Germaine Greer – Earth can survive without people, people can’t survive without Earth – Lecture at the University of South Australia April 2015
I really enjoy Germaine Greer’s lectures even if I don’t always agree with everything that she says. This lecture is particularly profound and I feel conveys an extremely important and immediate message. Germaine talks about peoples insane desire to flee the planet because we have proverbably ‘Fucked’ this one up. She also talks about how as modern humans we have decided to distance ourselves from the other inhabitants of the planet e.g. animals and micro-bacteria. Our insane desire for cleanliness is destroying the symbiotic relationship with the natural word that is there to keep us alive and healthy.
On Going to Mars –
“Going somewhere else….leaving a planet we hardly know to live on a planet that has been proven itself unfit for human habitation to live in conditions that pretty much resemble a maximum security prison and we somehow think the is preferable to living here on this beautiful planet with other human beings”
“Women are the first victims of environmental degradation because women spend hours fetching water, food and firewood to protect their families”
“It is more likely that we will be destroyed before we have time to properly people a planet”
‘Stephen Hawkins said that we only have so many years on this planet left so we need to get off this rock to survive due to climate change or nuclear fallout – Germaine asks why? The planet has survived much worse e.g. the Ice Age.’ (Paraphrased this one)
Then it follows onto our world and our survival here on Earth
“If we left the planet, could we survive without our vast quantities of micro-organisms? ….we certainly could leave them behind as they are living inside us. In fact we could not survive without them. The human body is very complex system that depends on the tiny little microbes to keep it working”
On advertising antibac sprays and cleaners: “As advertised: My job as a woman is to kill other earthlings (bacteria)’. These earthlings have been demonised so that it is perfectly fine to kill them without any thought to how this might affect the delicate balance of nature and humans are a part of that delicate balance.
“The chemicals used to clean are the real dirt that is poisoning and reeking havoc on the environment” Products now are 20 times more powerful and used more prolifically than they used to be. Why use the chemicals when a clean microfibre cloth would do the job just as good.
“Margaret Cavendish said we simply can’t do the things that bees do, we can’t make honey as smart as we think we are.” Bees are irreplaceable, we need them.
Lynn Margulis – Serial Endosymbiotic Theory – This is the accepted science about how bacteria are a part of our delicate ecosystem and that we need to live on this planet with the bacteria that evolved with us.
Ultimately Germaine feels that we should be spending our time trying to work out away on how we can stay here. She says that dread only paralyses people and anxiety stops people. We need to stop worrying about it and start doing things to make changes in our own areas. Fix your own spaces by reintroducing what was there before. Restore the habitat, Earth has the capacity to recover. If you do this it will help the planet and help you both physically and emotionally.
I really enjoyed Germaine’s little rant about settling on Mars at 44min in and how she compares it to Im A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.