Can Corrupting Art Save Earth?

Activists get stuck in Berlin natural history museum 30.1022 Reuters

Since the beginning of the year, there has been a growing trend among climate activists to corrupt art history’s greatest treasures in an effort to raise awareness of climate change. So far, twelve incidents have occurred this year, six of which took place last month. The incidents included throwing mashed potatoes (on Monet’s Haystacks), tomato soup (on Vincent van Gogh’s Fifteen Sunflowers), and fake blood (on Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Clown), as well as activists gluing themselves to a dinosaur display at Berlin’s Natural History Museum, and to Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. For the most part, museum visitors verbally attack activists during their action, and altogether wonder how their actions actually connect with the greater good.

I completely agree with the visitors’ ire. No one is impressed by these antics, and nothing will change, not in the environment or in the awareness of society.

Worse yet, even if we did become more aware of climate change, we would not be able to do anything about it because despite all the media hype about greenhouse gas emissions, we do not really know what causes climate change, and the little we do know does not help much. Every volcanic eruption, for example, spews so many pollutants into the atmosphere that it would take humanity months, if not years, to match the amount. Yet, even though there are volcanic eruptions happening all over the world at any given moment, they are not regarded as accelerating climate change.

The same goes for emissions of methane gas. Humanity is accused of polluting the atmosphere with this toxic greenhouse gas, but swamps and thawing permafrost in Siberia, Canada, and Alaska emit so much more than we do that our “contribution” to it is miniscule.

If all this is not enough, the Gulf Stream continues to slow down, adversely affecting the weather in both Europe and North America. A story published in Severe Weather Europe back in April warned that “the Gulf Stream and the overall Atlantic circulation are nearing a critical point of collapse.” Is there anything we can do to stop this?

In short, the global ecosystem is too big and (mainly) too complex to comprehend. We do not know what exactly we should do, if anything, to reverse or even slow down climate change.

However, our problem is not that Earth’s climate is too complex to understand, but that we are focusing on trying to understand it instead of on the real culprit, the one that is causing all our problems and not only climate change: human nature. There are countless other problems besides climate change, and they, too, stem from the same reason — that human nature is corrupt, rotten to the core. The corruption of priceless paintings draws ire not because people are angry that there is climate change. They are angry because the activists are displaying their own corrupt nature, their carelessness and inconsideration of the feelings of others, and their willingness to destroy some of humanity’s most prized assets to satisfy their own whims.

If we focused on adapting human nature to the world we live in, we would not be facing the myriad problems that we ourselves are causing. Who is polluting the ground, water, and air? Who is murdering millions of people every year for the sheer satisfaction of the ego? Who is impoverishing nations and exploiting women and children? Who is trafficking slaves for hard labor and sex abuse? Who is profiteering on medicines that everyone needs, for diseases that could be prevented? Who is getting millions of young people addicted to drugs each year? And worst of all, who is blaming everyone else for the problems he himself is causing? The same one is doing all the above: our own ego. Until we set it straight, we will not fix anything.

As long as we refuse to admit that we are the problem, and not what we do, but we ourselves, matters will continue to go downhill. We could be looking at nuclear world wars, natural disasters of unprecedented magnitude that will devastate humanity, extreme climatic events that will scorch or freeze such vast swaths of land that there will be too many climate refugees to handle, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis at intensities that will dwarf our efforts to protect against them, plagues where people will drop like flies, and many other afflictions that nature can inflict on us. Nature is very imaginative when it comes to punishment, and it will not let up until we realize that it is not what we do, but who we are that is the problem.



PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah. MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute.

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Michael Laitman

PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah. MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute.