They were old enemies, these dinosaurs of power, railing on their deathbeds, refusing to surrender or transform their businesses. They were as old as the enclosures of the commons, the colonization of the New World, and the enslavement and murder of millions. The sun was setting on that era. The people, the earth, democracy, and love were rising with the dawn.
But the old guard were fighters, sharp-toothed dominators, rigidly addicted to power and control. They gripped their old ways, white-knuckled, veins of fury pulsing in their brows. In their death throes, they were willing to massacre others for survival. Already, they guzzled the lifeblood of resources, laundering the moneys of genocides through the socially accepted forms of bloated subsidies to dying industries, paid for by budget cuts to social programs and the continued assault on commonwealth. They wanted the resources of the continent, to suck the oil and exude the noxious gases into the global commons of the air. They wanted the water to sell and pollute. They wanted all the little people to get out of their way.
Well, Zadie thought stubbornly, we won’t.
In fact, they would get directly in the way.
Zadie’s blood sung with life’s determination. In her rose the strength of the boxing hare out-darting the coyote pack, the baby caribou’s burst of speed evading the chasing wolf, and the endurance of migrating albatrosses winging silently across the seas. The fertile ground of existence that gave rise to countless species throughout the Earth also formed the throbbing hearts of humanity. Again and again, the people had risen up for life, in tiny towns and massive cities, in remote landscapes and familiar suburbs. They blocked export terminals, oil trains, construction equipment, drilling rigs. They had disrupted the churning machinery of permits and licenses that ground humanity toward extinction. They shoved the financial equation over, tipping the scales of profitability to slow the addictive reliance on fossil fuels.
And if water were next, they would rise to protect that as well.