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A Global War on Nature and the Politics of Extinction


A Global War on Nature and the Politics of Extinction

William deBuys

Maybe baby steps will help, but the world needs a lot more than either the United States or China is offering to combat the illegal traffic in wildlife, a nearly $20-billion-a-year business that adds up to a global war against nature. As the headlines tell us, the trade has pushed various rhinoceros species to the point of extinction and motivated poachers to kill more than 100,000 elephants since 2010.


Just as monoculture gave rise to the industrial silo it concurrently gave rise a traumatized perspective on expectations and capacity to conceptualize alternatives. The silo itself has become a denatured model for human existence. From Monsanto et al emerging with the silo militarized as a canon model for weapons, taking its time marker out of season and field, monetizing it as economic schematic each step of the way inwardly replicating the ‘silo’ exclusionary principles.

A silo could be said to be the architectural model for traumatized societal obsession with secrecy generating commensurate risk of ‘explosion’ as natural decomposition produces explosive gases. Deployment mandates in ever regenerating ‘scarcity’ - once seen as the predatory capital wet dream engine of capital market ‘growth’ override actual balances in nature envisaged as ‘battlefield’ where there is no respect for simple reality, both visible and invisible, that always exists beyond any conceptualization.
The capacity to learn is based on recognition that there is ALWAYS more to be learned, that is, we are ALL always in what might be called a sacred state of ignorance, which if not respected renders ignorance deadly stupidity in action. The two never travel separately, and this is an immutable treasure of awareness, again being subjected to the dynamics of the silo.
The fragile resilience of the exquisite ‘web of life’ is so named for the voids being as substantial and essential as the threads.
In politics we have the concept of ‘moratorium’ and I would submit that this is a social awareness mechanism so essential that even in early childhood education one of the most fruitful engagements ever articulated in western industrial society, which all of us recognize, crossing the ‘silo’ of ‘generations’ is the “time out”.


Certainly, no new species will evolve to replace the ones we’ve wiped out if there isnt sufficient land space free of human intrusion for wildlife to exist. So, until humans can respect such space, the arguement that extinction is natural is misleading at best.


I look at your listing and see an embedded exponential acceleration. I’m reminded of a critical conceptual weakness in western society that, I think, needs to be kept front and center constantly, is the ignorance of the exponential function in our thinking.

I have a feeling you already know this - but I post for the thread - It ain’t rocket science - and its revolutionary when you have someone walk you through it. Heres an intro


A recent study done in the USA Southeast concluded 75 percent of all rain that fell to the ground is contaminated with Monsantos Roundup.

37 other toxic man created compounds were found in the rainwater as well.

The air itself is also contaminated by some 18 TIMES in the past 12 years with glysophate residues. This a worldwide problem with Fish caught in the Arctic seas found contaminated with poisons all of them man made. Fish caught in rivers and streams in North Canada all the way to Russia are malformed and ocean species are being found with destroyed internal organs due to ingesting plastic residues.

on the most remote islands in the pacific Bird populations of gulls are plummeting and dissection shows their guts filled with bottle caps and other man made objects. Stopping illegal hunting is the least thing that can be done but is moot if entire habitats from lakes to rivers to oceans and forests become polluted and unable to sustain life.

Let us not lose our focus here in this “war on nature”. It is not JUST those persons wanting to buy Rhino horns to cure some illness. It is our entire industrial system that is guilty of this ecocide and the pronouncements of Barack Obama of the need to stop the wildlife trade mean nothing if he in the very next breath claims the US landmass and its seas “open for drilling”.

If this the case it becomes very much like railing on the brutality of ISIS as they behead an individual even as those drones wipe out another wedding party.


What an oil-soaked pelican this turned out to be. Yeah, OK, pretty good article, some intelligent and compassionate comments… one even mentioned some other causes (hardly the most important ones, however). But unless I just missed it, NOBODY even mentioned climate catastrophe, soon to be the chief cause of extinctions and only solvable with programs and projects that will also benefit wildlife, disappearing domestic species, breeds and varieties (aka subspecies), ecosystems, the biosphere, and humans, in multiple ways. (Thank you Suspira for at least mentioning energy extraction. )

We need to think not in terms of things (objectified fellow beings, for example). We need to not think especially only in terms of cute cuddly things and large impressive things, but in terms of relationships and life itself, the larger picture in which we include ourselves, connected to all the other nodes and webs.

Civilization is the war on Nature, including our nature, and radical changes need to be made during our lives or “trade” changes and limits on ivory won’t make the tiniest bit of difference.

For humans to survive, we have to replace 90% of fossil fuels with efficiency, conservation, changed lives and clean renewable energy in the next 15 years; we have to reconstitute the forests of the planet; we have to transform agriculture and industry to humane and ecological forms. And we must care if humans survive because if we don’t we’ll take most of life on Earth with us as we go. Three kinds of change are needed: personal, family and community change, personal inner change, and most urgently but supported by those, political change to allow the voices of those to be heard who are crying out now for survival but who are drowned out by corporate money and the psychosis of civilization. Time to stop crying and start acting.