The culprit who has made my Earth Sick

The culprit who has made my Earth Sick

16 November 2021 Off By Naginder Sehmi

By Naginder Sehmi, Geneva, Switzerland

Who has made my Earth sick?

Who has made my earth sick?

I’m frightened. I fear that my Earth is going to die soon. Please help me. My brain is traumatised.

My name is Naginder Sehmi , 85 years old. I have been a happy man and look forward to dying happily as nature wants.  But during the last few years I have been deeply troubled by a mental sickness. I feel as if a doomsday spiral has engulfed me. I am unable to bear to see the beautiful Earth in such a miserable state.

In order to overcome my fear I read authors like  Andrea Wulf, Yuval Noah Harari, Steven Pinker, Raj Patel and Jason Moore, and Le Temps, my local newspaper. But my mental trouble has worsened. Then  CORVID-19 lockdown struck me even harder.

Now, I am convinced, not imagining, that a virus called Bacterium homo graedigus (BHG) has infected our Earth. This bacterium is different from Yersinia pestis that caused the plague, and variola virus that caused smallpox. You will recall that they nearly exterminated the human beings.  Now BHG terrifies me.

In order to reduce my anxiety, I have written down my fears and convictions in twenty Talks. Other than the writers I have just mentioned, written and oral contributions by many young curious minds consoled me much.


Talk 1 – Where is the ambulance driver?

Something far graver than any pandemic has afflicted my Earth. It has a high fever. The thermometer column has been rising for an awfully long time. But no one has bothered. The fever has become unbearable. Many centuries ago, Earth-Doctors had already diagnosed the cause. Now they are unable to control the spread of this nameless deadly disease.

Who are these Earth-Doctors?

They are the well-wishing scientists, attentive philosophers, wise thinkers, conscientious environmentalists, ecologists and many young and old ordinary alert people like you and me. They vociferously warn us about the current grim state of the patient through bulky books, reports, articles, reviews, conferences, debates, summits, social media and demonstrations.  Yet no one dares to name the disease nor the culprit bacteria.

One wonders why? As many of you know, a number of brave predecessors of these Earth-Doctors had the courage to declare the name of this nasty infection and even prescribe its powerful antidote.

What happened to them?

They were despicably killed for their audacity. The current Earth-Doctors are frightened. They do not dare administer the well-known medicine to cure poor sick Earth. They conceal the disease by  highlighting its symptoms .

Crafty human brains used another ploy to silence the brave Earth-Doctors. They transformed these pioneers into prophets, messiahs, avatars, buddhas, gurus and saints. To this day, we worship them more piously than the “Almighty God”. We smartly concealed their prescriptions in songs and chants that we have been singing morning and evening.  No one administered the medicine to my sick Earth.

By the way, humans schemed and invented this God much earlier and used it to bolster their own self image and esteem.

My Armageddon

Today I dare to tell you the truth, or as near the truth as is humanly possible. I have been singing one such song for a long time. It formed my morning prayer. I even made and left offerings. After much time I realized that I was really cheating myself. My sly singing tactic relieved me of my responsibilities. I was convinced that fictitious, ethereal gods are sorting out all ills of the world. So the Armageddon looming on the horizon cannot touch me.

I muzzled our Earth-Doctors and let them howl. I thwarted their attempts to prescribe the potent treatment. Totally confused,  deep down I’m terrified. Surely many of you are as well. Will my Earth be ever cured?

I am terrified and scared. I do not have courage left to utter the name of the nasty bacteria nor the antidote. Hopefully, I’ll retrieve some courage to continue writing.

Unable to stand up, Earth is sitting huddled against a thick square pillar of the entrance of the colossal conference hall.  “I’m freezing,” moaned the shivering Earth awaiting the ambulance. “Look, I’m sweating as well. The scorching heat is killing me. Hey, don’t laugh; I’m not faking. Where is the ambulance?”

Chiefs of the entire world surround the Earth. They have come to treat her. What shame! They blatantly ignore the sick Earth. Instead each one self-righteously shows off his or her people’s regalia, strutting like a peacock.  Craftily they evade to hear sick Earth’s whimpering.   Suddenly,  Earth coughs violently. She raises her scrawny finger and speaks feebly, “Would you please break up a little and allow some air for me to breathe! Don’t you see that my coughing is shoving my guts to my mouth?”

Just then, a little blond girl named Grete stealthily broke through the circle of these supercilious folks. She  wipes the vomit dripping from Earth’s mouth with her scarf. Immediately my sick Earth reacts and whispers, “Thank you so much my lovely girl. You are the finest of this lot.”

“Why do you groan so loudly?” Curious Grete asks

“I have a splitting headache. Why is the ambulance waiting? Please tell the driver to take me quickly?”

Grete’s eyes swell with a flood of tears. She cannot restrain from sobbing. Her lips quivering, she informs, “I feel so bad and my heart breaks to tell you that I do not see the ambulance driver anywhere. None of those standing here dare even touch the ambulance less hold the steering wheel. All I can say just now is that I’ll do my utmost in thought and act not to leave you all alone.”


Talk 2 – Earth’s sickness syndromes

Earth opened her eyes in the hospital. Why “her” and not “his”? Well, Earth has given birth to everything that exists or lives on her, hasn’t she? So, Earth has to be female. It makes sense. It looks she has some nasty infection.

She blinked her eyes to adjust to the flood of light above her. She assumed that some compassionate person drove the ambulance. Actually, it was Grete herself. As we now know, only a few are as nice as Grete!


Earth felt one Earth-Doctor sensing her vein. A nurse pricked the vein with a large syringe and sucked her blood. Some electronic device instantaneously displayed many signs and numbers on a big screen. The doctor pointed his finger at some ultra-volatile dots on the screen and addressed Earth, “An unusual parasitical bacterium has infected your blood. It’s a voracious phagocytic pathogen gorging on your good blood cells, I mean the good BHG.”

Antibiotic injected

Another needle stabbed her in the buttock. Earth squealed. “I’ve injected a newly discovered powerful antibiotic. This should kill this nasty bug,” the doctor consoled her. “Sadly, it will wipe out the good bacteria as well. I cross my fingers; it should work fast.”

But nothing happened. The doctor examined the label on the empty phial. “What the hell! The drug is fake. The world is full of cheats.”  Bacterial infection intensified .Earth became sicker.

What is BHG?

Three days later, Grete freed herself from the crowd of young people demonstrating in various cities in support of her cause. She rushed to see Earth. In the room, she heard the head Earth-Doctor saying, “What to do? BHG have become all-powerful. No one, even from outer space, can save her. I’m convinced we are on the wrong track trying to eliminate your agonizing symptoms only.”

“Excuse me doctor,” Grete intervened. “What is BHG?”

“I’m sorry young lady; I assumed you knew. Well, it’s short for Bacterium homo grǣdigus.” Grete, looking absolutely confused, asked “What have you diagnosed?”

Head Earth-Doctor continued, “The diagnosis is long. I can tell you the main things.”

Everyone turned and looked at Earth when she uttered a woeful sigh.

Sickness symptoms

“Her disease is an old one. The BHG bacteria continue to mutate, becoming increasingly virulent.” The Earth-Doctor then read out a long list of symptoms. Of these the following stand out in Grete’s mind:

  • Sudden heating and severe cold spells;
  • Increasingly devastating fluxes all over;
  • Exceptional flushing and dryness;
  • Poisoned arteries and cell water, as well as major fluid reserves;
  • Alarming rate of disappearance of all species of bacteria except BHG;
  • Overfed voracious BHG, gorging victuals from the remotest parts of the body just to satisfy their taste buds, often stealing from the good BHG and throwing away half of good food;
  • Devastation of the entire health-giving biota in the body;
  • BHG kill each other, travel faster and further to the remotest regions in order to become fiercer, more dominating and cleverer, often just for pleasure and to satisfy their curiosity;
  • BHG are polluting the lungs, debilitating breathing and the entire metabolism.

Earth’s end appoaching!

