XR Extinction Rebellion ‘Die-In’ staged by Climate Activists simultaneously Around the World

The Extinction Rebellion worldwide coordinated Die=In’s are just the beginning. This is to get everyone’s attention.

What could be more essential than living in a beautiful environment in harmony with one another, working together to ensure that we help one another to get our values clear – that we live on a beautiful planet, with which we are inextricably connected. It is up to each one of us to learn about what we can do, to be aware of the damages that human industries and lifestyles have done to impact the natural world. Each one of us has the capability and responsibility to learn about and share what each of us can do to act in ways that will ensure a more equitable world for all living creatures.

You can read about the actions and join the extinction rebellion. It is up to each one of us to value what is essential in quality of life: health, clean air, water and soil that is not poisoned by chemicals, pesticides and pharmaceuticals and the protection of habitats for all life on this planet.

Extinction Rebellion Worldwide Die-In

Extinction Rebellion climate change activists stage mass ‘die-in’ protests across the globe to put spotlight on risk to human life

XR, Extinction Rebellion, Mass Die-In at the Natural History Museum Museum, photo Terry Matthews

XR Extinction Rebellion Mass Die-In at the Natural History Museum Museum photo Terry Matthews

XR, Extinction Rebellion Pakistan

XR Extinction Rebellion Pakistan

Extinction Rebellion, Die-In Chili,  Photo by Belen Morales Ferrer

Extinction Rebellion Die-In Chili Photo by Belen Morales Ferrer

Protesters lie down in the streets in France, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Italy, The Netherlands and the UK.

and Germany, Chili, Pakistan, the Czech Republic, the USA….

“The actions were part of worldwide celebration at 12.05pm called by Extinction Rebellion Berlin following the protests that began in London in November 2018, which have since spawned a mass movement.”

Banksy, XR,  Extinction Rebellion artwork appears at protest, London Marble Arch

Banksy Extinction Rebellion artwork appears at protest site at London

‘Banksy’ Extinction Rebellion artwork appears at protest site at London’s Marble Arch

California signs up for China’s Belt and Road Forum to help in fight against climate change

“Although the US federal government has snubbed the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, representatives from America’s most populous state are attending to drum up support for international efforts to tackle climate change.”

Zayne Cowie – Goodbye Earth | Yuval Harari – Master Storytellers are Bankers | Andreas Weber – Economy of the Commons | E. O. Wilson – Half-Earth Project

Zayne Cowie wrote this book which he presents in video. ‘Goodbye Earth’: A Story for Grown-Ups

Goodbye Earth, Zayne Cowie

‘Goodbye Earth’: A Story for Grown-Ups

Goodbye, Earth written by 9 year old Zayne Cowie on the travesties, grown-ups, mis-management

‘Goodbye Earth’: A Story for Grown-Ups by Zayne Cowie

Goodbye, Earth written by 9 year old Zayne Cowie on the travesties of grown-ups mis-management leading to climate catastrophe

It appears that an answer to the dilemma of our economic and political system that has been thriving in the past century due to the power of its agreed upon valuation of money over natural resources and the natural world, is the need to use our hearts and minds to create a new system. A system which recognizes and values all life forms and the resources upon which they all depend. Integrally connected and interdependent, requiring clean water, air, soil and the right to life and to wander on the planet. I don’t think that humans have the right to choke the planet with plastic, deplete the spoil and spoil the water and air. This and warming the planet are ecocide. George Monbiot says, Heating the Planet is an Ecocrime.

In my digesthis.wordpress blog Israeli historian, Yuval Harari talks about the power of human stories. Beyond our objective reality, humans have contrived fictional realities and entities, which dictate actions upon which all life depend.

Harari states in his Tedtalk on the rise of humans that “the master storytellers are the big bankers, the finance ministers, the prime ministers. They tell us a very convincing story and if everyone believes this story, it actually works.”

“Money is the most successful story ever invented and told by humans; it is the only story everybody believes.”

