever-evolving mutations of Covid-19 viruses; continue to meld into a deadly Mega-Pandemic cocktail mix, which can only escalate with no signs of diminishment or lessening in their intensity.
As a result, the consequent accumulative effects of Global Warming have now simply led to long-dormant bacteria and viruses, trapped, for countless centuries, deep within glaciers and layers of permafrost to become revived and awakened as the Earths climate continues to heat up. Thus, long hidden viruses like Covid-19 and their endless variety of mutant variants are more and more in the ascendancy. They will only continue to do so the warmer the Earth becomes, with the obvious consequences too frightful to contemplate.
Throughout human history it has been a constant race against time between humanitys conscious awareness of itself as a species and why the species ultimately is here on earth beyond some basic biological drive for survival and self-aggrandizement.
However, as human society, as some would say, has become more intelligent and sophisticated, with the passage of the species mental-intellectual-technical know-how to travel to far distant places, likePlanet Mars and beyond, their sole intention remains fixated, as it always has been since the beginning of time, in perpetuating the maniacal vision of those like Amazon Chairman Jeff Bezos whose sole vision of the future of deep space exploration is nothing more than a grandiose Star Trek Missionto exploreinfinite planets in search of endless sources of precious natural resources to be-mined and exported back to Earth, solely for his own self-aggrandizement. While, at the same time, other, more spiritually earth-connected and attuned humans would otherwise contend that, as time progresses, humanitys societies and cultures, in the main, instead have only become more stupid and unsophisticated, especially in matters of life that really count, such as simply spiritually and materially caring for the welfare and well-being of one another as fellow beings, as well as all the surrounding planetary lifeforms around them, as if it were the actual sacred duty to do so that it is.
Allowing Global Warming to continue, virtually unabated, while the debate rages on as to whether humans need ever bigger and more flash SUVs, or more and more fossil fuelled products or less of them all to reverse it, is one of those as yet still unanswered seminal questions, towards which modern society remains all but at sea to markedly do anything meaningful about as it continues to primarily allow, willy-nilly, their myopic masculine, hegemonial-corporate leaders to continue to basically rule, as they see fit, the course and direction of all life on the planet. The end result is that such basic human greed that drives the species only continues to facilitate so many aggressive, disruptive planetary forces.
ONE LOCAL PERSPECTIVE OF HOW THESE INTERSECTING PANDEMICS CONTINUE TO SPREAD
At the risk of stating for the record yet another monotonous 'Let Dead Dogs Lie', 'Sour Grapes' footnote observation about the typical kind of endless commercial development and human expansion that continues to spread everywhere on the planet, some still more expansive commentary must be made here about how the larger-scale human and environmental issues of our times always get boiled down and translated at the local level; as is the case on British Columbias North Shore in Canada, and more specifically in the tiny Lower Capilano Community, that once so proudly thought of itself as The Mouse That Roars, where this writer has happened to reside for the past half century.
In this case, one of the issues pertains to a local Lower Capilano green belt tree-cutting incident whose lack of ultimate resolution, over the years, from the perspective of some of its more committed community leaders, was its own long-range vision for itself and a healthy green belt it felt was needed to protect and preserve itself from the incursions of unwanted outside commercial and residential development.
As in every community in Canada, if not the world, there are always fundamental issues of life that are always in play. A constant issue is the wide gap that perpetually exists between direct community involvement in the health and welfare of its community and that of dis-connected outsiders who always have a far different set of agendas, goals and perspectives in mind of what needs to remain and what needs to go. Especially how it directly relates to the overall lofty issues and concerns that one could characterize as 'the ultimate destiny of life that surrounds ones self, family and neighbors. These are always the same unresolved, always existent, universal issues of inexorable growth, development and destruction of the natural world.
In the specific case of Lower Capilano, it has to do with the original negotiations and dialogue that once-upon-a-time occurred or didn't occur between members of the then local Lions Gate/Lower Capilano/Norgate/Lower Pemberton home owner/resident associations and their mayor and council politicians over the type/size/quality/extent of commercial, residential and natural green belt development that ultimately was or wasn't going to become a future reality in and along the nearby Marine Drive/Capilano Rd traffic corridors and surrounding communities; more specifically over what then was the envisioned concept of what erroneously was being called the Marine Drive/Capilano Rd High-Rise Village Plan that outside developer interests and politicians alike were heralding at the time as a soon to become an absolutely world-class, singularly-emblematic, 'Gateway To The North Shore'.