Breathless, the head Earth-Doctor stopped reading when Earth wailed. Closing her eyes Earth confided to Grete, “I see my end is approaching fast. How can I trust the Earth-Doctors when their BHG colleagues are gnawing inside me?”

Earth dosed off exhausted. A frightening nightmare made her shudder. She opened her eyes again and pointed her finger at the few who were watching her anxiously, “I’m frightened. I’m beginning to doubt if you will be able to vanquish and eliminate the powerful, voracious fellows inside me. I’ll never be well again.”

Holding her hand, Grete consoled her, “Yes, you’ll be well again, my dear. I’ll work hard to change the BHG.”

“It will be difficult to change their entrenched habits. They are already deliberately sidetracking your efforts by targeting the treatment of my symptoms and not the real cause of my sickness. They themselves are BHG. Trying to reduce my temperature will not reduce the number of culprits. They will support your efforts to reduce air and water pollution only if this will increase their own comfort so that their vile clan can continue to proliferate. BHG are Homo Deus. They have been the real All Mighty all the time. My dear Grete, offer prayers to BHG; they might hear you and save me.”


Talk 3 – Humans enslave nature

All-powerful greedy humans

Surely now you know what Bacterium homo grǣdigus is. But the word “grǣdigus” is not easy to find in a dictionary. In old English, “grǣedig” means “greedy”. Hence, Bacterium homo grǣdigus signifies “greedy human bacteria”. You and I are BHG. Remember “grǣdigus”. It defines the nature of the human species, hence exceedingly crucial in my talks.

Humans are omnipresent and almighty, just like the gods we have invented. This fact does not require proof. We overpowered nature from the time we lit the first fire. Since then, we have continued  conquering planet Earth. Sadly, we have infected it as well.


In the current era that we have baptized Anthropocene epoch, humans consume food and materials excessively, practise eco-extermination wiping out vegatation and occupying land wastefully, dangerously polluting the air, water and soil with indusrial products and clamouring for faster mode of transport.  We knowingly upset the natural balance, increasingly devastate the habitat of other living beings and steal their livelihood. In this way, we humans trigger chronic diseases and pandemics. For self-inflicted troubles we shamelessly blame other animals, bacteria and viruses.

COVID-19 blessings

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown has given an unasked feel-good sentiment not experienced for a long time. Humans are suprised to hear birds singing sweetly, to see colourful fish in lakes, canals and streams, to gasp fresh air, and to see joyously the blue sky in many parts of the globe. Sadly this has increased my anxiety. I know the nature  of “grǣdigus” humans. They will quickly forget this brief heavenly moment. Instead of resetting nature, BHG will launch an assault to steal even more from nature to recover the material loss caused by COVID-19. The headline in Le Temps, Geneva: “The economy thirsty for primary natural resources.  … One has to struggle to find copper, wood and plastic.”


Experts fail to publicize our anti-nature behaviour and iniquitous living. BHG continue to proliferate like no other animal. At the same time, we seek improved comfort, try to fulfil every desire, seek pleasure and greedily acquire what we often do not need. BHGs’ enhanced empathy, altruism and goodness are directed for the benefit of BHG only, nothing for the rest of the biosphere. Our humanism is egoistic and self-centred. Our eyes have ceased to see, and our brains deny to recognise that we are the mighty, mutating, blood-sucking bacteria that have made Earth sick.  Having full sway over Earth and its nature we greedily aspire to infect the space as well.

Real gods

I have reasserted earlier  that BHG have been the real gods all the time. When we became conscious of our power we invented fake god stories. Billions of us started to believe these stories for thousands of years. The stories have mutated into religions, nevertheless fake. Do you not see that these fake gods were designed in our own image? We have been fighting, like them, among ourselves, killing each other and causing inestimable damage to innocent nature. Read what Erasmus wrote in the sixteeth century. Having acquired a full domination over nature, we categorically refuse to be part of it.

Designating Earth’s current age after themselves: Anthropocene, and becoming proud “owners” and masters of Earth, its land, water, air, fauna and flora is tantamount to malevolence.

Malevolent masters

From the very beginning we confronted animals, birds, rivers and faced natural calamities. As our intelligence developed, we took control of the freely wandering animals and began using them to cultivate land and eating them. Having learnt how they behave, now we manipulate them for our own profit and pleasure. We have tamed the most ferocious of the animals, like the bear, and forced it to dance at our signal. In no time we have become the masters and owners of Earth.

We have speeded up our efforts to subjugate the forces of nature as well: its gentle breezes, rebellious winds, clouds, rain, snow and temperature. Having cleverly brainwashed ourselves, we have stopped talking about our own boundless power.

Having admitted being responsible for the sixth mass extinction, called the “Anthropocene extinction”, now in full swing, we care less if unaccountable number of plant and animal families have already disappeared. Existing mammals, birds, amphibians, sea creatures, reptiles, insects and plant species are disappearing at estimated rates of 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural rates. Extinctions have occurred before in Earth’s life, but not on the scale and at the speed we are now causing.

Will my Earth recover?

Will my poor mother Earth ever recover? Evidently, BHG themselves are arrogantly confident of surviving all eventualities. We have more faith in our technologies than in any god. We want to realise our desire to spread our infectious greed and anthropocentric power across the entire universe.

Let’s face the bitter truth: will Earth-Doctors who are themselves BHGs ever administer antibiotics and medicines to cure Earth? Suicide!

I do not expect that some supernatural beings will come to mend the anthropocentric nature of BHG. Some scientists say that a meteorite had infected poor Earth with BHG way back in Earth’s history. It is my wish that another meteorite should strike and this time inject an antidote! But unfortunately, miracles do not exist!


Talk 4 -The genome of human BHG

I was taught that the genome of human BHG has evolved naturally very much like those of all other living beings. Just to recall: BHG stands for Bacterium Homo Graedigus, simply: greedy human bacteria. This is the biggest of lies. Humans stopped evolving more than five thousand years ago.

The truth

Listen to this truth from the Bible: God created humans and allotted Earth to them to use it as it pleased them. Since then  humans have religiously used the Earth? So, how can we accuse BHG of causing Earth’s sickness? Don’t you worry, the Bible also assures us that sick Earth will be cured and redeemed after the apocalypse.

The Torah also assures me that “God created man in the image and likeness of himself”. This assertion confuses me a lot. Many religions proclaim that God has neither shape nor image, nor an abode in time and space. What kind of likeness are we talking about? The likes of you and I occupy much space on the Earth. How can I be abstract and formless like God? So, I must be God.

Six time I tried to improve the genome of my BHG; look what happened to me every time.

My nose turned into an elephant trunk, head became a beak, my body bloodied, got goat’s legs, grew into a four-armed drummer. Finally, when I turned into an electrified hyper powerful deity I gave up, utterly scared.

Nasty I-ness gene

Curiously, the same saintly authors of sacred books contradict and tell me that humans are the nasty bacteria. Believe me, they decoded the genetic make-up of BHG and identified its extremely virulent gene. For this, they did not require super electron microscopes. They coded the gene “I-ness”. It forms a  tenacious unbreakable loop. This gene empowers BHG to think, question and communicate, acquire enormous possessions, accumulate force, plan its actions, and so on, at a level much above that of all other living beings. Why on earth would BHG rock the boat to save sick Earth? When we hear them declare vociferously that they want to cure and save Earth and nature, they are just play-acting. It is double talk. The gene of “I-ness” is etched in their hearts, impossible to rectify. This gene is very unusual and highly complex. So, we will look into it in separate Talks.

Composition of I-ness

From my young age I have heard I-ness talked about within my religion. I learnt that it is the root of cardinal sins or vices: greed, pride, desire, passion, lust,  lechery, covetousness, avarice, cupidity, temptation, attachment, delusion, wrath, anger, violence, gluttony and laziness. What amazes me very much is the fact that, unlike the BHG, these vicious traits have not amplified in other animals with evolution. One chilling by-product, hatred, seems to occur in humans only!