Species all over the planet are critically endangered due to human population increase, territory intrusion, human industrial policies regarding food, housing, energy and transportation demands as well as their tendency to continuously promote war and military might. These activities have damaging repercussions on the health of both humans and the habitats they encroach upon and destroy.

All of creation is dependent upon the decisions made by fictional entities, the storytellers (banks, corporations, governments, religions) and their fictional content (money, shares, development, GDP).

Harari eloquently reveals that “The most important actors in the global economy presently are companies which are legal fictions. Corporations mostly want to make money. And our capitalist system is one built on growth as measured by the Gross Domestic Product. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the healthiest manner of cooperation with the ecosystem of the earth.

George Monbiot published ‘Common Wealth‘ in the Guardian 27th September 2017, subsequently in his blog. “Hope lies with a great, neglected sector of the economy, through which we can create a system that is neither capitalist nor state communist.”

Andreas Weber The Biology of Wonder cover

Andreas Weber The Biology of Wonder cover

The German biologist, philosopher and nature writer Andreas Weber recognizes the interconnectedness of humans to nature. In his talk at the conference on “Economics and the Common(s): From Seed Form to Core Paradigm” Weber mentions that though we can maintain aspects of our modus operandi of the age of enlightenment, we need to make a paradigm shift to enlivenment; seeing all life in continuous interrelationship.

“In our question of “what is life?”, we need to look beneath the ‘operating system’ engendered by the enlightenment in which things, life, humans are measured according to efficiency, competition and egoistical agents. This approach is cutting things down into blocks, separate parts, into arbitrary entities and dead objects. What is missing is that there are no feelings involved.”

This is where Andreas Weber draws the distinction between the repercussions of the enlightenment, in which nature and species have been commodified. “life, humans are measured according to efficiency, competition and egoistical agents. This approach is cutting things down into blocks, separate parts, into arbitrary entities and dead objects. What is missing is that there are no feelings involved.”

We need to create a paradigm shift, Weber states “we need a new bios, enlivenment; stressing the expressive and experiential qualities of being alive. Instead of looking at nature and life in a causal way, when we see things as they are, they are constantly changing, in an unfolding process of freedom, autonomy and value. Every commons is a material and knowledge commons.”

Enlivenement – we are feeling beings who wish to feel meaningful experiences within a community of other beings.

He recognizes that the wealth and extent of human experience and awe and wonder contributes to the emotional and spiritual health of humans beings. We need the richness of diversity for the wealth of experience in feeling.

Andreas Weber’s book describes how he wishes the world to see natural living systems.

He claims, “Nothing is more open-source than DNA.“

The economy of the commons is naturally anti-capitalist. From within a cell to a whole organism, all life is in compartments with its own boundary. However it’s not a wall, but a permeable boundary, in which the inhabitants are continuously interrelating and crystalizing into a whole, a unity. Quantum physics demonstrates that we affect the outcome of the experiment by observing. When we’re talking about the biosphere, ecology, economy, we are always talking about ourselves.

E.O. Wilson extends this recognition of the importance of the commons, to half of the entire planet devoted to other species. To provide half of the earth for the species whose habitats have been rapidly depleted by the human community and their development, military exercises and energy extraction policies.

“Unless humanity learns a great deal more about global biodiversity and moves quickly to protect it, we will soon lose most of the species composing life on Earth.” – E.O. Wilson

Edward O Wilson proposes the Half-Earth project
Devote Half the Surface of the Earth to Nature

Designing an interactive means for all of us around the planet to participate in protecting the flora and fauna of our globe. https://www.half-earthproject.org/pledge-support/

Let’s help him! We can all do this together! Half-Earth is a call to protect half the land and sea in order to manage sufficient habitat to safeguard the bulk of biodiversity

Half-Earth Edward O Wilson Devote Half Surface of Earth to Nature

Edward O Wilson Devote Half Surface of Earth to Nature

 

Half-Earth Project Maps

Half-Earth Project Maps

Take the Half-Earth Pledge, Learn, Care, Act

Take the Half-Earth Pledge Learn Care Act

Chante Tin’sa Kinanzi Po: Still Standing Up for Standing Rock | Earth Injustice

Chante Tin_sa Kinanzi Po, Black Snake, Standing Rock, 360° Video

This links to the Black Snake film about Standing Rock

Bobbi Jean, the young Native American woman (featured in the photo with her arm raised) was raised in the Standing Rock community. She spoke of her experiences – walking and running – gathering people of all ages as they went from one to another community.

