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Nature Isn't On a Rampage. That Would Be Us


Nature Isn't On a Rampage. That Would Be Us.

Cynthia Barnett

In 1927, as the muddy waters of the Mississippi River began to recede from what was then the deadliest storm-related flood in American history, blues musicians wailed their sorrow and rage. Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded his “Rising High Water Blues” that May:

Children stand there screamin: Mama we ain’t got no home

Awww, Mama we ain’t got no home

Papa says to the children, “Backwater left us all alone.”


Sensitive, my ass. This man, Pruitt is an immoral monster, who is causing the murder of asthmatics with his gutting of EPA air quality standards. He is poisoning our children with his flushing of water quality standards. I say get this nut and all the other Trumpet nuts out of our nations capitol. NOW!


They who hold the power, are stabbing Mother Nature in the back.

Are we to sit back and do nothing while “our” Mother is being savaged?

Or, “end” the political lives of those most responsible for the’s attacks?


Great article, Cynthia. Important article. Our wetlands have been under attack, destroyed by filling in and building on top of them. It has had a tremendous impact on the power of the hurricanes as they make landfall. People do not realize the importance, the power of these wetlands that lie at the edge of our borders. Incredible changes have been pushed upon the PEOPLE because of greed and forcing lies upon us.

Pruitt is a thug, just as Donald T-RUMP is, and together they are damaging thousands if not millions of people because of their GUTLESS, COWARDLY policies.


Thank you, Cynthia Barnett.
Thank you, Common Dreams.

This article is a perfect example of Common Dreams at its best. Without CD, most of us would likely never see this article. We would not have the benefit of this writer’s intelligent, well-researched and fact-based expertise and perspective.


Absolutely a first class article - Thank You Cynthia !!!

Withcraft - dogma - conservatives - Yes - we are back in Chomsky’s Dark Ages already.

I just ordered Rachel Carson’s first and her personal favorite - of her four books - “Under the Sea Wind”, published by Penguin, as an all time classic.

I noted in researching the book, that Al Gore has a picture of Rachel Carson hanging beside pics of various greats of the past, Presidents and the like - yet he credits Rachel Carson not only with inspiring his interest in the environment, but states that actually, Rachel Carson has probably done more to advance the world than all the others hanging beside her picture - put together !

And we are on a rampage, as the author suggests.

I think we simply have to keep up the battle for sanity, and eventually we will reach critical mass, we of the open and inquiring mind.

The natural world is changing now big time. On my Environment Canada jet stream map, the red line indicating the jet stream has been stuck in place for three or four days now, essentially picture a jet stream wind from the North Pole directly south to the Canada / US border in south-western Ontario - absolutely a straight line - absolutely immovable these past few days. Now I have called up this jet stream map for over twenty years now, day after day, and I have NEVER seen anything like this jet stream configuration !

We are wasting our valuable time trying to educate and or convince conservatives - they are beyond approach.

Time to simply pick up the ball and run with it until we change the way things are.


Great post! I’m with you on all points brother.

The excerpt above further convinces me that Al Gore should have been President. We would be in a much better place now had he been. No one will ever convince me otherwise.


Something for nothing? Our favorite capitalist methodology. We exploit, expend, exhaust, excavate and expect to make a profit no matter what! We harvest to the point of clear cutting and feel content at the wealth that it produces when we do! We simply take all we can, as soon as we can, lest some other guy steal away a share of the looted booty that we have claimed as our own. Then we build and construct, overwhelming the land in fulfilling Joni’s elegant if dire prophecy of paving paradise to put up a parking lot!

We do a lot of paving and have already lost a lot of paradise.

Wherever you go, you will find us in maximum numbers these days. We are the anthropogenic harvesters pushing paradise to the edge and claiming what we take for our own! We are everywhere and it is beginning to show that we take and take all that we can at every venture!

The problem is that with paradise gone that we end up trying to live in a parking lot! Living in a parking lot is pretty tough going though. You are exposed to extremes of heat and cold, of wind and weather, flood when it rains and drought when it doesn’t. We didn’t evolve in a parking lot either. On the other hand, we are perfectly designed for life in paradise.

In paradise the rains are taken up by the flood plains and low lying wetlands and do no harm. The droughts are moderated by high water tables and underground aquifers. The forest cover reseeds after fires and selective harvesting unless clear cut and the bare land allowed to erode away.

The anthropogenic parking lot has become our fate but we don’t know how to exist in such an environment! We need rich farmland soil and lush forests, teeming seas and abundant fresh water! It was how we have evolved. The thing is that we could create or recreate all these things but we rarely ever do. We expect to exploit paradise not to create it.

