Forget Climate Change

14906894_10209800773192501_4186893222226458318_n

You’re captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order to live.” “Yes, that’s the way it seems.” “So. You are captives—and you have made a captive of the world itself. That’s what’s at stake, isn’t it?—your captivity and the captivity of the world.” “Yes, that’s so. I’ve just never thought of it that way.” “And you yourself are a captive in a personal way, are you not?” ~ Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

How things came to be this way”…”So far we have this much: The world was made for man to conquer and rule, and under human rule it was meant to become a paradise.

{But it hasn’t. Why?}
It’s because there’s something fundamentally wrong with humans. Something that definitely works against paradise. Something that makes people stupid and destructive and greedy and shortsighted.”
There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will act like lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.” ~ Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

We got it all wrong: the problem was not Peak Oil (the problem is not that we are saturated of oil, gas and carbon either); not only people don’t understand very well what the proponents of the Peak Oil concept were saying, the issue goes beyond: we could (potentially) transition away from fossil fuels, either forced to do that or by choice and design and still have the problem on our backs.

The problem is not Climate Change either: not only people don’t understand climate change well, those who “do” continue focusing on two things that are solvable: sea level rise and a warmer planet. This misleads the public as they fail to see the consequences of an increasingly changing climate: its impact on crop production, water and soil availability, quality of life, impact on health and other species, etc.

The problem is not even resource depletion, or pollution, or social injustice or the fact that we are surrounded by wars and hunger and all kind of social conflicts are re-emerging everywhere.

The problem is not human rights, or the first amendment or a particular treaty, private or public property, constitution or the lack of it, because land and the life on and under it don’t know about treaties or ownership or rights of anything or anybody either.

The problem is the story: a story that permeates our language (i.e. “our planet”, “our environment”, “our land”, “our rights”, “their money”, “the government”, “their greed”), our history of the world: “history started with agriculture, when civilizations rose”; our perceptions: “we are civilized, scientific, advanced, better and they are primitive, childish, uneducated, unscientific”; our explanation of life: “from the big bang till now, all evolution increased complexity until man appeared in the world” (like evolution has no drawbacks or man is the last and best species)

The problem is the concept that we are “different” and separated from nature and the animals and have some sort of “rights” that allow us to take, own, change, build, destroy, decide who gets what, when and how.

The problem is thinking we have to “protect” the environment or “save” the whales or the bears or the wolves, like we are not nature, we are not the environment, we are not deeply related to those whales, bears, wolves…

The problem is that 2/3 of wild animals will be lost by 2020 (that’s in less than four years!) and nobody seems to be in state of emergency or deep grief, even when we have already lost many ecosystems

The problem is that we have already passed the 400 ppm CO2 symbolic threshold (it used to be 350 until recently) and people on the streets continue driving their cars and using their cellphones as nothing has changed and sheriffs and governors and CEOs and even regular people like you and I continue asking for the lifestyle of queens and kings we have been used to since the last 100+ years only: fridges and dryers, cellphones and babies with iPads, flat TVs and cars and overseas vacations and planes and heat and microwaves…

The problem is that our bodies are made of water and even knowing so, we continue polluting and consuming things and given them to our children and pets and grandmas and then we are surprised by the levels of health issues, suffering and mental health challenges;  and we  don’t even pay attention when 3000+ people risk their freedom and lives in Standing Rock to oppose a pipeline that represents all what’s wrong in the world: lack of ethics, lack of long-term planning, lack of viewing people as part of a bigger system of life, lack of understanding the land and waters are not ours to take and pollute, lack of respect for future generations, lack of respect for a people’s ancestors and way of life, violence, oppression, greed, lies…

The problem goes deeper: if we don’t re-write the story we are enacting (see quotes from Daniel Quinn’s book Ishmael), we won’t make it and because we are not just “we the humans”, we will bring all other species and ecosystems down with us…

There is nothing wrong with us, we are not flawed but we are not anything special either. We don’t have special powers or rights over the rest of life, we are not the center of the universe, we don’t really owe anything and we can barely control our own responses and behaviours.

We are able to do amazing things when we pair with nature and other humans. We are creative and caring and we are part of it all.

What’s wrong is the story, let’s create a new one, let’s enact a new one

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.  And there are things to be considered . . .

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.”

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time!”

“There is a river flowing now very fast.  It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.  They will try to hold on to the shore.   They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.

“Know the river has its destination.  The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.   And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.  At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves.  For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

“The time for the lone wolf is over.  Gather yourselves!  Banish the word struggle from you attitude and your vocabulary.  All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

~ attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder ~Hopi Nation

bison-1581895_1280

4 thoughts on “Forget Climate Change

  1. Very good post! And ideas about how to work on the “new story” have been put forward by Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Charles Eisenstein, David Korten, and others.

    And I’m afraid the problem goes even deeper than the problem of the story.

    According to economist Peter Pogany – whom hardly anyone knows of, unfortunately – the world’s “hyperlinked national economies” have formed a “global system.” Systems tend to develop mechanisms of self preservation – immune systems and such. Systems can be transformed, but they usually must undergo chaotic transitions in order to overcome those self-preserving tendencies that work to sustain the current system.

    According to Pogany:
    “History has recorded two distinct global systems thus far: “laissez faire/metal money,” which spanned most of the 19th century and lasted until the outbreak of World War I, and “mixed economy/weak multilateralism,” which began after 1945 and exists today. The period between the two systems, 1914-1945, was a chaotic transition. This evolutionary pulsation is well known to students of thermodynamics. It corresponds to the behavior of expanding and complexifying material systems.

    The exhaustion of oil and other natural resources is pushing the world toward a third global system that may be called “two-level economy/strong multilateralism.” It will be impossible to get there without a new chaotic transition. No repeated warnings, academic advice, moral advocacy, inspired reforms, or political leadership can provide a shortcut around it. But if it took “1914-1945″ to make a relatively minor adjustment in the global order, what will it take to make a major one?”

    I have a page devoted to Pogany on my blog here:
    https://integralpermaculture.wordpress.com/peter-pogany/

    Like

    1. Yes, it’s complex. I started studying systems last year. Difficult to see things clear when one moves between two worlds like I do. In one I can see the cultural emergence, as Looby Macnamara calls it, something new sprouting. I can see people awakening and getting tired, doing stuff. In the other I see inertia, corruption, violence, depression, frustration and it seems this second one is bigger, more powerful than the other. So many are stuck…for me there’s no doubt there will be suffering and chaos before something else can take place, if there’s a chance… Let’s not forget this is not man’s world. This is the world. Just one planet among million others. Whatever comes through the other side, may not be similar to this culture or any known culture. May not be even human. May be life different from what we know…
      Will check your blog and elaborate later. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s