She said they made prayers with their feet.

She said that there were a lot of magical & spiritual events that happened along the way, among the different people and animals’ that joined in. For many days it rained, and yet when certain people spoke, suddenly the sun burst forth or a wind would woosh in. She knew that the ancestors were present with them in their journey. They walked to enlighten people about the fate of the land and all of the creatures, this sacred land, to money.They eventually landed in Washington D.C., which she said was a culture shock. She Lots of kids participated at different points who developed their own voice about the issue. Elders participated as well. The oil industry and the federal and state governments’ in the pocket of it, created all sorts of obstacles and their own narrative to events. Bobbi Jean continues to inspire and share the story.

This event was a panel discussion with Bobbi Jean Three Legs and Indigenous Water Protectors. Followed by screenings of Black Snake, a 360° virtual reality short film experience featuring citizens of Standing Rock, by Philip Sanchez ’05. It took place at Brown University, sponsored by Native American and Indigenous Studies at Brown, Native American Brown Alumni, and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.

“Sacred Ground. The struggle for clean water continues.”

For more information and to support this cause, go to earthjustice.org

Blurred Media, Black Snake, Sacred Ground, 360 video, Phillip Sanchez

Blurred Media Black Snake Sacred Ground 360 video by Phillip Sanchez

Philip Sanchez’s 360º video Black Snake — Standing Rock — 360° Video is quite powerful; looking at the land that is sacred to the people who have lived there for generations, who know that they are not dispensable.

I had tears in my eyes, resonating with what one of the elder Native American women near the end of the film said.

 

“We’re destroying this earth.There’s no common sense. You’re hurting us, you’re hurting each other.

Don’t you think about life?

Every living thing has got to live. There is a purpose and reason why we are all here. You’re hurting yourselves and this earth. The waters. Everything is connected. My prayer goes out to all of you.”

 

“The story of the Dakota Access Pipeline is a long and difficult one to tell. On its face, it is the story of thousands of Native Americans and their non-Native allies that gathered for months in 2016 to protest the pipeline. However, this is only a small part of a much larger issue. The pipeline brought to a head conflicts about disputed treaty lands, the historical treatment of Native Americans by the Federal Government and the changing relationship between the predominantly white towns of Bismarck / Mandan to the north and the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to the south.”

The XL pipeline has different names depending on its location, which works as a mask to recognizing that it is one and the same black snake that is slithering through the land and sickening it’s waters.

President Trump, Presidential Memorandum, advance approval, pipeline construction

President Trump Presidential Memorandum advance approval of pipeline construction

I was fortunately informed by a fellow ultimate frisbee player who is also keenly interested in protecting the natural world.

“The struggle for clean water continues.”

For more information and to support this cause, go to earthjustice.org
How can we be silent? How can we not see the value of the natural world?

Our House is on Fire – Greta Thunberg WEForum | It is Worse Than That – Mark Doll

Greta Thunberg’s Special Address, Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum 2019

Greta Thunberg | Special Address, Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum 2019

Greta Thunberg | Special Address, Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum 2019

Greta’s speech, among each that she has made to the public, is remarkable.

The words of this man, Mark Doll, are equally noteworthy and important.

Each are the reason that I decided to take time from the writing of my book to put out another blog.

Mark Doll posted the following comments today and it was chilling and heart-wrenching. But it deserves to be read in the context of this little girl’s courage at Davos.

I hope that for a change, people who do not have the time or patience to read, read this.

“…I realize there is something I have known for some time but have never said, and, since I have just spent another 4 hours of my life in climate change academia I have to get this out of my system.

