As we endure freaky fires, COVID that doesn’t go away, growth of the alt-right, melting ice caps to list a few planetary horrors, can we find a balance with nature, come to Climate Justice; overcome these disasters and the fear that comes with them? Most people hope the rotten stuff goes away on its own, but returning to health happens if we work at that not if we do nothing.
So every organization we engage with is tackling our climate and cultural crises, publishing, zooming roadmaps, toolkits, books, podcasts listing directions for how to save our possibly dying planet.
All good people we follow: Transition US, Daily Acts, Bioneers, Post Carbon Institute, The Climate Center, Climate Mobilization, 350.org, even at times our government that art in Washington D.C. All have a thumb in that Save the Planet pie. Add Yes! Magazine, especially the What is Enough issue (you can still view the Yes! Fest on YouTube as I write). Great, necessary, thoughtful stuff. I’d add all the recent New Yorker Bill McKibben climate articles and podcasts.
The density of information is overwhelming. One recent night I hoped to participate in – count ’em – 5 webinars! Can’t possibly keep up – but we want to know in our gut that our climate and cultural crises could be handled if only we’d follow the various plans of dozens of groups and visionaries.
Two roadmap/books are foremost for me right now, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Ministry for the Future, opening with an unbearable heatwave in India creating an opening for some of the wildest, most possible fixes for “impossible to reverse” climate feedback loops.
Possible! Robinson sugggests we tell fossil fuel companies to stop sucking oil and start sucking water from under melting glaciers so they reattach to rock! We COULD have an internet for all globally NOT controlled by corporations. We COULD have a universal carbon coin stronger and more reliable than bitcoin…all with the political will we’ll need in any case. We could house and feed and water our peoples just as Frances Moore Lappe’ told us 50 years ago in her Diet for A Small Planet, just reissued.
Robinson’s sci-fi approach allows us to dream the great big recovery dream and envision ways to make it real. Certainly he sees feedback loops as breakable, and human culture as a moving, breathing thing we can influence, both absolutely necessary. We need collaboration of corporations, of the global central banking system, governments, media, our education system. Huge shifts coming! Reward regeneration! Ministry, well worth the read. Mine is all marked up and I got two more copies so people close to me could discuss these great big ideas.
Now add Paul Hawken’s new Regeneration: Ending Climate Crisis in One Generation. Just out; I bought 3. Can he show the way?
Hawken’s book gives hope (Jane Goodall wrote the forward; her book, The Book of Hope out soon). But are Regeneration premises solid enough to hold up against the deluge we’re experiencing? This book, will get read, noted, torn apart and, hopefully, used as directed in its How to Use This Book section. You get the picture you’re not holding up the universe all by yourself; multitudes of people are alongside and are just now making themselves known to you. As the Sunrise Movement says, we need absolutely everybody.
Must face facts: A heating planet could cause the Gulf Stream to break apart and Western Europe goes all winter. Our supply chain (think groceries) could stop working well. Hunger even here! Plant a real, year round garden that grows most of what you need to eat. Because you will need it; share with others; a Mutual Aid garden and so very glad we have one on our farm!
An unthinkable question comes. With change so huge and urgent, do we need sabatours? Assassins? In Ministry, the Children of Kali, invisible assassins, seem necessary for the world to change, wiping out a few evildoers.
Professing a policy of nonviolence, I note murder is way up in real time and climate civil unrest is just begun. Fascinated to hear a New Yorker podcast with Andreas Malm, author, How to Blow Up A Pipeline, (New Yorker podcast) https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/tnyradiohour/segments/how-blow-pipeline Malm’s true story: saboteurs in Sweden sucked air out of SUV tires resulting in 40% LESS SUV sales! Good work, whoever you are!
Thankfully, Ministry envisions some wonderful changes: great permaculture farms springing up around the world, public banking, free global internet and Carbon coin based on carbon sequestered (cabonarie) taking over where Bitcoin began. Add money tracked by blockchain so no hidden fortunes in the Cayman Islands (the Pandora report!) and our whole culture has shifted to one more beneficial to man and beast. What? No more Cayman Island secret stashes for the 1%? Defund the 1%?
We’ve heard these ideas before but never when we needed them so urgently. The new UN IPCC report tells where we stand; a report in a year will lay out possible but terribly difficult solutions for the nations of the world to tackle together. Of course, the smaller, weaker nations won’t have the choices of richer ones, but we need to protect and care for all beings so energy can flow around the planet. Climate Justice and reciprocity.
Mass media is beginning to portray climate solutions. On Netflix, of course, David Attenborough, but also watch Fantastic Fungi! Four of our Bioneers Conference heros show how mushrooms can clean up pollution and cure diseases! Yippee for mushrooms! Drinking some in my MUD/WTR chai!
Personally, our meditation group counters fear, seeking balance, peace and joy with a Dedication of Merit recited together. We practice loving kindness, open heartedness, joy. “Everything I do is meditation” says Thich Nhat Hahn and we carry that with us.
Seems our culture carries far too much terror – of each other – of losing our goodies or not having as many as the next guy or gal; the poison of consumerism, that we’ll be happy if we just get more stuff.
To bring the planet back to health, we have to hurry up faster than we’ve ever run. Burnout happens and more fear so meditation and grief counseling are great tools for everyone of us and our kids. Our poor kids.
As the Bioneers say “It’s all your relatives” – all living things, and all need the basics so we can return to a balance with nature, the only true solution. And do that with justice for all. I still have hope we will. More power to ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Sierra Club, 350.org, Sunrise, Extinction Rebellion, AARP and the 17 groups who showed up for a global strike for climate justice recently. Join one or several; help save us! And the polar bears. And wolves. And hummingbirds.