A Final Memo from George (RIP)
To: Brian McLaren and readers of his blog
From: Lonesome George
Subject: Your responsibility for my death
Date: June 2012
On the eve of my demise, I am writing to a few human beings who seem to have some appreciation for my species. As hard-shelled and thick-skinned as we are, and in spite of the fact that we have about 200 million years of evolutionary history on this planet (in contrast to your own subspecies' mere hundred-thousand or so years), we are quite vulnerable. Since 1972, I have been the poster child for this vulnerability.
As I near my own death, I wanted to write to ask you to intensify and expand your efforts to convince your fellow humans that this planet is not theirs to dispose of as they wish. They were not given exploitive dominion over the planet, as many of them claim. They are not the pinnacle of creation as they so often presume.
Your fellow humans were given responsible stewardship over the planet. Your role as image-bearers of our Creator means you should join our Creator in our Creator's loving concern for the earth and all its creatures. The true pinnacle of creation was not humankind, but rather Sabbath ... the day set aside for our Creator to enjoy the wholeness and harmony of all creation living, working, resting, and playing in harmony.
Needless to say, your species has disrupted that Sabbath. While few humans will mourn my death or learn anything from it, be assured that the Creator, who cares for every sparrow that falls, also cares about me and takes note of your species' role in the demise of so many of your fellow creatures.
Although I don't understand the complexities of your human economic system, I have an excuse: my brain is about the size of a peanut. You human beings, with much larger brains, ought to at least try to understand your economic system - including its destructive consequences. I can't understand how a species with your intelligence maintains the absurdity of believing that unlimited growth is desirable or even possible. Your insatiable greed and ignorant lust for power and speed drove you to kill all my kin, and now, with my death, the Pinta Island tortoise will be gone forever. This is one of the costs of your economic system, but it won't show up on anyone's spreadsheet. I implore you to try to help your fellow humans understand this before more species end up where I am now.
You can do better.
The single bottom line of profit is unworthy of you. You should aim higher - not just to attain sustainability, to be to achieve regeneration - to rebuild and renew what you have destroyed. You should aim for a triple bottom line - economic regeneration, ecological regeneration, and social regeneration. That may slow what you call progress, but better slow and steady progress toward a worthy goal than fast progress toward an idiotic and murderous one.
There is much more to say, but I am very tired. If only more of you humans were like Fausto Llerena, who has watched over me for forty years. If only more of
For more on George's lonesome life ...