Good genes

How dare I denigrate the entire BHG creed? Many also have the “G-ness” gene, the “goodness” or “generosity” gene. Thanks to the wholesome and virtuous quality of this gene humans have averted total annihilation so far. We acquire and develop these good qualities through listening, understanding and believing, being truthful, empathic, compassionate, just, loving, self-controlled, courageous, humble and content. To me, it seems that individuals rather than groups, communities and nations own these virtues more  prominently. Thankfully, these qualities triggered reduction of inter-human hatred and violence, but at a much-reduced pace and scale. You will admit that overall, BHG have become more virulent towards my sick Earth.

Then I question myself: Why does I-ness continue to swell and fortify unabated? Is it that its genetic vices are so well hidden that thy are not evident to us? Or do we see them but deliberately ignore them?


Talk 5 – My song of I-ness

Earth’s disease identified

In a previous talk I started to say something about singing a song. I am back. The chorus of the song is  “I-ness is a grave chronic disease; the medication also is in it.”  From my young days, every morning without thinking I’ve been singing blindly with my fellow humans the name of the looped gene of BHG. I was convinced that simply singing this prescription would kill the bacteria and Earth would become and stay well. The magic mantra vaccine in my mother tongue, Punjabi, is:

Haunmain dhirag rog hai daroo bhi iss mahe.

I have already said earlier that the Earth-Doctors knew the antidote for BHG a long time ago. But they hesitated to administer it fearing that the result could be auto-destruction, suicidal.

Demon bacteria defined.

At times humankind rises to lofty celestial heights,

At times it falls into a yawning abyss,

Incapable of remaining stable, the greedy human being rummages around in every direction.

Death is prewritten at birth, yet humankind strives to stay forever.

Unlike in other living beings, human vacillation allowed the BHG gene loop of I-ness to strengthen and become chronic. That is what frightens me. BHG will soon kill Earth. Is it predestined? Because my song continues:

The BHG come into the world and depart in I-ness; give and take in I-ness; earn in I-ness and lose in I-ness; become truthful and false in I-ness; commit sins and purify in I-ness; reincarnate in heaven or hell in I-ness; rejoice and moan in I-ness; I-ness makes them ignorant, wise and casteless; I-ness makes them lose the essence of liberation. Attached to Maya they linger in the dark; unable to understand I-ness, they babble and argue, incapable of seeing themselves as part of nature. (Adapted from the Adi Granth, sixteenth century.)

Of all the demons, greed is the mightiest operating part of I-ness. Greed drags humans to violence, makes them lose self-control, leading them to arrogance and selfishness, insults, jealousy, caste and colour prejudices, sexual and racial discrimination, frustration, and chauvinism. Of all species, these traits are super dominant in humans.

I am the culprit

Be warned! I am the nasty BHG responsible for Earth’s sickness and her impending demise. Earth-Doctors are no different from me. They join me to sing the magic mantra: “I-ness is a grave chronic disease; the medication also is in it.” But none is ready to prick the vaccine or swallow the antidote against I-ness and save Earth. What options do we have?


Talk 6 – Know not thy demons

(Contributed by Maya Struzak, 18,  San Jose, California)

Angels and demons of animal nature

Bears are gentle and devoted but may become aggressive when it comes to protecting their young. Dogs are friendly and loyal but may bite if incited.

When young we learn all about various animals, their characteristics, behaviour and habits. Are they desirable or undesirable? The importance of learning about both sides of an animal’s persona lies in the understanding of its capacity for good as well as harm, whether it is beneficial or not to humans. We acquire such vital knowledge in order to assess our own level of safety and get around our emotional stress. This, accordingly, helps us to find ways to react in a way suitable for the animal’s behaviour.

Angels only of human nature

When it comes to us humans, however, we deviate from this approach. From school to home, children learn about what makes a good human being, focusing on only positive attributes – the “better angels” of our specie’s nature. This behaviour has greatly, but only, benefitted humans, not the poor mother Earth. Influenced by this policy, educationalists, distinguished professors and parents deliberately hide from their children the inherent negative vicious traits, “demons”. These hidden demons secretively amplify for they are inherent. When confronting an unexpected situation, they show up like huge blood-thirsty ogres.

Many argue that children should not learn about the ugliness of humans or their evil deeds. They need to know only their goodness and humanity in order to grow into “good” people. The partisans of this opinion consider it unwholesome for children to know and understand their flaws; by being unaware they will grow up into virtuous adults. But by hiding human shortcomings from children, the children risk succumbing to bad behaviour – simply because they do not know if and why they are bad. With half-complete education the young grow up falsely believing that they can do only good and nothing wrong. But when the reality of the other half-truth hits them in the face, they do not know how to handle their nasty flaws in the overall ecological context. The I-ness of BHG takes over and leads them astray.

Unbalanced learning

It is said that an average person lies around twice a day. If children have never learned the concept of lying,  they might not understand what constitutes a good or bad lie. They might see lying as an act of deception, a tool to protect themselves. Unaware of the consequences, intensive lying damage their psyche. They can destroy their sense of self, not just departing from what we would categorize as a “good” person.  They might possibly irreversibly injure themselves becoming a menace to nature and Mother Earth.

Repair the faulty human gene

Evidently it has become urgent to treat our education system first by injecting it with the tested old cure: repairing the faulty I-ness gene in BHG. This will enhance our ability to feel that we belong to nature. The young learn all about the positive and negative behavioural aspects of other animals. In the same manner, they should be taught that they are infected with equally, if not more dangerous flaws than the other living species living our Earth . They should be able to recognize the vicious and malignant flaws early. In mature BHG the infectious gene mutates and becomes chronically embedded, Then the consequences of its expression become extremely difficult to cure.

Becoming aware of the inherent faulty instincts, the young are equipped with a better understanding of the whole. If they know how dangerous greed or lying can become, along with the usefulness of the occasional white lie, they can learn how to manage and live with this human flaw. The young will become aware of the damage they can do, as well as the good, and learn of the distinctions between the two in order to develop into well-balanced, morally and ethically sound individuals.

Surely this will make Earth well again.


Talk 7 – Wise man!

Are homo sapiens wise?

I have been using the term homo sapiens ignorantly forgetting that it means wisemen.  How can I be wise when I carry highly noxious genes of ego, greed, and arrogance? As you know, these genes cause the nasty I-ness disease.

Who rules the Earth?

I comfort myself by claiming that other species are also infected with I-ness – it is nature. I refuse to see the disproportionately swelling hulk of my I-ness and the incredible speed at which my fellow BHG multiply. Other living beings adapt to nature. Depending on the conditions, they flourish or perish without wastefully fighting nature. We the human beings have learnt to do the opposite. Instead of adapting to nature, we fortify ourselves and make nature to adapt to us.

A long time ago, George Bernard Shaw, and many others since then, have pointed out this trend. Now, we the BHG rule the Earth.

Keeping control over I-ness gene

Earth-Doctors have not been able to eliminate the nasty I-ness gene lodged in the human genome. They use the latest artificial intelligence and have excess to help from molecular biologists, psychologists, neurologists, microbiologists, sociologists, botanists, and ecologists. But every time they approach the I-ness gene, the BHG mutates and acquires even more powerful malignant traits. I-ness is so dear to BHG that Earth Doctors dare not eliminate it?

Do I merit to self-proclaim as Homo Sapiens, wise, discerning, sensible, and judicious? Do you?  Puffing up my chest, head raised to view my vast kingdom on Earth and beyond and watch my living and non-living subjects, you cannot imagine how proud I feel talking to you.

Oh my, what a glorious earth-shattering day! My swollen camouflaged I-ness makes me superbly loving, generous, benevolent, inquisitive, questioning, and much more. Since commencement, this masquerade has served me well to become all-dominant. Empowering myself never stops. What a wonderful feeling!

Consume now and burn later!

Have we forgotten, or perhaps we do not care, that 40,000 year ago our ancestors behaved exactly like us? Anthropologists tell us that some half a million years ago they started separating from other animals; even from other humanoids. They started to utter a language to communicate. Amazing, only we could ask questions!

