Ripples Make Waves
Resilience and conscious, compassionate connection are two consistent themes of this e-newsletter.
Compassionate connection was this month’s theme of James Baraz’s Awakening Joy course. The deeply passionate and resilient speakers were Joanna Macy and Julia Butterfly-Hill , both speaking to the dire and global destruction of our planet and the courage to act that comes from deep passion, deep compassion, deep connection — that every single one of us can make a significant impact on the course of humanity’s existence on this earth, in this moment, now and here.
Every single one of us can do something, however small, to make a difference.
– Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Every moment brings a choice; every choice has an impact.
– Julia Butterfly Hill
I’ve focused on environmental activism as a premier vehicle for expressing resilience and conscious, compassionate connection in previous e-newsletters: May 2009 Thinking Outside the Box featuring Dan Goleman’s Ecological Intelligence, and January 2010 Be the Change You Seek featuring the Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream symposium. This month I’m tracing the arc of using a wider consciousness to guide our movement through compassionate connection to committed action, with lots of resources and practical tools below to move us along that arc.
If you’re already inspired and just want to know how to get involved, go straight to the Exercises to Practice and to Resources for websites that will lift your heart and plug you right in.
REFLECTIONS on Ripples Make Waves
One cannot live with sighted eyes and feeling heart and not know the miseries which afflict the world.
– Lorraine Hansberry
Consciousness is the easiest part of the journey these days. Passionate activists, scientists, authors, filmmakers, have been researching, culling, simplifying enough data and presenting it in compelling accessible enough ways that we would have to deliberately choose not to wake up and get our collective hearts/minds/butts in sync and in gear. (See Resources below.)
We follow the arc from consciousness to commitment through compassionate connection because the biggest obstacle to committing to change and following through is the discouragement, the overwhelming daunt, the despair of daring to confront an accelerating tide of global devastation and human misery. It is so easy, so automatic to turn ourselves away to protect ourselves from so much pain, so much stupidity and cruelty that have brought us to the brink of irreversible destruction.
It hurts to care; the courage to care is the profoundest courage there is.
– Julia Butterfly Hill
Julie Butterfly Hill tells of the ecstasy and the agony of her emerging consciousness and the cracking open of her heart to compassion – enough to live on a 4×6 platform at the top of a 180-foot redwood tree named Luna in northern California for 2 years and 8 days to protect Luna and surrounding old-growth redwoods from clear-cutting.
The first time Julia walked in the spacious stillness of an ancient redwood forest, the first time she hugged a tree so tall she couldn’t see the top of it, the first time she felt herself breathing with the tree, exchanging carbon dioxide, toxic to us, for life-giving oxygen; she was moved toward protecting “the one that we all are.” And when, a few weeks later, she saw photographs of the mudslides caused by the clear-cutting of those forests, the corner of a house and the handle bars of a tricycle peeking out from the mud, the father (who worked for the lumber company doing the clear-cutting) and his 5 year old son looking forlornly at the loss of everything, absolutely everything in their home; her heart broke open and she was moved to act.
Compassion is keeping our hearts open in the face of suffering, pure and simple. It’s OK to cry in the face of loss and grief. It’s OK to be angry and outraged in the face of injustice and indifference. It’s OK to be afraid, and to let people know you’re afraid. We are afraid and angry and aggrieved because we care.
If we can allow the suffering we witness to break open our hearts, to soften the protective walls if we’re not too resistant, crack through them if we’ve become more hardened, to the life force of love that cares about all suffering, that flows eternally and infinitely deeper than the grief, the fear, the anger, the hopelessness, then we are tapping into and putting into action the vast and vibrant energy of life itself. There are many gateways to this vast and vibrant energy: love of the trees, the polar bears, the coral reefs. Alarm about acid rain or desertification or pollution of streams and oceans. Grief and heartbreak over women and children having to walk 2-3 miles a day to find clean drinking water.
Whatever the gateway, we each have our own gateway to the sacred interconnection of all of us, and that’s a gateway to the sacred loving energy moving through us to care, to act, to change. There is joy in dissolving the walls as the care becomes expansively larger than the despair. Then we are resourced by our love again to act unflinchingly, tirelessly, and we can inspire others to allow their hearts to break, break open, break through to the depths of a universal compassion and be moved to act in the world, too.
What we need is what the ancient Israelites called hochma – the science of the heart…the capacity to see, to feel, and then to act as if the future depended on you. Believe me, it does.
– Bill Moyers
Compassion is based in the radical insight, the radical experience, that we are all inter-connected. Our smallest acts have repercussions.
We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.
– Herman Melville
We are all connected to everyone and everything in the universe. Therefore, everything one does as an individual affects the whole. All thoughts, words, images, prayers, blessings, and deeds are listened to by all that is.
– Serge Kahili King
Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.
