Hell hath no fury like an abused world - is the phrase that slams into my mind with the force of yet another resounding clap of thunder as the storm, raging since last night, renews its incredibly vicious assault on a planet gone mad.

The raw, unleashed power of crackling blue lightening transcends anything I have experienced before and of mountain storms I have endured many: it zaps my senses, shoots around the room in terrifying penetration accompanied - as it is - by the howling shrieks of tortured souls burning up in sheer agony the whole world over. Thunder, menacingly opulent in its earthshaking malevolence, booms echoing, reverberating encore upon encore. Outside, in the terrorised orchard, delicate almond blossom dances in a mutely determined appeal for life - its own and that of the innocent victims of degenerated humanity.

Still the sceptics, primarily those profiting from the myriad disasters they fuel, sing ‘climate change is not real’ - that ‘war is a basic necessity’ - that ‘man’s inhumanity to man is nothing more than a figment of ignorant imagination’ and life, as ‘we’ - the people - have come to know it - rolls on in rhythm to the ever widening flow of blood, hunger and deepening deprivation pulsating with the ever increasing strangled breath and suffocated cries of those so derogatorily termed ‘the common man’.

As the storm approached what was, one hopes - but as it continues even now, a long 14 hours since it began this ‘hope could be futile - its zenith this morning, a long distance message from a friend, spoke of  helpless anguish as people, trapped inside a blazing Calcutta (now Kolkata) market, burned alive and the furious storm-birthed wind added those dying cries to the weight of those it already bore: the blown-apart screams of hundreds of Hazara Shia’s in Quetta, the shocked last gasps of unexpected death by assassins’ bullets in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and elsewhere in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and countless other zones on the planet too.

Storm driven hailstones collided with the corrugated iron roof of my home with a velocity matching automatic gunfire ricocheting - as I write and as you read - through so many greed driven wars in process with Syria, Mali and Afghanistan being served up on the platter of ‘prime example’. These hailstorms of bullets, interspersed by the sometimes furiously driven, sometimes silently confused and, these days, never-ending tears of silvered rain which, if any acceptable measure of human decency remained, would act to water globally collective consciousness to life, but no – the tears are seen, and heard, by few now - this few struggling against profit fuelled odds for their voices, raised in objection, to be heard.

I will not speak of God here, of anyone’s God, others to observe, bitterly, that the way in which people are in the habit of proclaiming ‘InshAllah’ is, more and more, akin to blasphemy as this - ‘this’ being the whole sorry mess the over-exploited planet and every single living soul and life form upon it currently endures - is not God’s fault but man’s and it is man who needs, if  anyone or anything is to survive, put everything that is so blatantly wrong, to right.

Surely people must, by now, see and understand, at least partially, that ‘humanity’ is, on the whole, no longer deserving of such a title as it is inhumanity that, over the last few generations, has come to both rule the roost and, quite literally, call the shots - and all, when the chips are down as they now are, for personal gain.

The days of caring for, let alone ‘loving’ thy neighbour, are long gone down the dusty annals of history as, century after century, personal gain, at any expense, has taken over and yes, modern warfare and ecocide are all about this self-destructive trait. Modern wars are waged for profit: profit from oil, from gas and other unsustainable forms of natural mineral wealth.

These blood-stained profits being accrued by governments, by multi-national corporations, by financial institutions and by private individuals - none of whom give a damn about the price paid in innocent lives as ‘slaves’ - yes - a harsh term but unavoidably true - are always but always expendable and, at least for the foreseeable future, replaceable.

‘We’ - these self-same legions of slaves, have almost - yes ‘almost’ but not quite - sold ourselves out and unless we act, hand in hand and together, for the sustainable good of all, we might as well bow down to ‘Mammon’ right now.

‘We’ - the slave sheep - our flock so ingeniously controlled and herded by self-aggrandising shepherds of evil intent, rush, blindly, along carefully created highways of rabid, largely oil based, consumerism towards that inevitable cliff from which, once we go over, there will be no climbing back no matter who - or what - holds the ropes and yes - the storm  ranges on.

The writer is author of  The Gun Tree: One Woman’s War (Oxford University Press, 2001) and lives in Bhurban. Email: zahrahnasir@hotmail.com