Unknowingly we started myopic discounting. Have pleasure at once, and do not care if there would be less or none in the future. Consume now and get fat, not caring that we would starve and burn later. The basic attributes fear, anger, love, hatred, jealousy, and reasoning have remained unchanged. Males of our species tended to kill each other in order to acquire more wives to produce more children and stay in power to dominate all else. Amassing personal belongings by any means has become our intense yearning.

Rise of Earth’s fever

Some experts say that since those times we have become a little less violent. The truth is, our violent unwholesome impulses are as strong as ever, if not more. The only difference is that we have found other ingenious ways of exercising them. For example, to feed our greed we have increased our consumption astronomically. We know it that this has triggered the sudden rise my Earth’s fever, shattering the entire ecosystem and killing many of our own kind and much more of other living beings.


Talk 8 – Humans live only for themselves

Human nature versus nature

We have seen that the self-aggrandizing human species deny possessing any inner demons or vices. They behave as if they do not belong to nature anymore. They govern nature.

Nobel laureates like Joseph Stiglitz and philanthropist and commercial personalities like André Hoffmann or Bill Gates unstintedly help humans. Humans consider philanthropic actions directed only to fellow humans as virtues. Paradoxically the same humans cause poverty. Most human virtues fit quite well if our theme were “human versus humans” but much less with “nature versus humans”. In order to promote better health of humans and reduce poverty, philanthropists require the production of more wealth by exploiting the poor Earth. In the end, its nature that suffers.

Green politics

Many get elected using the ecological and environmental protection platform, lavishing lip service to saving nature. Once elected they forget that nature encompasses the entire pulsating ecological setting with living and non-living things, the Earth and the universe. They become masters of all that.

A word here about politics. Politics deals with two issues: first, produce riches, of course, from Earth resources; second, share these riches between humans. In practice, the rich, and many who want to become rich quickly, go into politics. They fleece nature as well as fellow humans. The increasing number of campaigns putting pressure on the powerful political and commercial masters to protect the environment and restore ecology have largely failed so far. The result is that BHG has become stronger and poor Earth sicker.

Inner angels and demons

Discerning writers like Yuval Noah Harari have painstakingly described how evolution has transformed human species to its present state. Steven Pinker has elaborated the civilizing and humanizing process of “inner angels” or virtues of human nature through philosophical, psychological, neurological, social, economic, intellectual and cultural viewpoints. He concludes that humankind has become less violent and selfish, interacting better, showing less hatred, sharing more, resulting in fewer poor fellow humans, and the like. But I believe that he has dealt rather meagrely with the “inner demons” of human nature. He does not properly explain how their demons have globally weakened, or if they have taken a more insidious form.

Yahoo behaviour

When I could not name a single human activity not directed to humans themselves, my mind flash-backed to my time in Trinity College Dublin. The image of Jonathan Swift’s statue appeared in my mind. His famous satirical book Gulliver’s Travels that he wrote three hundred years ago was a part of my course. I recalled its fourth part: A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnhnms. I consider it to be still the best description of human meanness. Mind you, Swift was known well on both sides of the Irish Sea and was the Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral that I revisited recently.

During his fourth voyage, Gulliver’s mutinous crew abandons him in a landing boat close to an island. There he comes upon a race of deformed savage creatures resembling human beings to which he felt a violent antipathy. Then he meets the Houyhnhnms, a race of talking horses. They are the rulers. The deformed human-like creatures are called Yahoos. Gulliver rejects his fellow humans as merely Yahoos endowed with some semblance of reason that they only use to exacerbate and add to the vices nature gave them. The horses, on the other hand, faithfully comply with the laws of nature; they are perpetually healthy, content and happy; they do not absolutely need to pray, meditate or do yoga.

Master horse

After considerable hoo-hah the master horse shelters Gulliver in his abode because he finds him to be intelligent. Quickly Gulliver learns their language. He reports on Yahoos, “I confess I never saw any sensitive being so detestable on all accounts, and the more I came near them the more hateful they grew.” He himself is never sick during years of his stay on that island. He cannot understand why nature should teach us to conceal what nature has given. When he returns home to Ireland he is unable to reconcile himself to living among “Yahoos” and becomes a recluse, spending several hours a day speaking to the horses in his stables.

I always maintain that Swift’s interpretation of human behaviour is as valid now as it has been since history began.

I strongly advise the likely saviours of our sick Earth, such as Grete and the Earth-Doctors, to read this adventure of Gulliver. It might give them a new vision of their mission.


COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease passed from other animals to humans. We also know its root cause: noxious human activities, such as replacing forests with agriculture, exploiting wildlife, or destroying habitat of animals by mining and construction. We force the animals to  live with us sharing their bacteria as well.

Save the “green” planet – from whom?

Pursuit of Humans

The BHG pursuit of satisfying their own needs, greed and pleasure has evolved to an unimaginable level of sophistication and magnitude. BHG eat when they are not hungry and drink without being thirsty. Even the poor seek cuisine of the entire world to gratify their tongues; a slum dweller aspires to rise to a palatial house.

BHG has not left any stone unturned to acquire all intellectual wealth. Sophisticated educational and research institutions have armed humans with powerful means for exploiting the Earth and beyond. They build superfluous showy palaces of worship offering spiritual crutches to all.

To gratify curiosity, or simply to pass time, humans travel to distant places using the fastest possible transport, mercilessly devastating the entire ecosystem.

Inner demons fortify

Who has been paying for all this? How can Steven Pinker rush to conclude that the inner demons of humans have mollified? That might be partially true among some humans but there is nothing to cure sick Earth. Everyone talks only about caring for and increasing the potential of people and their communities.

Have you ever thought that humans hate one another more than do any other species of animals? Humans are subject to more diseases than all other animals. Their arrogance of their wealth and knowledge makes them most unteachable with respect to nature. As a species, humans are degenerate, brutal, liars and fakes. Humans pretend to be reasonable; but find it difficult to be  guided by nature. As aresult they cannot truly discern what they ought to do and what they should avoid. For some reason humans are equipped to increase their vices. They proficiently prove that white is black and black is white, and thus become rich. Yet they are unable to feed all fellow humans. The world is miserable.

It is impossible to restore biodiversity and save sick Earth and at the same time satisfy human greed. Every human action reinforces BHG. All actions such as producing clean energy, doubling employment per dollar spent on fuel, restoring forest ecosystems on a grand scale, will save humans but not sick Earth. When natural phenomena such as fires, hurricanes, typhoons and droughts occur, humans protect and save themselves; no one talks about saving the Earth nor its animals or the ecosystem.

Human fears

Humankind, scared by Earth’s rising fever, fear the unknown damage that climate will cause to their greed. Are we prepared to slowdown our commercial and finacial machine? Will the rich stop exploiting the poor? Above all, humans fear the escalating heat waves, mega-droughts, being frozen to death, or being drowned by a  tsunami.

Yet, with friends like humans, who needs enemies?


Talk 9 – Ogre swallows Earth

Poor Earth

Living with nature

We all know and love watching birds, mice, insects, and numerous other species, instinctively building their houses in the same ecological manner, form and size. Some even brilliantly installed natural air conditioning to protect themselves from extreme heat and cold. We cannot emulate the superb architecture that ants, bees, and beavers have mastered. They are content with what they have and achieved. No trace of greed. We smile when we see birds pick up coloured pieces of plastic and glass to decorate their nests. Poor innocent birds do not know that these trinkets kill many of them.

Animals like lions and bears, make their dens. Many do not require any shelter at all, open nature is their abode. Their bodies adapt to the changing whims of nature. Some migrate to distant continents using their own infallible guiding systems more efficient than any human GPS.

Human ogre

The human BHG is the only species that is incapable of being content with any type of house they own. All the time, human individuals crave to own a different and bigger house whether they really need it or not. If they are unable to do this, they will enlarge and beautify the one they own or move to live in skyscrapers – an ecological massacre!