– Margaret Wheatley
This sense of universal connectedness leads us to a felt knowing that committed action to a cause much larger than ourselves is in our enlightened self-interest. Your pain is my pain is the pain of all of existence. A child’s tricycle caught in mudslide or polar bear starving on a disappearing ice shelf or entire villages drinking from polluted wells…. That spirit of opening our hearts to the inter-being-ness of all life leads us to focus on specific committed actions in specific communities for specific causes.
The connection to specific actions in specific communities is essential to be effective, to be accountable, to be en-couraged, to be sustained in our efforts toward sustainability. The resonance of common hearts in common cause is the fuel that keeps us going. The goodness of our intentions are affirmed by experienced others. The collaboration of experience, wisdom, resources, efforts that build community feeds our own consciousness and compassion in a cycle of caring and communion.
Commitment flows from that connection. Compassionate connection breaks through our “not enough-ness” and calls us to be bigger than we knew ourselves to be. We can push the envelope of who we thought we were, out of our comfort zone beyond, what we believed was possible, into the call of the larger work.
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s hunger meet.
– Reverend Frederick Buechner
Commitment can be anything, from micro to macro. We put our toe in the water, create a ripple, join with others to make a wave, and go from there.
If, for me, it’s talking to managers in my local supermarket about stocking paper cups instead of, at least in addition to, the ubiquitous plastic and unconscionable Styrofoam, then that’s it for me. If for my friends Lynne and Gary it’s hosting a retreat for facilitators of Awakening the Dreamer, then that’s it for them. If, for my neighbor Johanna, it’s spending two weeks in Kenya teaching conservation techniques to high school girls, that’s it for her. If for my friend Richard it’s volunteering with Engineers without Borders to build a well in Zimbabwe, then that’s it for him. If for his wife Shoshana, it’s traveling to Costa Rica on a reality tour with Global Exchange to learn how environment, eco-tourism, and economics policies are intertwined, then that’s it for her. If for their daughter Caitlin it’s traveling to India on a Heifer International study tour to see how wise agricultural policies help challenge gender and caste inequity, then that’s it for her. If, for you, it’s putting your toe in the water at the upcoming 10/10/10 Global Work Party or the upcoming Bioneers conference or the upcoming Coastal Clean-Up day, then that’s it for you.
Anything that gets us going in compassionate connection can keep us going in being accountable for our commitments. (See Exercises and Resources below for more ideas and links.)
All of this conscious, compassionate committed action includes self-compassion for knowing our limits and taking care that the energy of our boundless mind and heart doesn’t cause our limited bodies to burn out In conscious, compassionate committed action, we work in balance and well-being rather than overwhelm and chaos.
You don’t need to do everything. Do what calls your heart; effective action comes from love. It is unstoppable, and it is enough.
– Joanna Macy.
When taking action comes from the heart rather than from the desire to see results, you can continue working without getting depleted, and you can derive joy rather than disappointment from the part you are playing. As we do even the smallest compassionate action, we ourselves grow and unfold as noble beings.
– James Baraz
This arc – of consciousness, compassion, connection and commitment to protect the earth that sustains our very life- could be applied to any cause, of course. It’s the same arc that spurs us to plant organic vegetables gardens in our local schools and to teach mindfulness in them, too. It’s the same arc that spurs us to contribute goats and chickens that can create incomes for families in poor villages to buy shoes and pay children’s school fees (Heifer International) and send doctors to perform cataract surgery in Nepal. (SEVA) It’s the same arc that allows us to sit compassionately in hospice with someone dying of cancer and to act compassionately, urgently, to save a dying planet.
The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.
– Frederick Buechner
POETRY AND QUOTES TO INSPIRE
The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.
– Blaise Pascal
* * * * *
We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone…and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.
– Sandra Day O’Connor
* * * * *
I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
– Helen Keller
* * * * *
Inaction in the face of injustice is as impactful as the actions of others.
– Julia Butterfly Hill
* * * * *
Until one is committed there is always hesitancy,
The chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness,
Concerning all acts of initiative and creation,
There is one elementary truth,
The ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
Raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen accidents and meetings
And material assistance which no man could have dreamed
Would come his way.
– W.H. Murray, deputy leader of 1951 Scottish Expedition to climb Mt. Everest
* * * * *
You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation.
– Marian Wright Edelman
* * * * *
It is I Who Must Begin
It is I who must begin.
Once I begin, once I try –
here and now,
right where I am,
not excusing myself
by saying things
would be easier elsewhere,
without grand speeches and
but all the more persistently
–to live in harmony
with the “voice of Being,” as I
understand it within myself
–as soon as I begin that,
I suddenly discover,
to my surprise, that
I am neither the only one,
nor the first,
not the most important one
to have set out upon that road.