Please understand that many you reading this won’t live to an old age… and likely will start scrolling after one or 2 more paragraphs… (edit…Ok I was wrong on this point. This is now my 2nd most shared post of all time)

The IPCC report and Paris accord are incredibly overly optimistic and that commits the world to a target that means the death of hundreds of millions if not more.

But it is worse than that.

Even the commitments made by countries in the Paris accord don’t get us to a 2 degree world.

But it is worse than that.

The 2 degree target is now unattainable (unless the entire civilization of the world doesn’t do a 180 today…) target is based on geo-engineering the climate of the earth as well as the sequestering of every molecule of carbon we produced over the last number of years and every molecule we are producing today and every molecule we produce tomorrow…. these technologies that don’t exist wont exist and even if they did would likely cause as many if not more problems than they fix.

But it is worse than that.

The 2 degree target of the IPCC does not factor in the feedback loops that such as the increased albedo effect caused by the 70% loss of ice in the arctic, The release of methane from a thawing arctic. (there is more energy stored in the arctic methane than there is in coal in the world). This is called the methane dragon. If the process of the release of the methane, currently frozen in the soil and ocean beds of the arctic, which has already begun, spins out of control we are looking a an 8 degree rise in temperature. (this ignores the scientists that don’t see this feedback stopping and ends up resulting in the world oceans boiling off and earth becomes Venus…but I digress.

But it is worse than that

The report which give us 12 years to get our head’s out of our arses underestimated the amount of heat stored in the world’s oceans by 40%… so no , we don’t have 12 years.

But it is worse than that.

The IPCC report ignores the effects of humans messing up the Nitrogen cycle through agricultural fertilizers and more… Don’t go down this rabbit hole if you want to sleep at night.

But it is worse than that.

Sea level rise will not be gradual. Even assuming that the billions of tons of water that is currently being dumped down to the ground level of Greenland isn’t creating a lubricant which eventually will allow the ice to free-flow into the northern oceans as it is only the friction to the islands surface that is currently holding the ice back coupled with the same process is happening in Antarctica but is also coupled with the disappearance of the ice shelves which act as buttresses holding the glaciers from free flowing into the southern ocean we are not looking at maintaining the 3.4mm/yr increase in sea level rise (which incidentally is terrifying when you multiply it out over decades and centuries. We will be looking at major calving events that will result in much bigger yearly increases coupled with an exponential increase in glacial melting. FYI Alberta is going to need a pipeline… just not for oil. More likely for desalinated water from tidewater…

But it is worse than that… We can no longer save the society that we live in and many of us are going to be dead long before our life expectancy would suggest.

If your idea of hope is having some slightly modified Standard of living going forward and live to ripe old age… there is no hope. This civilization is over…

… but there is hope.. There is a way for some to come through this and have an enjoyable life on the other side. Every day we delay can be measured in human lives. There will come a day of inaction when that number includes someone you love, yourself or myself.
So we have 2 options. Wake the fuck up. If we do we will only have to experience the end of our society as we know it aka…the inevitable economic collapse which is now unavoidable, but be able to save and rebuild something new on the other side. This would require a deep adaptation. Words like sustainability would need to be seen as toxic and our focus needs be on regeneration. Regeneration of soil, forest ocean etc…. This is all possible.
Option 2 is the path we are on. Think we can slowly adapt to change. This not only ensures we experience collapse but also condemns humanity to not just economic and social collapse but in a 8 degree world… extinction.

I am sick of pipeline discussions. I am sick of any argument that is predicated on the defeatist assumption that we will continue to burn oil at an ever increasing rate. Fact is if we do we are not just fucked, we are dead. I am sick of people who don’t understand how their food is produced, and its effect on the climate.(both carnivores who eat feed lot meat and vegans who eat industrially produced mono cropped veggies as they are equally guilty here as the consumption of either is devastating).

I am sick of the argument that our oil is less poisonous than someone else’s. Firstly, no it isn’t and secondly, It doesn’t fucking matter. I am sick of people that can’t even handle the ridiculously small only the tip of the iceberg of the changes we need to accept; the carbon tax. I am sick of my own hypocrisy that allows me to still use fossil fuels for transportation. I am sick of those who use hypocrisy as an argument against action.

