Shakespeare on Greed for Gold and Consequences

How quickly nature falls into revolt when gold becomes her object“How quickly nature falls into revolt,
When gold becomes her object!”
(King Henry IV part 2, act 4, sc.4)

Comments.  When the future Henry V tried the crown on his head in the room where his ailing father was dying, his intent was misunderstood. He was not anxious to wear the crown before his time and explains so to his father when questioned.
But the observation can be applied to an individual as well as to a society. Today the world is bursting at the seams with people – 3 more humans added every second, year in – year out. In the 5 minutes you may spend on this entry or site, 900 more humans will be on the earth. We have all seen the graphs showing the abysses of peaking in the last 50 years. It is difficult not to see this growth as an un-natural disaster and yet it occurs against a background of almost complete indifference. Or rather gold and wealth are still predicated on the continuation of endless growth. Some scientists have called our geological era the ‘Anthropocene’, meaning that man is the main driver of the changes in the planet. And the Anthropocene is also the epoch of the mega-city. There are thoughts of a huge single city girdling the world. It does not matter that larger and larger cities become less and less livable. Some call modern cities an infestation. All in all Nature, not the nature of man is falling into revolt as  we are doing our best, collectively, to destroy her.

Tips for Use.  A more elegant and literary to express that some people will do anything for a buck.

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In the Play.  The ailing King Henry thinks that P. Henry stole the crown and considers himself king

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