In the minds of the leaders among the local District home owners, residents and their representative associations, as well as their counterparts located within the adjoining North Vancouver City itself, they already could nervously see, from their unique local vantage points, of what was yet another shuck and drive spiel that was being put to them and what, in the end, much to their chagrin, was inexorably going to happen to life on the North Shore as they knew and loved it.
Reality over the span of years that since have followed have shown that what eventuated has indeed been far less 'world-class' or hardly 'emblematic' then what originally was envisioned by the local people themselves; especially among those who were committed to addressing a wide array of planetary growth issues affecting everything from mega-commercial and high-rise development and expansion to out-of-control climate crisis intervention and sensitive, healthy management of the communitys Bowser Trail Green Belt borders along its residential area.
What was conceivable back then as well as even now continues to remain markedly different, if not at stark odds, with what could be called the hegemonic masculine perspectives of what too many local and offshore developers, corporate investors, city planners and the like, back then continue to have locked into their mindset as to where the evolutionary direction of the North Shore, like it or not, must inexorably go.
The upshot of it all years later, as all the proverbial dust still continues to settle, is that the reality of the mega development project that originally involved the Marine Drive-Capilano Rd corridor in question still remains in process of development, and, as a result, the legacy and still unknown ramifications of so much unwanted, excessive development will inexorably most likely demand the eventual need to create yet another third major bridge crossing from the North Shore into Vancouver, along with the consequent further spread of even more high-rise density, and elaborate traffic egress systems on and off the North Shore. There goes the Neighbourhood, as the old saying goes.
These major changes to future life on the North Shore, compared to how it once was lived by the local Squamish First Nation people and those early pioneers from other lands who clamored to their shores for the same pristine, untrammeled beauty, were significantly altered back then, when DNV politicians and planners, impatient with the dissenting voices of too many local people who had a very different alternative vision of what the North Shores indigenous beauty and untrammeled life still could conceivably become, were essentially cut out of the loop.
Without any fanfare or District-wide community dialogue, debate, or so much as a by-your-leave, the progressive concept of what back then were local community Official Community Plans (OCP's), that were the product of years of extensive local resident participation, visionary-imagination and direct involvement, along with a lot of blood, sweat and tears, were simply unilaterally, ruthlessly abolished by the politicians in their glass palaces and ivory towers, with the single stroke of a pen. It was as if at the time the powers-that-be were officially saying by their actions and deeds to we residents, You and your perspectives dont really count in the same way any more. Rather than individual communities with different individual needs, visions and imaginings for itself, we prefer an official plan of the future where one size simply fits all. So we will now run everything the way we see fit from our chambers.
THIS IS HOW REAL DEMOCRACY SILENTLY SUCCUMBS WITH BARELY A WHIMPER
What continues to happen in places like British Columbias North Shore, as it does everywhere else to grass-roots democracy on a seminal scale in places like Lower Capilano, is small potatoes compared to what continues to happen to the greater demise of democracy and more sweeping and complex, violent reactions to its loss on a larger scale in places like China, Hong Kong, Russia, and the United States
Such violent reactions world-wide could be characterized as yet still another long-standing horrific, unchecked, pandemic An Anti-Democratic Pandemic - that continues to sweep through human civilization. One salient case in point is the violent protests and attacks that occurred in the U.S. Capitol in Washington. D.C.. One could simply characterize all such events, whether at a simple local level or more complex national or international level, as microcosms of the macrocosm.
Another upshot of all the constant political maneuvering and conflicted visions of what life could be and still become, that continues unabated at whatever planetary level of human activity, is that direct, democratic, activist involvement in the future destined course of life, be it on Canadas North Shore or the Planet at large, is continually discouraged by the powers-that-be; who seek to replace these democratic longings with ever more centralized, distant and aloof autocratic and authoritarian forms of governmental rule, controlled less and less by the directly impacted-upon local people themselves, and more by a plethora of Napoleon, Hitler or Trump-like megalomaniacal forces of visionless change, whether welcomed or not by the people themselves. The rest is history, as yet another old saying goes.
Jerome Irwin is a Canadian-American writer who, for decades, has sought to call world attention to problems of environmental degradation and unsustainability caused by excessive mega-development and host of related environmental-ecological-spiritual issues that exist between the conflicting philosophies of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.
Irwin is the author of the book, "The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey" (www.turtle-island-odyssey.com), a spiritual odyssey among the native peoples of North America that has led to numerous articles pertaining to: Ireland's Fenian Movement; native peoples Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance Movement; AIPAC, Israel & the U.S. Congress anti-BDS Movement; the historic Battle for Palestine & Siege of Gaza, as well as; the many violations constantly being waged by industrial-military-propaganda interests against the World's Collective Soul