So here I thought this would be good time to take a day off from work -- have a nice long weekend, get some writing done, enjoy some hiking, that sort of thing. Then I pinch a nerve in my neck and spend most of the weekend in considerable pain. Plus, it rains all weekend.
Well, so much for that plan.
The old mutant healing factor does seem to be repairing the damage, so pain is diminishing today. It makes concentration difficult, this pain stuff. I'll be relieved when it finally subsides.
Given the circles I run in (such as my work place), it's no surprise that I run into the Gaia philosophy a lot. Roughly expressed, this is the idea that the planet has a consciousness, or the "Earth as God" (Goddess, perhaps). This is expressed in all sorts of ways, great and small, and people believe it to various degrees.
So let's go with that for now. Say there is a Gaia consciousness -- I certainly can't say with certainty that there is or isn't. With regards to the Gulf spill, it would seem to me that the question is not: "Why are we doing this to the planet?" I've heard variations on that one a lot, along with the idea that the planet is suffering, crying out, being raped, etc.
If one does accept the Gaia consciousness idea, then I think the question should be: "Why is the planet doing this to itself?" Because we are, after all, a part of the planet. We would be an agency of Gaia. Like every other animal, we try to spread our population, we consume things that give us energy, and we affect the environment through our behavior. The planet, if it is acting at all, is acting through us, as much as it acts through any ant colony, kelp bed, or volcanic eruption.
This is not to absolve us of responsibility, nor to suggest that we shouldn't try to avoid things like the Gulf spill. It's not to imply we couldn't do great harm to ourselves through our actions, or even drive ourselves to extinction if we really go overboard (extinction is an essential part of the planetary history). It's just that the mindset of separation from the Earth doesn't seem to do us much good. Even Gaia believers seem to hold this separation, as if our actions are somehow distinct from the consciousness of the Earth. Which, I think, undermines the whole idea of Gaia in the first place.