Editors note: in her book Solar Storms, the Chickasaw writer Linda  Hogan describes the changes that come with electrification of a rural indigenous community:

In a split second, the world changed. Even the migratory animals, who flew or swam by light, grew confused… once seen, it could  easily have become a need or desire.

With the coming of this light, dark windowless corners inside human dwellings now showed a need for cleaning or paint. Floors fell open to scrutiny. Men and women scrubbed places that had always before been in shadow. Standing before mirrors, people looked at themselves as if for the first time, and were disappointed at the lines of age, the marks and scars they’d never noticed or seen clearly before. I, too, saw myself in the light, my scars speaking again their language of wounds. But it seemed the most impressive to those who had not long ago used caribou fat or fish oil to fuel their lamps…

…those who wanted to conquer the land, the water, the rivers that kept running away from them. It was their desire to guide the waters, narrow them down into the thin black electrical wires that traversed the world. They wanted to control water, the rise and fall of it, the direction of its ancient life. They wanted its power…

One smart village of Crees to the east of us rejected electricity. They wanted to keep bodies and souls whole, they said. Some of the Inuits said if they had electricity then they’d have indoor toilets and then the warm buildings would thaw the frozen world, the ground of permafrost, and everything would fall into it. They saw, ahead of time, what would happen, that their children would weaken and lose heart, that the people would find no reason to live.”

Many people, even leftists, still assume that so-called “development” is a positive thing. We at Deep Green Resistance, and many indigenous people and critics of modernity, disagree. Civilization and development are destroying the planet and impoverishing human culture. The costs of development far, far outweigh the benefits.

“UNITED NATIONS (AP) — To hear Ati Quigua tell it, New York City is a place where people who don’t know each other live stacked inside big buildings, gorging on the “foods of violence,” and where no one can any longer feel the Earth’s beating heart.

Quigua, an indigenous leader whose village in Colombia sits on an isolated mountain range rising 18,700 feet (5,700 meters) before plunging into the sea, is just one of over 1,000 delegates in town for the 15th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that ends Friday.

“On top of the temples of the goddess and Mother Earth, they are building castles, they are building cities and building churches, but our mother has the capacity to regenerate,” Quigua said. “We are fighting not to have roads or electricity — this vision of self-destruction that’s called development is what we’re trying to avoid.”

Read the full article on the Associated Press website.

Image by atiquigua, CC BY 4.0