Without any doubt human hordes, that we also know as bacterium homo graedigus, are a perpetually famished ogre with a gargantuan appetite devouring every available natural resource.  They adore gulping down even the non-material knowledge and know about everything from the hugest to the tiniest. Their limitless unstoppable curiosity drives them to strive and conquer in order to better themselves in every way: food, shelters, materials, and travels.  They cannot be stopped from feeding their voracious I-ness gene.

This human ogre knows everything; yet it continues to render sick Earth sicker. He feels the remorse but cannot amend his behaviour. He is pushing Earth towards a silent environmental and ecological holocaust.

Will we ever stop considering nature as our enemy and stop subjugating it? Will we ever succeed to cure sick Earth?


Talk 10 – Humans cure Earth

No medicine

Earth, half awake, wondered what had happened to Grete. Just then the door opens. Earth raises her heavy head a little and saw Grete walk in. Who else? Grete has swollen eyes and puffed red face. She must have been crying. Earth knows that Grete is also a BHG, but the good type, kind-hearted, benevolent.
“ Hello Earth, you look miserable,” Grete blubbers with tearful eyes.
Earth hugs her tenderly and says, “I know how you are feeling. I saw you on TV.”
“I’m exhausted trying to convince my mighty fellow BHG gathered in that lofty skyscraper on the bank of Hudson River. They all sang the same I-ness song. Then I rushed to Davos in the Swiss Alps to plead with a few of the same joined by others, really fat ones, proudly parading their big bellies filled with all those good things you furnish all the time. Comfortably lodged, looking at the snowy slopes they smile. I’m sorry to give you more worries. Did Earth-Doctors come to treat you?” Grete asked.
“I do not think they will come again because they cannot find a good antidote. You remember the last one was fake. Even if they find one, the big-belly BHG will not allow them to administer it.”

Mantra to stop Earth’s death

“Please Earth tell me some mantra that would change my fellow BHG.” Grete pleads.
Looking tenderly into Grete’s eyes, Earth places her finger on her chin and spoke softly, “All humans, good and bad, act for their own sake. They want to stop climate warming because it affects their own comfort. Their concerns about nature and me are not genuine.”
“Why? I don’t understand. We were not like this before.” Grete sobs.
“What you say is correct. But we will talk about it later. First you see, my dear girl, I’m important because you need me. Obviously, if I perish humans will go with me; no one will be left to worry about anything.”
“Do you mean to say that this is going to happen?”
“The way things are evolving; this is exactly what is going to happen. Being tolerant by nature I’m not worried. I’ve been like this since I came into being.”

Who put us on the wrong path?

“Why did you not guide and put us on the right path?” Grete asked.
“Everything is interaction and reciprocal. As you have been saying all the time, it has been one way only. Humankind adopted a self-centred approach towards me and my nature.  With time it has become human nature. Since then, many learned people made you believe and practice wrong ideas.”
Grete interrupts, “Yes, of course, I remember that Greek, … Aristotle, who proclaimed that “nature has made all things specifically for the sake of man.”
“Well, do I need tell you more? I can if you want…”
“Yes, yes. Please Earth,” Grete says.
“Two thousand years after Aristotle, even your Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus insisted that, ‘all things are made for the sake of man’. You see how greedy and mean humans are! Even their God spoke through the Bible and other sacred books commanding all humans to be fruitful and replenish the earth and subdue it. It specifically decrees that they should rule over the fish of the sea, and over fowls of the air, and over every living being that moves upon the Earth.”
Grete takes up the line and said, “More recently philosophers like Francis Bacon and Descartes famously declared that the world is made for man, animals are inferior to humans who are the lords and possessors of nature.”

Earth belogs to Grete

Grete chuckles, “Now I can imagine how you feel. My dear Earth, you don’t belong to you but to me!”
To console Grete, Earth laughs and says, “I’m sure you know that humankind still believes in the mantra that it can conquer and transform the “howling wilderness” of nature into pleasing and productive landscapes through cultivation, orderly fields, clearing forests, neat villages and cities, roads and rails. It thinks that in this way it can transform chaos and evil into order and good.”
“Unbelievable, how can they say that you are evil,” Grete protests. “No wonder humans did not think twice before launching their murderous onslaught on you.

Now I realise why Alexis de Tocqueville credited the most powerful nation on earth: ‘It is the idea of destruction – of man’s axe in the American wilderness – that gives the landscape its touching loveliness’.”


Talk 11 – What happened to our inner demons?

Inner demons: worshiping industrial products

Who is killing Earth?

“BHG are bent upon killing me”. Earth’s these disturbing words kept Grete awake all night. “Why?” Grete sobbed. Then she remembered Earth saying, “We will talk about it later.” At the same time, she recalled what Alexander Humboldt had said more than two hundred years ago, that nature was a living whole pouring life over plants, animals, air, water, stones and humankind. It’s a web connecting everything; so where is the problem?

Inner angels and demons of human nature

Curious Grete skipped her breakfast and hastened to see Earth. Earth foresaw Grete’s coming.

“I was so happy to see you on TV last night,” said Earth hugging Grete tenderly. “It appears that more and more health-giving BHG are trying to help you fight the swarm of malign fellows. You made me feel a little better. But my fever is rising unabated. I saw that the few followers you have are mostly young, incapable of knowing their own inner demons. I wonder how they will subdue or eradicate the I-ness gene camouflaged in them now. Nevertheless, I adore you for what you are doing – trying to mutate them from inside.”

“My dear Earth, I see only darkness. PLease give me light and courage,” Grete pleaded. “You know I was a little reassured when Steven Pinker assessed that my fellow BHG have become more angel-like, fighting less, showing more kindness, becoming less greedy, more loving and charitable. But I see no good effect on your health; you are getting sicker. I have a dreadful sinking feeling. There must be something amiss in Pinker’s judgement. Only you can explain it to me.”

Hidden inner demons?

“Grete, I sympathize with your feelings. BHG’s inner demons have mutated and are hidden in another part of the body. Have you not noticed that these angel-like attributes you just mentioned apply mostly to the ordinary lot of individuals? Actually deep down they have become greedier and more egoist. Now the mighty BHG feed all the greedy individuals. This strategy has fortified the inner demons in almost every individual without them even knowing it. It is more insidious than ever before. BHG have lost the capability of correcting by precepts or example.”

“I don’t understand you, dear Earth!” Grete admitted.

“You see Grete, take the example of your own country. Not long ago, your people were self-sustaining growing their own food. Now 97% of your people do not cultivate food. They buy fine foods and everything else produced by others elsewhere, usually from far-away places. To purchase food and luxuries, you have to work for someone else to earn money. Having a job and earning money has become the primary dynamics of BHG life. Your country fellows with the entire BHG mass feel insecure and tremble when a rumour forecasts a little drop of production. The panicked BHG viciously attack and suck what little blood is left in my sick body. When I squirm with excruciating pain they even do not know.

Monstrous machines have speeded up destroying oxygenating forests. Why do you think I cough so much? My lungs are now weak. BHG use newer ways for devouring my blood. Their industrial and commercial enterprises have taken over all activities from individuals. Have you not realised that these enterprises do not have a soul? They do not have any moral or ecological qualms. They can do what pleases them to maximize their profit.

The scream of nature

You see Grete, by offering cheap food and tempting goods BHG have transformed individuals into voracious consumers. Their vices and I-ness have exploded without them even knowing it. Their inner demons have taken another form. They feel comfortable and guiltless. All this, at my cost. BHG enterprises are stealing and devouring precious gifts free from my reserves. Do you think they care about the consequences? Land is eroded, biodiversity lost, entire ecosystems destroyed, air, water and soil are polluted, water becomes scarce, and non-recyclable toxic and dangerous waste injure all my beautiful living things. I hope you understand the way I see things.”

The effort to explain all this made her breathless. Grete noticed that she was in an excruciating pain. Grete could not help crying. Before dosing off Earth managed to whisper: “I am sad because BHG are proliferating, becoming more and more voracious. Soon I’ll run out of gifts.”

Grete stood up and looked like Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream of Nature – a silent scream!

“Thank you, Earth. Now I know that BHG have not changed at all. Their appetite is more insatiable than ever before. Even the lushest fields and greatest treasures will not satisfy these greedy monsters. You have been so generous with gifts. BHG do not tire of taking.”