I am sick of the Leadership of my country that argues we can have economic growth and survivable environment… we can’t.

I am sickened by the normalizing of the leadership of our Southern neighbour who as the most polluting nation in the world officially ignores even the tragedy that is the Paris accord. I am sick of the politicians I worked to get elected being impotent on this subject…

I am sick that the next image I put up of my kids, cheese, pets or bread is going to garner immeasurably more attention than a post such as this which actually has meaning… I am sick about the fact that all the information I referenced here is easily discoverable in scientific journals but will be characterized by many as hyperbolic.
I am especially sick that my future and the future of my children is dependent on the dozens of people that saw this post, said there goes Marc off the deep end again and chose to remain ignorant of the basic facts about our near future.

There is a path forward. But every day we delay the path forward includes fewer of us.

Build community, build resilience, work for food security, think regeneration, plant food producing trees, think perennial food production, eat food that does not mine the soil and is locally produced, eat meat that is grass fed that is used to provide nutrients to vegetation, get to know a farmer or become one yourself, park your car, do not vote for anyone who either ignores climate change or says we can have our cake and eat it too, quit your job if it is fossil fuel related, stop buying shit, Stop buying things that are designed to break and be disposed of, let go of this society slowly and by your own volition (its better than being forced to do it quickly), rip up your lawn and plant a garden with veggies, fruit bushes, fruit trees and nut trees, learn to compost your own poop, get a smaller house on a bigger lot and regenerate that land, plant a guerrilla garden on a city road allowance, return to the multi-generational house, realize that growth has only been a thing in human civilization for 250 years and it is about to end and make preparations for this change, teach this to your children, buy only the necessities, don’t buy new clothes-go to the thrift store, don’t use single use plastic or if you do re-purpose it, unplug your garberator and compost everything, don’t let yourself get away with the argument that the plane is going there anyway when you book a holiday, understand that there is no such thing as the new normal because next year will be worse, understand before you make the argument that we need to reduce human population … meaning the population elsewhere… that it is not overpopulation in China or India that is causing the current problem… It is us and our lifestyle.

Understand that those that are currently arguing against refugees and climate change are both increasing the effects of climate change and causing millions on climate refugees… which will be arriving on Canada’s doorstep because Canada will, on the whole, be one of the last countries affected, understand that the densification of cities is condemning those in that density to a food-less future.

Stop tolerating the middle ground on climate change. there is no middle ground on gravity, the earth is round, and we are on the verge of collapse.”

Sat. Sept. 15th Int’l Coastal & Waterway Cleanup Day – Suit Up to Clean Up

This is all about cleaning up waterways; oceans, streams, rivers, bays, wildlife sanctuaries…

I’ll be there! I hope you will enjoy participating as well.

Suit Up To Clean Up,  Saturday September 15th, the International Coastal Cleanup day, water way near you

Suit Up To Clean Up This Saturday September 15th is the International Coastal Cleanup day – or any water way near you

Here’s how you can find a location near you to become involved.

Find a Cleanup Location, Suit Up To Clean Up, Saturday September 15th

Find a Cleanup Location, Suit Up To Clean Up, Saturday September 15th

You can view the global map to see find a location near you!

I found one near me, the Osamequin Wildlife Refuge
choosing to bicycle about an hour away south to help clean up a wildlife reserve. In the meantime, people further south will be dealing with cleanup after the hurricane.

I am looking forward to it. I hope you all can join in wherever you are!

Sunsets Swans & Clouds

Photographs of Sunsets Swans & Clouds Providence, Rhode Island July 2018

Sunsets Swans & Clouds Providence Rhode Island July 2018

Sunsets Swans & Clouds
Providence Rhode Island July 2018

I ride bicycle but also have been slowing down to walk, particularly along streets with really old majestic trees, properties that value their foliage, and light up the graceful branches of bushes and trees, because obviously they are of HUGE value. I slow down to take it all in, and love especially to here the cricket chorus.

