In a time when every developing culture in the world is turning towards an urban-based societal structure, the divide between those who understand the environmental challenges that humanity faces and those who are oblivious to the impending destruction of our natural world is ever-widening.
In their book Earth Calling writers Ellen Gunter and Ted Carter set out to challenge the myopic mindsets not only of those indifferent to the welfare of our planet but also to those who, rather misguidedly, think that our environmental difficulties can be resolved purely through political activism.
Their book is comprised of three distinctly separate parts.
In the first of these, (titled, ‘We Snooze, We Lose’), the authors explore the delicate relationship between people and the planet—our subtle energy system and that which underpins our world’s delicate eco-system.
They assert the idea that both of these elements are connected and that we need a spiritual perspective towards our natural world if we are to ever truly understand how it is that through human action we damage the fabric of nature and at the same time can develop a clearer gnosis of how we can help to heal Mother Gaia.
In the second chapter of their book, the authors discuss the nature of the disconnect that has emerged over the last 150 years—since the time of the scientific renaissance—and how this came to a head during Hurricane Katrina which destroyed much of New Orleans in 2005.
To many people, this disaster was the first great wake-up call to all of us that climate change is here and that it presents a very real challenge to life on this planet.
Ironically, as the authors point out, whilst the city of New Orleans was damaged as a result of flooding, it is actually water as a declining natural resource that is creating the greatest environmental damage in all corners of the globe.
The authors focus upon this dwindling, life-sustaining element and they cite numerous examples of areas on the planet that are simply drying up. From lakes to mountain snows, flood plains to deep-earth aquifers, the natural world is, alarmingly, becoming increasingly arid.
In part two of their book, (‘Waking Up’), Gunter and Carter investigate that other essential liquid to sustaining modern industrial life: oil. They reveal the dangers not only of deep sea and off-shore extraction of oil reserves but also the relation between its removal from our planet and further impact upon our valuable water reserves through the practice of fracking.
Water is also linked to food production and so the book then moves on to look at genetically-modified cereals, vegetables and fruits. It cites issues such as the imposition of frankenstein seeds by biotech companies such as Monsanto, the corporatization of land masses and widespread government complicity in the genetic manipulation of animals, plants and fish.
Part three of the book takes a wholly different approach to the impending doom of our natural world by offering some practical advice on how, as ecologically concerned citizens, we can over come the state of inertia that can develop in the face of such deeply over-whelming challenges.
This is a call to wake up… to face the nature, if not the minutiae of these environmental problems. This includes such issues as being aware of where our food comes from: is it local or has it been shipped thousands of miles across the world first? How does recycling work in your town or city and how water and energy efficient are our homes, offices and houses?
The greatest challenge of all, according to the book’s authors, is simply to work to connect to the Earth psycho-spiritually. Through this channel, we are able to truly understand our own place in the broader ecological forces that sustain our world.
This process will require a major shift in personal and individual perspectives on life and our spiritual beliefs as well as a collective effort to bring this knowledge to the fore. In this regard, the book closes with information about a number of Worldwide organizations, along with their websites and social media presences, that readers my find useful.
It is rather difficult to describe a book as challenging as this one—with its dark prognosis regarding our stewardship of this planet—as enjoyable and I feel unable to do so here.
However, it is a deeply engaging read, highly informative and offers an excellent appraisal of the primary issues that stem from planetary climate change.
It manages, most successfully, to straddle that chasm between over-simplifying the issues to avoid confusing or confounding its reader and yet, at the same time, it manages to pitch factual evidence at an intellectual and scientific level.
Parts I and II of the book are particularly successful in attaining this balance.
In part III, the authors really free up the dark constraints of rational thinking by introducing some positive perspectives that lighten the book’s rather dark and foreboding themes.
Whilst I found some of the earlier material in this book to be rather selective in its context (something that was probably necessary given the need to simplify the complex nature of the subject), the later spiritual advice and esoteric insights that the authors offer to those readers whose personal religious beliefs do not necessarily resonate to the spiritual dynamics of the planet itself are powerful, energising and positive.
It is clear that the authors are of the firm conviction that the only way through potential environmental catastrophe is with a renewed spiritual perspective and I am thoroughly in agreement with them on this.
In summing up my assessment of ‘Earth Calling’, I would have to say that, for those of us who are actively seeking our own resolution to the pain of dark pessimism that overshadows mankind’s appauling attitude toward our natural environment, this book is a well-considered, practical and encouraging handbook of spiritual and personal guidance.
The problems that we face are looming increasingly large in their scope and impact but the authors do demonstrate here that we can reverse the dramatic effects of climate change through a more considered and ethically-aware personal perspective on life and its spiritual significance.
Earth Calling is not a book to be enjoyed… but it is one to be deeply savored and appreciated for its environmental insights and spiritual guidance!