How to kill the inner demons?

Earth picked up a little courage and said, “My bounteous nature, politics and the society of BHG form a triangle. Having learnt everything from nature, BHG have shamelessly brutalized it. They cause many other ailments besides my fever. I do not want to upset you more. You look tired listening to my complaints. Go and rest a little, dear Grete. I need you.”

“Inner demons of humans have not been mollified”, Grete hissed between her tight lips. “Pinker did not see how BHG have mutated – stealing even more from the ecosystem, burning it, starving it, decimating it, and stupidly polluting it. Their genetic loop of I-ness – ego, greed, arrogance – continues to dominate everything with brutal force disguised as liberalism, capitalism, socialism, communism, and dictatorship. All hanker for power in order to control all humans and devastate the ecosystem. I must find an antidote to kill the inner demons of human nature.” Seeing Earth doze off again, Grete departed.


Talk 12 – Becoming human again

Reverse evolution

Human robots

Grete has just returned from Brussels utterly disillusioned. She saw the European Union parliament adopt a new law intended to protect the environment and hopefully reduce Earth’s fever. Actually the law increased funding for agriculture only. Hoping to calm her nerves, she listened to a conference given by a French philosopher, elegantly dressed in a chic orange-yellowish suit. “Becoming human again through meditation without frills,” he announced his topic articulately. “It’s not the fault of human beings that they are becoming less and less human,” he asserted. “Some dictatorship has crushed and turned poor humans into subservient robots. We are now cogs and variables in an infernal soulless machine.” Becoming very sullen and meditative, he continued, “It’s the machine that is destroying the Earth and the basis of life of the human society.”

Return to nature

The philosopher implied that human BHG are absolutely innocent. This infuriated Grete. She grimaced, stiffened her jaws and muttered through gritty lips, “Who made the machines? Who is the dictator? Who has set up the machine?”

Humans have always been humans, fighting and conquering nature. They direct their humanism to fellow humans and not to safeguarding nature. This type of humanism has never diminished. Grete quite upset raised her voice, “Becoming human again does not make any sense. Yes, returning to nature does. Give up humanism. Don’t become human again. Return to nature. Be like fish and flow with water; be like birds and fly in the air. Stop devastating nature!” She took a short breath: “This is the real solution. I feel being swallowed up by the darkness of human I-ness; I see no light.” Clenching her teeth, she uttered a short piercing scream of nature, “I will not give up!


Talk 13  I-ness camouflaged

Art of camouflage

Even a chameleon cannot outdo human BHG in the art of camouflage. Having learnt everything from nature, we have become superbly shrewd and arrogant. Our I-ness has fortified in goodness and badness. We have become divine creators, inventors, destroyers, and spoilers. Yet we are unable to resist fighting each other to enhance our I-ness. With much difficulty and by using crafty tactics through political and social groupings we manage to maintain some form of peaceful working order and at the same time satisfy the I-ness of the ogre. Often the order breakdowns and explodes into local and global conflagrations just short of total wiping out.

The more civilized the greedier

At this point in time, we have failed to safeguard Earth’s ecological systems, failed to prevent self-inflicted suicidal disasters, and failed to share wealth fairly. Governing bodies at all levels are run and manipulated by powerful commercial forces run and manipulate governments to manage the economy, work force, finance, industry, commerce, and armament. Entertainment industry and the rich have enslaved art and culture.

Children know and appreciate more about Harry Potter, Superman, and other fake and extra-terrestrial beings than they do about plants and birds around them. Politicians specialize mainly in talking and arguing. They conform to the biblical contention: the more civilized they are, the greedier they become. It is difficult to disagree with Jonathan Swift’s contention, “I should never have attempted so absurd a project as that of reforming the Yahoo race in this kingdom: but I have now done with all such visionary schemes for ever.” We are as virulent as ever, if not more.

Helping Grete

While I do not want Grete to read my pessimistic vision, I wish that my fellow beings would read these lines and hopefully change to save sick Earth. This would certainly reinforce Grete’s efforts.

Finally, I would like to return to the inner devils of our nature. Our powerful forces have set up innovative production and commercial enterprises. They ensure the supply plentiful affordable goods and services, thus satisfy the basic needs of human beings in richer regions.  This has awakened the inner devils in poor regions in a frightening way. The mighty inner devils comfortably lodged with colossal enterprises do not need to observe any moral and ethical codes when plundering nature. This demonic wheel of human I-ness continues to grind to:

  1. Provide jobs so that individuals can consume more and satisfy their need and greed.
  2. Exploit natural resources to produce consumer goods.
  3. Generate profit to expand production, provide jobs and satisfy the ever-greedier needs of the exploding human population.

This colossal wheel is the aggregate of the total human greed. this greed has mutated into national and multinational I-ness. The wheel is getting continually bigger and choking the entire ecosystem. Would you like to witness sick Earth suffocate? Will our Earth-Doctors ever develop a vaccine and use it to make the killer BHG less virulent?


Talk 14 – Technology rapes nature

Devious human BHG

Human beings are smart and devious. They set up multinational enterprises of various types to penetrate nature, analyse it, exploit its abundance, and convert it into their own capital. If they encounter any difficulty, they delocalize to another place. They adapt to any type of governing system.  They use cheap slave-like labour and care little about the social and environmental devastation their actions might result. They welcome other rich multinationals and shareholders who long to be richer. Their mission is to make profit by conquering nature and commercializing it.

Nature capital

Using cheap labour of fellow humans, these enterprises extract riches from nature-capital, produce food and generate energy. They ignore that there are at present 21 million slaves or poor human labourers. This is in addition to an estimated 12.5 million slaves shipped across the Atlantic in the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. In many regions women are still not considered truly human. A handful of powerful BHG consider everything other than themselves as part of nature that exists for them to exploit. They keep the cheap forced labour content they have cleverly reduced the cost of food from eighty per cent of the household expenses to about ten per cent. The workers happily use powerful machines to rape nature. These enterprises do not care about protecting nature. Sadly they have succeeded in separating the human mind-set from Mother Nature.


Talk 15 – Stealing natural capital

Every imaginable means-rail, track, road, tunnels, and helocopters-pierce Jungfrau just to satisfy human eye

Devious human BHG

Human beings are smart and devious. They set up multinational enterprises of various types to penetrate nature, analyse it, exploit its abundance, and convert it into their own capital. If they encounter any difficulty, they delocalize to another place. They adapt to any type of governing system.  They use cheap slave-like labour and care little about the social and environmental devastation their actions might result. They welcome other rich multinationals and shareholders who long to be richer. Their mission is to make profit by conquering nature and commercializing it.

Nature capital

Using cheap labour of fellow humans, these enterprises extract riches from nature-capital, produce food and generate energy. They ignore that there are at present 21 million slaves or poor human labourers. This is in addition to an estimated 12.5 million slaves shipped across the Atlantic in the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. In many regions women are still not considered truly human. A handful of powerful BHG consider everything other than themselves as part of nature that exists for them to exploit. They keep the cheap forced labour content they have cleverly reduced the cost of food from eighty per cent of the household expenses to about ten per cent. The workers happily use powerful machines to rape nature. These enterprises do not care about protecting nature. Sadly they have succeeded in separating the human mind-set from Mother Nature.


Talk 16 – Defective I-ness gene rectified

(Translation of a contribution in Punjabi by Manjinder Sembhi of Tajpur, a small village in Punjab, India.)

River of desires

From the beginning of existence, we humans have been occupied with alleviating our own pain and suffering. We have failed to acquire joy and pleasure. Why does the situation remain unchanged? Because a river of cravings and desires flows uncontrolled within us. The root of these cravings and desires is our I-ness and arrogance. According to Nanak (fifteenth century), our gravest disease is I-ness. It is the biggest stumbling block for achieving our objectives. Does this mean that we cannot find a cure?