I’ve found a few places that I just absolutely love the trees that the people have kept in their grandiose properties. So glad that I listen and smell and pay attention to details.

So glad that I tune in to this, rather than a phone.

The Flowing Tree | Roger Williams Park | Beauty & Faber Castell Watercolor Pencils

I love trees so much, so they become my subjects of engagement. This is the most recent watercolor pencil painting I’ve done.

The Flowing Tree

Faber Castell Water color Pencils 

July Roger Williams park in Providence, Rhode Island

The Flowing Tree, flickr link, art progression

The Flowing Tree

The Flowing Tree Roger Williams Park art progression

If anyone is interested in purchases or donations, click here.

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

Carol sitting under the trees

Carol sitting under the trees

EchoActivate | Education, Communication & Fun | Working Side-by-Side, Empowering through Participating | Cleaning, Reusing, Planting & Restoring Habitats for All Creatures | Global Climate Action Summit

If India was able to plant 66 million trees in twelve hours with a million + people side by side doing it, this same action could happen around the world towards any environmental movement.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/india-plant-66-million-trees-12-hours-environment-campaign-madhya-pradesh-global-warming-climate-a7820416.html

actions, EChOACTiVate

Word cloud of involved actions in EChOACTiVate

I meditate daily and ask the four forces – earth, air, water and plasma – practicing heart rhythm meditation. My intent is to carry my voice to peoples’ platforms I can participate in and for information and guidance to be carried to me. It’s an intuitive process of trusting in the intelligence and consciousness of the universal force. I feel that many things that appear to ‘happen’ serendipitously, arrive because of intention to connect to this information. Magic? Today, for the first time i clicked on and read this info from this community that I learned of while taking courses when living in Pennsylvania. Interfaith Power & Light: A Religious Response to Global Warming. I’d go to multidisciplinary talks with religious leaders from all these different faiths putting forth their viewpoint on various questions. Opening it, i found out about this, http://globalclimateactionsummit.org/. The Global Climate Action Summit happens to be taking place in San Francisco, September 12th to 14th. Just a week before the ccc reunion.

lets mots, les activité
pour EChOACTIvate

It seems to be an excellent place to continue to disseminate my idea. The idea started years ago, imagined actually right before the COP21 Paris climate talks, which I went to, to Paris for two weeks with 20 dollars.

Previously I named the idea Eco Revolution, then EcoActivate, because the first was taken.

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/calling-for-echoactivate-partners-core-team-refugee-manpower-best-weapon-is-education-and-empowerment/

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/calling-for-echoactivate-partners-core-team-corporate-sponsors-government-subsidies/

lo que tu puedes hacer con EChOACTiVate

The idea is to bring the information to the people, through a cyber portal of information, and a mobile unit that comes to a community with needs that people perceive or perhaps aren’t aware of at all, that they can then do together to clean up and build sustainable energy, transportation and to plant community gardens, bee and butterfly highways, plant trees and build animals bridges…

The idea is to bring people together in a celebratory, participatory way. With the knowledge they need to create, transform and participate in greening their own environment.

Education is the tool. People power is the engine.

was EChOACTiVate ist

was EChOACTiVate ist

Why I Think This World Should End | Prince Ea | Eloquent Storyteller & Poet

Spiritual and social commentary eloquence that I feel is necessary viewing and learning for everyone on this earth.

Prince Ea, Brandon Sloan, Cinematography. Why This World Should End

Prince Ea Brandon Sloan Cinematography Why This World Should End

blogger Carol Keiter

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

The Eloquently and Elegantly stated Truth

Nothing is more important than reading this. And then reading it again.

The most elegant and eloquent presentation of the facts, that anyone who can understand words, must be persuaded to hear and respond to emotionally and intuitively as the truth.

I have merely copied and pasted the text of this writing within the link below (minus the original links within it), feeling it to be the utterly most important statement of vast insight, that everyone must read. And continue to talk.

