Z is the end?

This planet of ours, all its many places, have felt man’s feet (man here encompassing all versions of humanity for convenience). Nowhere hasn’t been colonised. The first Homo sapiens put their mark, less deep than ours no doubt but the land came first and then we arrived, cutting, digging, cultivating and often despoiling.

The diaspora from our original ancestors, forged in the crucible of East Africa, trod indifferently from the start. They did not have the accumulation of knowledge to do what we do today but ancient man moved their own mountains.

And like the scamps in Oliver Twist, Nature ducked and dived and sought a way to survive in the world of indifferent men. She came again and again, clawing back lost ground only to be pushed away again. And again.

We, today’s guardians, stand on the shoulders of giants and yet we scour and scratch at Earth’s crust like a new scab. And we wonder at the wounds we cause, the suppurating  sickness we see and ignore. As with our hospitals, overdosed on antibiotics and once more losing out to cunning and resilient microbes, we stick plasters on our planet. And ignore the deeper malaise.

We ban smoking in public places yet we condemn the earth to the most egregious passive smoking, chimneys belching cancer planet wide.We sneer at the litterbugs, condemning such ignorance yet we globally litter our oceans in ways that mock our noble intentions.

This earth is one place, not a set of disconnected pieces. It is linked. It is Gaia. If we conitine to toss trash over our neighbour’s fence, smoke in hervface and not treat her, everyone, everywhere with a consistent respect them my children, and my children’s children will never be able to experience the joys of discovery that I have enjoyed and revealed in this series.

The planet is a destination for us all. We roamed far and wide, trod heavily and in ignorance. But we are ignorant no longer. Look up people. The horizon isn’t, as the ancients had it, the end of the world. It is but the gateway to the next horizon, all of them but stepping stones back to the start. Unless we realise that soon the ancients will be proved prescient: it will be the end of the world. Be warned, continue on our current path and Here Be Dragons.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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40 Responses to Z is the end?

  1. Powerful stuff, Geoff, and every word true, appropriate and sorely needed.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. lucciagray says:

    A foreboding and perhaps angry ending, Geoff! A history of humanity in 500 words!
    I often wonder where we’re heading… We’ve been a lucky generation in our part of the world compared to our parents (at least mine) and our children, so far, seem to be reaping the benefits of comfort and progress, but who knows what the future holds for them or for us?
    I’d like to have a quiet retirement on the Mediterranean coast, but who knows, there might be tar instead of sand, and war instead of peace….
    Trouble is, I feel quite helpless…

    Liked by 2 people

    • roweeee says:

      Luccia, I have always believed that even the smallest person can make a positive improvement to our planet and we have a worm farm and my kids use lunch boxes, not wrappers for their school lunches but in the overall scheme of things, these are only small gestures and until consumption cuts back and I also think human population has exploded too rapidly as well, the efforts of the little people aren’t really going to save us…even if we all do it. Like most things, I seem to end up with more questions and not so many answers! xx Rowena

      Liked by 1 person

      • lucciagray says:

        I agree, Rowena, and of course I do similar things and promote them at my school, etc. I want a healthy planet 🙂 and do my little bit, but how to stop the huge oil spills for example? Plane fumes? Are we going to stop travelling or buying? It’s a hard one as you say 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • roweeee says:

        No one likes to cut back but that’s what it takes. I am an absolute op shop junkie and while it’s not using new stuff, I do have a lot of “resources” stored in my house. Don’t have loads of shoes but tea cups..there’s another story.

        Liked by 2 people

      • TanGental says:

        We all have our secret collectables!

        Liked by 1 person

      • roweeee says:

        Thanks for the vote of support. I certainly did appreciate our discussion of your attic. I am currently avoiding the op shops and any other shops, especially book shops, at the moment and trying to set some of this process into reverse and find some elbow room around here.

        Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Helpless perhaps but never hopeless. We just need an agglomeration of little steps..

