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20 April 2010


For almost 200 years Eyjafjallajokull has been lying dormant in peaceful tranquility. Meanwhile around the world people have bustled and swarmed, buzzing like billions of tiny bees across the surface of the planet. In that time the human population has doubled twice, and is on the verge of doing so again. In that time, we've consumed most of the world's fossil fuels. In that time, the temperature of the Earth has risen a degree. In that time, we've unleashed the power of the atom creating destruction which previously had only been wrought by extraterrestrial sources. Now the mountain has revived and has unleashed a tempest which has both captured and captivated us.

It's not so much that Nature is communicating with us - that would suggest an anthropomorphism that few would accept - but that the volcano is acting, and in its actions it is altering our lives and our realities. It is no longer simply an intermediary, but has become a mediator. If we are to build a sustainable life on this planet, then we have to come to see ourselves as occupying the same world as Eyjafjallajokull, and all of the other non-human agents out there.
Then again - not to downplay the chaos and suffering that has been caused by the eruption - but perhaps the Earth is trying to tell us something...

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