-.—.—-.—–.——.-.—.—-.—–.——.-.—.—-.—–.——.-.—.—-.—–.—-.-.—.–.-

http://www.grenzbegriff.com/2017/10/leaving.html

 

these are my words at the time of writing — I am more like tree than rock — as I bend to reach the sunlight

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Leaving

Hi friends,

I’m leaving Google at the end of next week.

There’s too much I want to say.  🙂

I spent the summer away from work, outdoors in Oregon, awash in beauty.  I learned a lot.  I wept at how we’re treating the earth, as I rode past mile after mile of logged forests, polluted streams, and lifeless monocrop fields.

I got to be part of what I’ll call “alternative culture”, to explore ways of meeting all of our human needs through local community alternatives to basically everything we currently use money for.  I wrote some about this time here on this blog.  I barely scratched the surface though.  More and more people, perhaps millions now even in the West, are devoting their lives to new (and sometimes ancient) ways of living in healthy relationship with each other and with the earth.  While they are usually partly within the current system, when all of these new ways of living come together, the current system becomes obsolete.  I see joyous glimpses of this everywhere.

Meanwhile our dominant civilization is killing its own foundation: the healthy web of life on earth.  Through deforestation and pollution we are destroying the ability of the planet to support all forms of life.  We can see this in the oceans where the fish populations are collapsing, the silent fields that were once thriving forests, and the deserts where millions of people go hungry in drought.  This ecological crisis can’t be solved simply by swapping oil for solar panels.  I’m no longer optimistic that we will soon fix these problems with some new technology.  It’s quite possible that climate change is exacerbating the storms and droughts and fires, and that these will continue to become more severe in the next years.

The effects are not evenly distributed.  The unhoused breathe wildfire smoke while many of the housed have filtered air.  Some of us see our homes flooded or burnt while for others business continues as usual.  Most communities in the country and increasingly in the world have lost the ability to sustain themselves from their land, and now must import almost everything they need from elsewhere, which becomes precarious when those importing the goods see no profit in it (food deserts), or when disaster breaks down the supply line like in Puerto Rico.  Many communities no longer have access to clean water, or are losing it as I write.  On Monday I listened to a man from Guatemala talk about a new silver mine near his home that is polluting and drying up the water supply for many villages there.  Almost all silver is used to produce electronics, and demand is rising.  In Oregon this summer, ancient trees thousands of years old were cleared for fire breaks.  The entire planet is being saturated with chemicals that we ought never to have created.  These kinds of damage cannot be undone or fixed by technology.  The story for other species is even worse, as most wild animal populations have died off and we pack billions of animals in cages in horrific factory farms.  The coral reefs, the rhinos, the ancient forests, the whales, and even the insects… who speaks for them?  Some people do, and they end up in jail if their actions threaten profits.  Profits are made at the expense of Life.

And within our civilization, we have more prisoners and refugees, more drugs and anxiety and depression and stress and addiction than ever.  Even in wealthy regions, most people don’t like the work they do all day.  It’s also not physically healthy to be indoors or using a computer or riding in vehicles for as many hours as many of us who are “successful” do.  What is happening to us?

It seems the leaders of our world are apathetic or powerless, as they fight over the most gaudy deck chairs on this titanic.  While it pains me, I don’t hate them for this; their actions are the product of a traumatic history that touches all of us.  They don’t know what they’re doing.

I envision a more beautiful world where humans have a healthy part to play, to love and respect the earth, not to dominate and exploit it.  I see many people living that vision already, and want to live my life in service to it.  I see the extremes of both ugliness and beauty grow more stark.  Ugliness as we close down and protect ourselves from the ‘other’, beauty as we come together in community, in love with mother earth.  Will “society” as a whole make some kind of transition, or continue the march into dystopia and eventual chaos?  I don’t know.  It will be both at the same time.  Some people are already in an obvious dystopia, some are in a beautiful place yet in the shadow of a collapsing ecosystem.  To hope for a peaceful transition would be to ignore the incredible violence on which the current system lives.  It will be violent because it already is.  May we learn to be kind to each other as these changes unfold.