Whether all is really lost
or not depends entirely on
whether or not I am lost.
– Vaclav Havel
* * * * *
Behind every human being who cries out for help there may be a million or more equally entitled to attention. How to determine which of one millions sounds surrounding you is more deserving that the rest? Do not concern yourself in such speculations. You will never know, you will never need to know. Reach out and take hold of the one who happens to be nearest.
– Norman Cousins
* * * * *
Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.
– Thomas Merton
* * * * *
Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
– Vaclav Havel
* * * * *
Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.
– David Orr
* * * * *
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.
– The Talmud
* * * * *
Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
STORIES TO LEARN FROM
For 65 years Heifer International has been providing seeds and animals to villagers in the remotest, poorest parts of the world; seeds that become crops to feed animals that provide milk or eggs or wool or labor in the fields to create income for school fees, medicines, clothing, and homes with floors and windows.
In Amka, India, Heifer guided 13 women to form a cooperative as well. (Actually, 555 women in 27 cooperatives in northern India.) Pooling and lending even the smallest amounts of money (20 cents a month) for livestock, housing or crafts projects began to “lift the veil” – challenging gender and caste inequities, empowering women in leadership and decision making roles.
The traditional Heifer ceremony of Passing on the Gift, where goats born of one family’s goats are passed on to fellow villagers, transitions the women from being receivers of charity to donors and village animal doctors, a symbol of the resources and hopes of a brighter future rippling out. As one co-op member said, “My girl child will go to school. She’ll be able to leave the house; she won’t have to wear the veil.”
* * * * *
When I’m at my writing sanctuary at Wilbur Hot Springs, it is my practice to rescue insects from drowning in the pool – dragonflies, moths, bees, and yellow jackets. Even the yellow jackets look so adorable in my hand, rubbing dry their antennae and abdomens before they fly off to live another day. Last Labor Day weekend, I had rescued 4 or 5 yellow jackets with no problem when I finally startled one enough that he dug his stinger deep into my forefinger and -uh oh. Within 20 minutes my entire hand swelled up like a catcher’s mitt. It took a continuous 8 hours of ice packs to cool down the fiery burning, then a triple dose of benadryl to sleep through the night. My hand is fully recovered now. Will I stop rescuing yellow jackets from the pool? No. Will I use a cup from now on to rescue them? Yes. From micro to macro, compassionate committed action includes compassion and wise self care for ourselves as well as for our fellow beings, so that we can remain fully in the game for the very long haul. There is wise discernment, wise effort, and everyone risking their own well-being for a larger cause needs to be smart-ful as well as heart-ful.
* * * * *
The arc of conscious, compassionate committed action is the arc of creating meaningful and lasting change in the world, for any cause.
James Baraz tells the story in Awakening Joy of his artist sister Susan, who lost a dear friend of twenty years, Antonio, to AIDS. At the time, 20 years ago, feeling helpless watching him waste away from a then unknown and untreatable disease, Susan took action to organize a fundraiser at an art gallery to raise money for Antonio’s medical bills; 2500 people came to that first fundraiser to buy beautiful art and learn about AIDS. Susan then organized another show after Antonio’s death as a memorial tribute and silent auction/benefit to raise money for awareness of AIDS. Now 20 years later, Susan has raised over 3 million dollars through her Focus on AIDS organization which, among other things, has established the first children’s AIDS hospital in India which treats 4,000 children each month.
“It’s funny,’ says Susan. “I was doing something to honor Antonio from my heart, and it not only made a big difference in others’ lives, but it completely changed my life, too. It’s the most meaningful thing I do. And what’s interesting is that I could never have imagined it would lead me to who I am now.”
* * * * *
In a previous life trajectory, my tenure as associate director of development at the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now called Earth Justice) spanned the time of the Exxon-Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska. SCLDF already had an office in Juneau and an excellent track record of winning lawsuits to protect wilderness nationwide. It wasn’t that hard back then for donors to want to give generously to bring public interest lawsuits against the “bad guys”. The campaigns I was in charge of raised $4 million that year alone.
Of all the many generous gifts pouring in at that time, one that stands out in my mind was a gift of $400 collected in nickels and pennies through bake sales and sock hops from students at an elementary school in Michigan. One of our attorneys in the Alaska office sent an autographed poster back to the school where it hung in the school auditorium for the rest of the year.
It’s twenty years later, and those students will be making choices now about which car they drive and how to launder cloth diapers rather than filling landfills with pampers. Every penny and nickel they sent was an investment in their consciousness and compassionate connection that still reverberates today.
EXERCISES TO PRACTICE
RIPPLES MAKE WAVES
The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.
– Mohandis K. Gandhi
When our consciousness and compassionate connections move us to committed action, it is important to move, to act, consciously, compassionately, courageously, consistently. I’ve included here Ten Simple Ways to Slow Climate Change passed on to me by James Baraz. Easy to implement; remarkable in their impact.