      Liked by 2 people

    • trifflepudling says:

      You are so right – I often think we have been a very lucky generation and in a good place too! It is difficult not to worry about the future and less fortunate people.
      A very good and unexpected way to finish the series, Geoff. Thanks.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Archaeologist says:

    To lighten the mood, what lies –
    At the beginning of Eternity
    At the end of Tim and Space
    At the beginning of every End
    and the end of every Place
    ?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. roweeee says:

    Well, Geoff you finished with a bang with an excellent post. It certainly has been a wonderfully informative journey following you in your travels and I’ve also appreciated your comments and links on my posts. You have definitely broadened my horizons.
    I will be posting a list of all my A-Z Posts and am suggesting that others do likewise. There are blogs like yours where I’ve been endeavouring to read each of the 24 posts but missed a couple on the way and this would be a great way of catching up easily. My Z is Taronga Zoo in Sydney and then I’m going to finish up with a photo of a sleeping dog for ZZZs. xx Rowena

    Like

  5. willowdot21 says:

    Bloody ell Sir that was cerebral !! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Autism Mom says:

    A sublime and perfect ending to your series! Well done! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Charli Mills says:

    What an appropriate post to end your world travels, A-Z. Noble as we think we are, as in believing our own myth that our sh** don’t stink, it does, and we need to treat this earth better than we do. I’ve enjoyed the travels! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. AJ says:

    The perfect ending to a well traveled month! Well said too!
    I’m behind on some of your posts, but the ones I’ve caught, I’ve loved. I’m sad to see an end to the great adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. Norah says:

    I never thought of you as a doomsayer! However you do make some very valid points.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sacha Black says:

    Love your take on this – particularly the word play in the title. but also the sobering nature of the message. Apocalyptic – makes me wonder if we won’t all be living in one of these apocalyptic novels one day. :s

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Annecdotist says:

    What a deep and meaningful finale to your globetrotting April blogathon, so much said in so few words. And you’re so right about those small things we do to make us feel better (like the move to charge for supermarket plastic bags) while avoiding facing up to the bigger picture. A sobering thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ula says:

    This is a powerful end to a great series. Sobering. Here be dragons indeed. My hope is that we will change course. We must. I don’t know if you saw my post on nurturing the Earth, but I wrote on the same topic. Although mine was more light-hearted.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Well said! Yes. This —> “This earth is one place, not a set of disconnected pieces.” Perfect ending to your string of vacation spots. It’s all connected so we cannot contaminate one space and expect it not to impact the rest of the world. (We just shouldn’t contaminate any of it, honestly.) Ah, but we are humans and we can do whatever we want, destroy whatever we want, then sit back and wonder what the hell happened.

    You’re right. We “try” but fail to see the bigger picture. We talk a lot but don’t do much of anything good. “We ban smoking in public places yet we condemn the earth to the most egregious passive smoking, chimneys belching cancer planet wide.We sneer at the litterbugs, condemning such ignorance yet we globally litter our oceans in ways that mock our noble intentions.” Love this. I mean, I hate it, but I love your post and how you’ve delivered this. Rant away. It’s earth love. I will never understand how people can think it’s okay to destroy the place they live (if they lack morals, I would think they might make up for it in brains). Even animals understand this. The non-human animals, I should say.

    Gaia ❤

    Like

    • TanGental says:

      I remember when the Tsunami hit Sri Lanka and Indonesia in 2000 the rescuers took age to reach a remote set of tribes in Banda Ache. They expected to find them nearly wiped out as with so many communities around the Southbeast Asian rim yet they were pretty much intact and already repairing their material losses. It turned out that through their oral traditions they understood what to do when the sea went out and took to higher ground. They had lost their cord knowledge, their ingrained natures attuned to nature as we in the educated sophisticated societies. We need to listen more, to ourselves, our gut, our world the fellow inhabitants. Two ears one mouth yep has man ever been more hobby than today? Thanks Sarah

      Like

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  18. BunKaryudo says:

    Well, it’s true what you say. We shouldn’t treat the world like a garbage can. Who wants to live in amongst garbage?

    Like

  19. Gulara says:

    Powerful and very important message. Thank you for expressing it so beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

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