It’s been said that we need the darkness to see the stars.  We can open ourselves to what is happening, feel and honor our pain, grieve what is lost, and revel in our deep gratitude for the beauty of life.  I don’t mean to be a downer pointing at all this ugliness.  I feel that we have a deep need to see it and acknowledge it.  It makes the beauty that much more precious and worth living for.

“Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
-Mary Oliver

What should we do then?

I don’t know exactly what we should do.  I don’t have a rational “here’s what everyone needs to do” that will resolve all of these crises.  I want to let go of my need to control what happens, because I’m really not in control.  At the same time, even if I let go and accept whatever comes, I am a human being and it is natural for me to care and want to help, to serve what I love.  I will not deny that part of me either.  So I find myself thinking about how to help, even if it seems “hopeless” overall.  I need not stress about the outcomes, but I will still act.  What else would I do with my few short years here?

So what might I do to be practical?

I don’t believe our technology is serving us well.  We, the wealthy humans near the top of the power hierarchy may see it as indispensable, but if we consider the animals or the fish or the trees or the laborers in the sweatshops and mines and plantations, it’s not working out so well.  Yes, our technology relieves some suffering in some places, but at what cost?  We simply do not, and probably cannot, count the costs of development.  I am not enthusiastic that further technological progress will heal us.

I also don’t believe that our problems are mostly due to money being in the wrong hands.  Measuring everything by monetary value seems to me one of the roots of the crises.  The mentality that values money over life drives much of the pollution and resource extraction and oppression around the world, since humans first accumulated “property” and enslaved each other.  I don’t feel that getting as much money as I can and giving it to the non-profit side of the system is the best way for me to serve what I love.  I feel that the money abstraction and the distance it puts between us and the effects of our actions makes us feel disconnected and alone.

I also don’t like our culture’s valuing of measurable impact over everything else.  Much of what is precious to me cannot be measured.  What’s the measurable value of a 5000 year old yew tree?  What’s the measurable value of caring for a disabled child?

“May what I do flow from me like a river
no forcing
and no holding back
the way it is with children.”
-Rilke

So I don’t know what we all should do exactly, and I don’t know what I will do beyond the short term.  I’m skeptical of money and the dominant culture’s value system.  I want to trust what makes me feel alive over our culture’s normal stories that usually are rooted in fear.  I recognize that I’m one of the most privileged people in the world.  I know most people do not have the options that I have.  I don’t mean to judge, only to encourage.

Right now what’s happening is I’ve been living in a homeless protest encampment in Berkeley the last couple months, which has given me still another perspective on our society.  It got interesting this weekend and we’re fighting eviction, hoping to benefit and inspire homeless communities around the country.  With all of the disaster and war refugees today, and housing crises in many places, there are more and more people who can’t have regular housing, and we could learn to live together with more kindness and understanding.  I’m also involved with the community here in other ways like Food Not Bombs.  I expect soon I’ll be moving on to other places, to learn and to live in service to what I love.  To restore soil and help plants grow and be community.

I’ve learned I don’t need much money to live well myself, so I don’t need to earn it for myself.  Perhaps my perspective on money and impact will change and I’ll eventually decide that earning money and supporting my many friends who don’t have much money in their various causes is the best way to contribute, and then I might return to a job, but we’ll see.  “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

Wherever I am, I’ll be with some kind of community learning how to live in healthier relationship with each other and with the earth.  There’ll be dark moments and joyous moments, and this is life.  Life is good.  Whatever comes, I will give attention to the beauty around me, the beauty of community and of nature and of every form.  Beauty everywhere begs our attention.

“An eye is meant to see things.
The soul is here for its own joy.

A head has one use: For loving a true love.
Feet: To chase after.

Rumi quote Spirit Mind

Rumi quote Spirit Mind

carol return hitch from Taos, New Mexico

carol the blogger on her return hitch from Taos, New Mexico to Santa Fe. One side of my sign said Santa Fe, the other, Fanta Se