The Wraiths of Riches Who Rule the Earth

…Brazil has elected a new far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who favors abolishing protected indigenous lands. He has promised to scale back enforcement of environmental laws, calling them an impediment to economic growth, and has made his intentions for the Amazon clear.

“Where there is indigenous land,” he said last year, “there is wealth underneath it.”

The elected Gods of Mammon will dig under cities, under schools, under parks and islands and mountains and rainforests–will turn Earth into profit; into temporary freedom from the certainty of death. They will do this as long and as often as we let them.

They will convert any living spaces or living creatures into money and power until there is nothing left to consume. If we let them.

…From 2006 through 2017, Brazil’s part of the Amazon lost roughly 91,890 square miles of forest cover — an area larger than New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Connecticut combined, according to an analysis of satellite images by Global Forest Watch.

Author: fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

3 thoughts on “The Wraiths of Riches Who Rule the Earth”

  1. I wish I knew what my work was. I once thought I did but times were different then. It was easier to find the inner voice of hopeful inspiration and to hear the external voice of fellow-feeling and shared values with regard to “nature, place and community” which holds the “personal ecology” of the writing I’ve done from this very spot now since 2002.

    The purpose I once saw for that daily writing, granted, has been drowned out sufficiently since about 2010 by readers wandered off to Facebook, by shortened attention spans and by a daily rise in vitreol and fear and xenophobia. It has been hard or impossible to find my “happy place” where I am centered and grounded and can find my voice.

    I have poked around at the idea of NOT paying for another year of blog hosting, to let Fragments fade into the Wayback Machine, shut down my FB account, and go radio-silent. But maybe the mid-terms have given me just that small catalyst to rev up the gears on Goose Creek–especially now that the long nights of winter are at hand, when I tend to do the bulk of my “significant” writing, insomuch as any of it is beyond these walls. Even if it is for my own purposes, I’m thinking I’ll move ahead and see where things are in the spring.

    That said, i think just ahead, we face several of the most difficult months in our nation’s history. Even so, I’m telling myself to veer towards the positive if and when i write. We have not lost the fight just yet. And there is still the high ground to hold.

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