The 2018-2020 World Climate Emergency . . . and the Legend of the Hummingbird

India Assam rice farmers working in intense hear

One day, a very long time ago and in a faraway place you have probably never heard of, or so the legend goes, a huge forest fire was raging all around the countryside. All the animals were terrified, running around in circles, crying and helplessly watching the impending disaster.

But there in the middle of the flames, and above all the cowering animals, was one tiny hummingbird busy flying from a small pond to the fire, each time fetching a few drops with its beak to throw on the flames. And then again/ And then again. And yet again.

After a certain time, an old grouchy armadillo, annoyed by this ridiculous useless agitation on the part of the hummingbird, cried out: “Tiny bird! Don’t be a fool. It is not with those minuscule drops of water one after the other that you are going to put out the fire and save us all! ”

To which the hummingbird replied, “Could be.  But I’m still going to do my bit”.

This is actually a rough “translation” of a French version of the story “La légende du Colibri” which reads in the original like this:

Un jour, dit la légende, il y eut un immense incendie de forêt. Tous les animaux terrifiés, atterrés, observaient impuissants le désastre.

Seul le petit colibri s’activait, allant chercher quelques gouttes avec son bec pour les jeter sur le feu.

Après un moment, le tatou, agacé par cette agitation dérisoire, lui dit : « Colibri ! Tu n’es pas fou ? Ce n’est pas avec ces gouttes d’eau que tu vas éteindre le feu ! »

Et le colibri lui répondit :« Je le sais. Mais je fais ma part.

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And this is how Pierre Rabhi tells the story:

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Pierre Rabhi  is a French writer, farmer and environmentalist. Originally a Muslim, he converted to Christianity before getting away from all forms of organized religion. He studied in France as a youth and is a notable figure in the field of agroecology. He invented the concept of “Oasis en tous lieux”, “(Oasis in any place”). Rabhi proposes a society that functions in a manner which respects populations and land and supports the development of agricultural techniques that take care of the environment preservation natural resources. His theories relate particularly though not exclusively to arid countries. (Adapted from Wikipedia)

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From the editor:

This story is part of our build-up to setting out an invitation to follow and eventually to participate in our open collaborative proposal for the 2018-2020  World Climate Emergency Project.

 

Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, mediator and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | http://bit.ly/2Ti8LsX | #fekbritton | https://twitter.com/ericbritton | and | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbritton/ Contact: climate@newmobility.org) | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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