Now the North Sea is dying. Fishes, swollen in death, float aimlessly as the killer algae spread like poison on the warm summer waves. Volunteer ecologists cruise the area collecting data and photos. Everyone sees, everyone knows, but still it seems they see and know nothing.
The obvious is before us, yet we are blind. Why? And what to do? Metaphysical questions rarely asked are becoming commonplace. "Is man an inherently evil creature devoid of common sense and decency, or is he a mere pawn in a devilish plot conceived and enacted by caustic social manipulators sinisterly devising his end?" One might wonder how such things as the pollution of our seas can occur in our enlightened society. Haven't we gone to the moon, cured man of his most troublesome diseases, and made poverty but a symptom of backward religious cultures?
Ah, were it so simple. And now reality presents itself in a form previously unthinkable: no life in the sea. Will the land soon follow suit? Will we ever wake up? It's doubtful, for a man determined not to see the obvious can avoid acknowledging even the presence of death itself.
"All right Mr. Philosopher," I hear the cynics taunting, "what is your idea? We should all just shave our heads and play with wooden beads, and everything will be fine?"
But how long can their cynical speech satisfy them, when the basic platform required to sustain life itself is on the verge of collapse? What good is an oblivious assessment of our own worth in the face of such obvious incompetence as that displayed by man in his management of the world's resources?
Krsna, the only one capable of sheltering all living beings, has explained the cause of our blindness in the Bhagavad-gita. He simply says, "It is due to lust alone." We enter this world filled with desire to exploit nature as much as we can, regardless of the cost to ourselves, others, or the world itself. Lusty to enjoy the resources of nature without restriction, man speculates that he is the supreme intelligence within the universe and that only he is capable of creating order within this mass of chaos. Blinded by such egocentric ideas as these, he creates hell on earth and calls it heaven. Pouring unlimited tons of waste into the seas—while the air is still filled with the radiation of another set of mistakes, and the land wasted by pollutants of all varieties—man, the pinnacle of evolutionary development calculates how long he can rape the environment before the cosmic policemen wake up and punish him for his crimes. Uncaring for his descendants, he concerns himself only with his body, and thus he falls victim to the same trap he unwittingly set for others in the future.
It is all due to lust alone. Who can control it? Certainly one can write in (he newspapers about the administrative miscalculations, speak about them on TV, make a counter campaign with posters, demonstrations, and strikes, while the more impassioned blow up a whaling boat or two. But without spiritual potency, one cannot change the hearts of the irresponsible controllers of a godless society. Proposing material stop-gap measures may make one feel warm within his heart, for what noble man would not like to die fighting his unjust enemies? But such righteous indignation will not save the earth from being ravaged by those whose minds are absorbed only in the objects of their lust.
Indeed, the earth is our mother, and we are raping her. Such is the culture of the advanced modern civilization. But she will not tolerate us for long, for despite her loving disposition toward her own children, soon she will teach us what suffering really means. Aren't the lessons of history clear? Man destroys cultured life, the earth, and righteousness, and the earth destroys man. And the cycles of war help reduce the burden of the earth through mass destruction of men and their cities. Soon you will see the real face of modern civilization, as it sinks into muddy pools of rotting flesh.
Only a God conscious government can change this situation. What can a government run by lusty persons change? They are themselves elected by other lusty creatures and dare not enact legislation that would place their coveted positions in jeopardy. Since the lusty citizens want sense enjoyment at almost any cost, the administrators must oblige them or risk being replaced by more submissive slaves of the senses. Who else but the governments of Europe have the power to change such total insanity as is now apparent in the North Sea?
But to enact change means to create legislation that reduces sense gratification, and, more dangerously, that reduces animal slaughter, the big business of the North Sea region. This is simply not possible for lusty men concerned with pleasing their supporters, who are none other than the same persons guilty of the cited transgressions.
Therefore the Vedas say that a government should not be elected by common men. who are only concerned with self-satisfaction without consideration of the higher goals of life. The government should be guided not by politicians but by enlightened brahmanas, professors of all the socially relevant and required arts and sciences. Such professors know how to propagate a human social order without undue karmic reactions. They know' how to supply life's necessities without creating by-products that threaten man's very means of sustenance.
These concerned and spiritually devoted brahmanas. the factual well-wishers of the people, are meant to guide the leaders of state. Detached from any selfish interest, or interests born merely from the desire for economic gain, such professors of social welfare must be empowered to create legislation congenial to the proper functioning of the intimate relationship between man and nature. Without such a higher body of independent wise men, there is no hope for change. And without Krsna consciousness, there is no question of creating such an enlightened body of truly learned men.
We are not so foolish as to think that such social change can happen soon in a society dominated by lusty persons, but we request the readers of this article to remember the purport of these words and, after we are forced to chew the bitter fruits of our past foolish actions, to work toward a God conscious society guided by an enlightened group of dispassionate and learned Krsna conscious advisors.