To survive the future parking lot that we have recklessly created, humanity has no choice but to become the recreators of abundance instead of merely its continuing exploiters. Will we create an abundant anthropogenic future is the ultimate question for our species. We could, we do have the know how, the astounding breath of our science and the ability to coordinate our actions across the face of the planet as only our generation has ever been able to do using our computers and cells.

We could actually work together to recreate paradise quite easily. In many ways we take toddler steps with our international trade that can bring apples to an orchard across half the world virtually overnight.

This author asks whether we will understand that scientific cooperation and coordinated effort has become the only safe way to make a profit. Everything else will cost us. Like having built residential neighborhoods and suburbs on a floodplain will cost us in the end. Like trying to live in a parking lot is far more work and far too costly than is living in a sustainable paradise.

We need to tear up that parking lot and plant paradise. Those in denial condemn us. It is actually criminal and a kind of theft of the only future now left available to us. Sadly the denialists are most in denial about how much time is left before catastrophe makes destiny.


Right. But “conservatives” are running the show.
Their hubris conveniently keeps them from acknowledging that they are just as reliant upon nature as the rest of us.


“Nature isn’t on a rampage. That would be us.”

Excellent article. Enough said.


They are now running the show - true.

Conservatives are a type of specialist - if you buy into E.O. Wilson’s idea that we are a ‘eusocial’ species. The great center, happy as the proverbial Cape Cod clam as long as things are stable and going their way.

We are the fringe - always have been - specialists also - and we come into our own when ‘the times they are a changing’.

Which they are now.

If we survive, the center, full of conservatives, business types and engineers, will descend like a horde of locusts - as they have always done - picture the mountain man followed by the train.

So be it - I am happy on the fringe.


Beautiful post! The Capitalist mindset is to maximize profits, externalizing all costs possible. When a whole society is built around this mindset it works up to a point, the point at which those costs accumulate to the point at which the host organism sickens and dies. We are getting close to that point now, I think. Capitalism left with little or minimal restraints will destroy itself and the biosphere along with it. It’s much like Ebola virus in that respect.


Kudos for your sanguinity.
Right - they’ll be as locusts, in a similar way as they are presently seditionists.
Can’t wait.


“. . . meteorologists dubbed the exceptional cyclones “monsters,” as if they were spun from a fairy tale rather than hotter-than-usual ocean waters”

I was told, last year, by the lead meteorologist at a TV statation here in Milwaukee that his management FORBIDS them to talk about global warming–and I assume that that policy is UNIVERSAL throughout the country…


Nature isn’t on a rampage. It just does its thing. Humans often do their thing exactly in the path of where nature is likely to be its most ferocious. For centuries it has been humans versus earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, droughts, and whatever else nature can dish out so to speak. This seems unlikely to change. And with more development in harm’s way and increasing extreme weather from climate change plus rising seas the situation for humans will only grow worse. At some point in the not too distant future, perhaps only decades, this planet may be largely uninhabitable for humans.


This was a superb piece of writing, a pleasure to read.

Many, if not most of the readers of this website’s material are well aware of the certainly of views and information they are constantly consuming here. Knowing that our readers are willing to accept the degree of ruin that greedy, insatiable, and ruinous ogres of the US and the world oligarchies are subjecting the earth to, I think the only uncertainly that remains regarding the outcome of human destruction of the environment is either can we truly and willfully reverse the demise of life on the Planet or is it already too late.


Great post. However, the powers to be of both parties and conglomerate corrupt corporations will not cede to nature and will continue the rape, pillage and profit taking and leave the clean up to us taxpayers until there is nothing to clean up.


I think we need to retain capitalism but that we also need to retrain it’s that is more socially just. Rapacious capitalism is like slash and burn but in the future we will need to evolve a nurturing capitalism model. By that I mean that we create a closed system capitalism that is far less destructive or exploitive. A carbon tax that accurately reflects the cost to the environment from using a fossil fuel is an example. Recycling organic kitchen waste into compost is another example. We need to recognize that we (all 7 1/2 billion of us) live in spaceship Earth and essential supplies are becoming limited. Waste not want not stuff but on an industrial scale. In a spaceship even the air you breathe costs money. If you devise a closed system that balances the pluses and minuses columns efficiently, everyone can relax and breathe easy!


The problem with ignoring a forest fire down in the valley is that it will eventually climb up the mountain slopes to where you are standing! Eventually even the worst of the denialists will face climate chaos in one way or another! One can’t sell that beachfront property or another can’t still find gasoline for their gas guzzler because everybody else have switched to driving electric cars!


a couple of days ago i chatted with a friend in north dakota. kathy said, “wow! fires, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes! what’s next?” i said this might be the cue for the swarms of locusts waiting in the wings.