Ignoring our duty towards nature

From the first day of human life, nature has furnished unasked-for gifts of air, water, and soil to satisfy our needs. The current Covid-19 pandemic has provided an eloquent vision of the status of human beings. It has jammed the human wheel. Even if only briefly, it has shown that we have made a serious mistake to place all faith in human technology that has already nearly ruined our nature’s system. To gratify our desires and cravings, we have arrogantly continued to seek more than what we need. This aggravates our I-ness disease that makes us forget our responsibilities towards nature and increase our love for acquiring more gifts. Our greedy behaviour has poisoned air, water, and soil, at the same time exterminating innumerable species of other living beings.

The way out

The only way out is to unstintingly accept nature’s set rules. This is the only treatment humans must use to save ourselves from this dreadful I-ness disease. It required only a speck of time and not a long geological era to show us how Covid-19 related lockdown has briefly strangled the I-ness of grudging humans.  As a result, the speed at which nature has resuscitated is mind-boggling.

Glorious nature swept away sticky acrid autumn fog around Delhi and millions of people recognized each other again. About the same time millions of Chinese could not believe their eyes when they saw the bright deep blue sky.  Covid-19 lockdown forced us to reduce our love of I-ness. One wonders if having forced us to give-up religious and social rituals is a part of the cure. In many parts of the globe nature speedily cleaned the air, water, and soil as well.


Without any doubt, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has validated what wise Earth-Doctors have been saying. Human beings hold the cure of Earth’s disease. We must reduce human I-ness. Can we eliminate the nasty I-ness gene of the BHG in any way other than reducing our number? Re-joining nature is the proven and tested medicine.  Can we adopt this approach after eliminating Covid-19 pandemic? Following nature’s way will enable Earth and all her living beings to breath healthily again. Let us do it.


Talk 17 – Eco-exterminator and eco-lover

(Translation of a contribution in Punjabi by Manjinder Sembhi, Tajpur, a small village in Punjab, India)

Ungrateful overlords

When the world came into being, we humans confronted animals, birds, rivers, and natural calamities. As human society and its behaviour evolved, we took control of the freely roaming animals and began using them to cultivate land and to rear them to eat.

Having learnt how animals behaved, we started to domesticate and manipulate them for our own profit and pleasure. We tamed even the most powerful elephant to fight for us and drag thick logs. We made the ferocious bear to dance at our signal. In no time we became the master and owner of all life and large parts of the Earth. Alas we did not properly learn to protect it.

Masses of Eco-exterminators

We continued to advance on this mysterious path without knowing where it would lead us.  Our unquenchable desire continued to amass more fodder to feed. To satisfy our greed we have devastated forests – the foremost abode of nature. We have built opulent residences and set up polluting industries. Innumerable and entire species of animals and plants have disappeared because we have stolen their natural habitat. Human beings have become the supreme eco-exterminator such has never existed before. Our passion for I-ness has disconnected us from the rules of nature and our actions have gone astray. We are truly BHG, Bacterium homo grǣdigus, the cause of Earth’s sickness.

The way humans civilize nature!

Several fellow humans have tried to amend the ways of BHG, silently, frankly, unselfishly, prophetically, and candidly. But most of them tended to focus their efforts on fellow humans pointing out what is good for them.Their responsibility towards safeguarding nature remained marginalized. Some gathered millions of followers round them. Others acquired much power and unwittingly increased the human potential to exploit nature. Others manipulated the masses with the express objective of conquering and ruling over the entire world. Very few have been effective pro-Earth and eco-lovers. The sorry state of the natural world arises from the history of human governments that function on fragmenting and destroying the unity of nature. Greed shapes societies. Humans leave trails of destruction wherever they go.

Forgotten eco-lovers

Where are the nicer wholesome BHG, the genuine Earth-lovers? They are struggling to cure sick Earth. Will they be able to mollify the virulent I-ness gene of BHG?

Who remembers the first and supreme nature-lover, Alexander von Humboldt, a Prussian who wrote volumes on this issue? He merits a separate talk, the next one.

I am convinced that even if a tiny fraction of what we have been doing for human beings had been allotted to nature, a genuine bliss would have pervaded, and Earth would not have fallen sick.


Talk 18 – The forgotten nature lover

*Inspired by: The Invention of Nature – The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science, by Andrea Wulf.

Alexander von Humboldt

   Lowering Earth’s fever

Grete has decided to become an Earth-Doctor.  She remembers the long list of Earth’s sickness syndromes. She realized that the disease is multifaceted and awfully complex. Without genuine help from many others, she would not be able to find a cure. So, Grete decided to concentrate on reducing Earth’s temperature, what we call climate warming. The disease itself is a bigger grim matter. Earth is happy to see Grete after many months and greets her with a weak tender smile.

“What have you been up to all this time?” Earth inquired.

“I’m trying to get your fever down. Apparently, climate change is warming you up.”

“My dear Grete, that is not new. My temperature has been oscillating naturally for various reasons. I wonder if you know that two hundred years ago some nature lovers found another cause. They alerted humankind that it must correct its behaviour and stop perverse devastation of nature. They expressed their love of nature, giving scientific facts in voluminous books. You will find that these books are holier than all your sacred books combined. Have you not heard of Alexander von Humboldt? He was foremost among them and was the greatest scientist–naturalist that humankind has ever produced. Nature was his sacred guru.”

New prophets

Bursting with curiosity, her eyes widened, Grete pleaded, “Please Earth, tell me more. No one talks about these people anymore.”

“Von Humboldt was born in 1769. He was already more than a prophet when young,” Earth continued. “He learnt so much about me and my nature that he could not finish transcribing his knowledge during ninety years of his life. Right away, his books became a must in educational institutes, literate homes and royal courts.”

“And churches?” Grete intervened. Looking tenderly at Grete, Earth just smiled.

“What he preached were not vague divine prophesies nor incredulous revelations. They were the product of personal experience and scientific observations. Studying his books, many were transformed into famous eco-lovers. Nature-poets like William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Johan Wolfgang von Goethe sang his praises in their poems. Von Humboldt inspired Charles Darwin, who took his books with him on his famous voyage on HMS Beagle.”

“Yes, I’ve heard a lot about Darwin. I am glad he got rid of a lot of rubbish ideas about humans and other living beings. Who else?” Grete prompted tired mother Earth.

Earth continued, “Henry David Thoreau in the USA. Humboldt inspired him when he wrote Walden. Then there was Thoreau’s compatriot, George Perkins Marsh, who described in his book, Man and Nature, how radically the Vermont landscape had changed since Europeans arrived. Human progress, he wrote, has left ‘nature in the shorn and crippled condition.’ It’s a story of destruction and avarice, of extinction and exploitation, as well as of depletion of soil resulting in torrential floods. You see, my dear Grete, humankind or BGH needs to change its behaviour fast if my sickness is to be protected from the ravages of ploughs and axe.”

Science confirms the real virus.

Grete realized that just lowering temperature will not cure Earth’s disease. Earth continued to tell her that Humboldt’s friend, Earnest Haeckel, who coined the term “ecology”, collaborated with Darwin to spread ideas on ecological issues. As an artist his Art Forms in Nature beautifully illustrates nature as seen through a microscope. Grete had not heard about another divine spirit, John Muir. Muir, having failed to muster funds to follow Humboldt’s travels in Orinoco, ended up in the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite Valley. Here he experienced the same sensation of oneness of interactive nature as did Humboldt in Orinoco. He was so inspired that he took up a single-handed mission to arouse the human conscience to block butchering of world’s tallest and oldest sequoia trees and devastating the valley. His compassionate writings about his love of nature convinced President Theodore Roosevelt to declare the valley a national monument, but not without facing much opposition by many greedy eco-exterminator BHG. Few have heard of Simon Bolivar other than as a revolutionary liberator of Venezuela and other South American countries. He encountered Humboldt very briefly but was so touched by his love for nature that he aspired to plant one million trees in Venezuela, and that already two and a half centuries ago.

Fire of human greed

Common people understood Humboldt. Prime ministers, presidents, kings and queens adored and honoured him. But none could put out the fire of human greed.

