At the age of twelve, Severn Cullis-Suzuki shocked partakers at the Earth Summit in Brazil in 1992. This video just came to my attention recently, even though it’s been online for over a year or so. (You can read the transcript here.)
Bob Marley’s emblematic “No woman, no cry” comes to mind, especially at the end — “everything’s gonna be all right.” Is it? Cullis-Suzuki wonders out loud if those words still carry, if we can still say that to our children — “it’s not the end of the world,” she goes on. And that was 16 years ago…
Can I lie to my child?
Several weeks ago, a mysterious tapping on our balcony glass door in the middle of the night disrupted the otherwise silence of this suburban, rather rural, location. Upon revision, it happened to be a huge hornet. The behavior was most unusual. Not only did it come at night, but always tried to get in through the door. Every day. For at least six weeks. No others came. I had a chance to photograph it while it lay still.
Just yesterday, I went out to the balcony to cut some coriander, a spice I blessedly found fresh, and alive, in this country just last month. I failed to close the door tightly. In its usual visit, the hornet squeezed in and started whirling around the lamps. It wouldn’t leave and, at some point, crawled under the furniture. I tried to stun it, but it always sprang back up. It never attacked. I finally stun it hard enough that it lay still, and took it out of the house.
Today I found that it’s harmless, and that its sting is nothing more than slightly painful. Today, silence is the only reminder that the insect tried to invade my home. In fact, we have invaded theirs. I miss the hornet. I wonder if it will ever come back, or if it even survived. I acted like a foolish human and would not allow it around my child. I tried to get it out, but it was more interested in flying around the lights. It persevered day after day after day, only to find a probable demise after succeeding to penetrate my realm. If I hurt it, I’m sorry.
For weeks, environmentalists, the press, the home where he was raised in Italy speculated, hypothesized and searched for the missing “rampaging” Bruno. Germany hadn’t seen a bear in its realms since 1835. Some farmers got upset over their losses in poultry and sheep. Others claimed that he had scratched their cars. Germans consider their cars shrines, so that was no less than sacrilege.
Recently, a Finnish team was after its tracks. This weekend, the Bavarian government authorized hunters to shoot the bear on sight. When the order was signed (the German government doesn’t work on Sundays), the bear was already dead…
I must admit when I heard the news this morning on the radio, I had to weep for the death of hope for brown bears in a world where we have made all species, including our own, foreign and unworthy.