Grete was most astounded when she heard that Humboldt longed to visit the Indian subcontinent. Despite all the guile, the British Government and other dignitaries failed to obtain an authorization for him from the real rulers of India, the powerful greedy eco-exterminators, the board of governors of the East India Company.

Earth’s voice started to falter. Grete said, “You have truly opened my eyes, dear Earth. I see my mission full of hurdles. I thought all religions would join me to amend the virulent BHG. They rule over the genetic chain, what they call soul, of the virulent BHG. By staying silent they are a big obstacle. In fact, they continue to champion human activities and human empowerment to dominate and confront nature. You will be amazed to know that in our two-thousand-year history, the Pope uttered the word “ecology” for the first time at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference after one and a half centuries. Evidently, naturalism is not considered compatible with the church ideology.”

Nature is a web

Earth raised her finger and said, “I’m so happy with you, my Grete. You are learning so fast. For centuries, these people of the faith loathed nature lovers and scientists, especially Humboldt. This, I believe, is one of the reasons that few humans now remember Humboldt’s sacred concept: Earth is a natural whole, one great living organism where everything is interconnected. Nature is a web; everything hangs together, not even an atom can be standalone. Cut one thread, the whole will crumble.”

Grete reacted, “Science has made us learn and understand all these intricacies more than ever before. But, at the same time haven’t our super technologies separated our lives from nature?”

Exhaling deeply Earth asked Grete, “How many of your fellow BHG know that Humboldt conceived the term “isotherm” and used it to study my climate for the first time? Who recalls that he was a life-long abolitionist of slave trade and anti-colonialist? He developed the idea of human-induced climate change, local and global? I appreciate your struggle to reduce my fever.  You are trying to treat my fever first because it affects human greed. Any benefit to nature might come as a spin-off. Humboldt saw how humankind unsettled the balance of nature. Go out and revive him as the father of your environmental movement. Do not forget him and put his ideas into practice.

Prayer to All Mighty BHG

People do not know or have forgotten that more places in the world are named after Humboldt than anybody else. Yet, has humankind made any positive progress since Humboldt’s time to cure my disease? All I see is that the BHG have become even more virulent. I see only darkness in the intellectual and technological brilliance of humankind. Grete please, it might help if you pray to the All Mighty BHG. Such a prayer might cure me!” Earth laughed.


Talk 19 – Glorious eternel life in 2045

No surprise

Human beings named Homo sapiens do not surprise us anymore. We know these animals are the Bacterium homo grǣdigus, the greedy human bacteria. Not too long ago, these animals learnt to stand upright on two legs. This liberated their arms and fingers. Their tall shoulders supported a big brainy head enabling them to observe all around. In this way, the Homo sapiens acquired the power to dominate over almost the entire nature, living and non-living.

Homo Deus

Yuval Noah Harari, in his two books Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, has convincingly exposed to me that human beings have always been God. However, at the beginning they failed to perceive this divine power as a single attribute of nature. Individuals, tribes, ethnic groups, and later nations strived to acquire this power. This was not easy. So, each one invented its own imaginary supreme authority and called it God. Each one claimed that its God revealed the truth and bestowed it with supreme power. This arrangement helped the multiple claimants of that position to maintain some order in the proliferating human social groups.

Origin of humankind

At the same time some thinkers were of the view that we human beings were born from a virus transmitted by a meteorite. Charles Darwin postulated that we originated from chance genetic combinations together with pressure from natural selection. The Frenchman, Lamarck, concluded that human beings were born from a voluntary adaptation.  Then there were those who believed that human beings issued from the necessity to surpass all other animals so that they could eat them. For Hindus, these human-like gods have always existed; they just continue to reincarnate. Middle Eastern humans set up their own separate God and used its authority to govern the quarrelsome people, often fighting for leadership. The followers of that ideology authorized themselves in the name of this God to acquire a total control over the entire world and nature.

Glorious eternal life

Since those times, the span of human life has doubled. At what astronomical cost and detriment to Earth? All the past wise humans must be turning in their graves, horror-struck with nightmares, when they know that the high-tech titans like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon want to make human beings eternal, just like God we have been portraying – no ageing, no getting sick, no death. For the mathematician, Peter Thiel, death is simply a technical problem that the computer power will sort out shortly. People like Mark Zuckerberg are investing millions to eradicate all diseases. Google’s California Life Company has a similar objective of escaping ageing. It does not matter at what cost, these obsessed “thanatophobes” want to live forever, perfectly divine, free from reincarnation. One wonderful gift: there will be no need to pray and pay to some imaginary divinities of the past. Such glorious eternal life is expected to start in 2045 according to one expert. I will not make it.


Talk 20 – Sick Earth: argue or treat?

The real culprit?

Not a breath of clean air

On 21 June 2020, I completed writing 20 Talks about my anxieties. The following morning, I heard a meteorologist on the BBC commenting on climate warming and what we should do next. He proposed that we should sit down and talk. That infuriated me. Isn’t that what the world has done for over half a century? Since the first climate conference in Geneva that I partly attended, I have followed the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Thousands of climate experts and political strategists of the world been talking on numerous occasions. Alas! not a breath clean air. Earth is sicker than ever before. No country wants to give up even a tiny bit of its greed. Clearly the growth of industry and commerce is the priority and the basis of the power struggle – political and commercial.

Stop beating around the bush

The same morning, I received young Manjinder’s curt message from the small village in Punjab. “Stop beating around the bush. Bravely prescribe the known cure for sick Earth”. To encourage me, he sent this story:

“Greedy and arrogant humans have ignored their mother Earth that has been feeding them lovingly. They continue to insult her. Benevolent mother Earth never imagined that humans would so cruelly abandon her on the sick bed.

One day, a human-son came to know that Mother Earth was sick. He rushed to see her. Her shrivelled state brought tears to his eyes. Wiping his tears, he asked her, “Who has brought this calamity on you? Dear mother, you were so beautiful. Your pure waters cured so many illnesses, your air rejuvenated we humans. We have beautified ourselves with diamonds, gold, rubies, and other precious gifts you have given us. You have given us food through the ages. But who has brought you to this pitiable condition?”

Tenderly and with much patience Earth replied:

“O my son, I do not feel the burden of the sky-high mountains.

Nor my heart saddened by the weight of forts, houses, and palaces.

Nor by the mass of oceans filled by rivers, and streams.

Nor does the weight of trees laden with fruit upset me.

I shelter innumerable living beings in total freedom.

I feel no weight of their dwellings.

But ungrateful persons are a burden on me.

They are the evil of evils.” (Bhai Gurdas, poet-philosopher, 1551–1637)

The sensitive human-son, dazed by what she said, asked her, “Please mother Earth, who is responsible for driving you to such a state. I’ll wipe them out from this Earth.”

Earth reconfirmed lovingly, “O my son, I’m burdened by ungrateful human beings. Having forgotten their mother, they have been exploiting me and making a mess of everything, leaving massive problems for the future. All I needed was a little care and respect. By making their own needs boundless they are killing themselves and making me sicker.

Mollify inner demons.

The solution became clear to me. But how can I radically change the complex economic, social and human systems the experts demand?  The entire burden, therefore, falls on human beings, the real culprit. The Earth cannot be cured unless the humankind minimises its I-ness by simple living and swimming with the flow of nature and behaving like a Homo sapiens.

Evidently, the virulent BHG must be weakened if not entirely eradicated. For once, instead of promoting development, can the economists declare that continued proliferation of BHG will require more natural resources, making Earth weaker and sicker? This will encourage humans to mollify their inner demons and those of their enterprises. To achieve this:

  • Reduce egoistic anthropocentricism.
  • Harmonize with nature and its other living beings.
  • Rectify the error that humans are superior to nature and its master.
  • Recognize that the African savannah is the cradle of human beings and not Noah’s Arc of the Middle East.
  • Be pro-life and not only pro-human life.

This is my yearning to those who want to save Earth, its nature, air, water, and all sorts of life: wild animals, birds, insects, and plants. To me this is the light that can obliterate darkness and bring happiness to human beings.