10 SIMPLE WAYS TO SLOW CLIMATE CHANGE
1) Drive less and drive smart.
– Take the 2-mile challenge. Whenever possible, bike or walk places that are a 2-mile or less commute. Take public transit or carpool when biking or walking are not options.
– Get your engine tuned up and keep your tires inflated.
2) Be energy-wise at home.
– Buy energy-efficient appliances when you can; besides saving about 30% less energy than ones made 10 years ago, you’ll save money in the long-term.
– Unplug rarely used appliances. Many appliances still use up electricity even when turned off.
– Turn off your computer when not in use (especially at night), rather than putting it “to sleep.”
– Turn off lights when you leave the room.
– Change your light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent bulbs.
3) Limit disposables.
– Take your own coffee mug to the coffee shop, instead of getting a paper one. Some cafes even give discounts if you bring your own cup.
– Use cloth napkins rather than paper napkins, and rags and dish towels instead of paper towels.
– For large gatherings try using compostable or recycled forks, knives, plates and cups.
– Switch to rechargeable batteries.
– Solve the “paper or plastic” dilemma by taking your own bags to the store, or say “no thank you” to a bag when making small purchases.
– Instead of buying bottled water, get a filter for household water, and carry around your own water bottle.
4) Buy organic and locally-grown produce, or grow your own.
– Try out your local Farmers Market or a Community Supported Agriculture program, which lets you buy shares in a farmer’s annual harvest.
– Grow your own fruits and vegetables! Tear our part of your lawn and plant an organic edible garden and Food Forest.
5) Practice water conservation at home.
– Check for leaks in your home.
– Install a low-flow showerhead, and take shorter showers.
– Avoid letting the water run while brushing your teeth, shaving or washing dishes.
– Remove your lawn and plant natives instead, which use much less water.
6) Recycle everything you can.
– Review which items can be recycled in your area.
– All electronic waste must now be recycled in California. This included computers, monitors, electronic games, TVs, stereos, cell phones, etc. Check your local phone book to find out where you can recycle electronic waste.
7) Green your house. Residential energy use accounts for 16% of greenhouse gas emissions.
– Control heat, air and moisture leakage by sealing windows and doors;
– Take advantage of local, state and federal rebates and tax credits to insulate your home and buy double-pane windows;
– Consider renewable energy sources like solar electric systems, compact wind turbines and geothermal heat pumps to help power your homes; and
– Consider bamboo flooring, cork tiles and countertops made from recycled wastepaper if you are remodeling your home soon.
8) Follow eco-tips for washing your clothes.
– Use cold water to wash and rinse.
– Save up to launder a few big loads instead many small ones.
– Be the first on the block to use a clothesline on sunny days.
9) Eat less meat.
– Addicted to burgers? You can start slowly by cutting back on eating meals with meat to once or twice a week.
10) Get involved in your community and spread the word about going green.
– Join the Transition Towns movement, mobilizing communities through organizing efforts to be more resilient around the peak oil and climate change crises.
– Join organizations like the Sierra Club, 1Sky, Greenpeace, Bay Localize and Union for Concerned Scientists, who are working around the clock to slow climate change.
– Browse the web for more tips. Grist.org, Idealbite.org and Treehugger.org are some of many sites dedicated to sustainable living.
– Join one of the Ecology Center’s Climate Action Teams.
And check out the resources below.
Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben. Times Books, 2010.
The latest brilliant, comprehensive, and unsettling perspective on accelerating climate change that has brought our planet to the brink of destruction as we have known it, and what informed, inspired world citizens can do about it, from Bill McKibben, best-selling author of more than a dozen books, calling attention for more than two decades to the deep economic, political, social changes we need to make – NOW – to sustain life on our planet at all.
Bill is the founder of www.350.org; an international internet community of activists dedicated to saving our planet and human civilization as we know it by reducing our carbon footprint NOW. The name 350 comes from the number 350 – the safe level of CO2 in our atmosphere (350 parts per million) – that could sustain a healthy humanity on a healthy planet. Levels of CO2 remained at 295ppm for most of human history until industrial changes in the last two centuries began causing CO2 levels to rise to the current 397ppm; scientists worldwide are documenting we are now risking irreversible climate change and global destruction unless we reduce CO2 levels to the earth’s “safe zone” of 350ppm by 2050.
www.350.org is organizing 10/10/10 (October 10, 2010) – a “Global Work Party” of 3679 events in 166 countries (and counting) to reduce our carbon emissions by 10% in the next year. The website will lift you right up and plug you right in to tons of ideas for empowered, effective wise action, links to environmental organizations and events, videos and photos of the world wide 350 movement, an utterly delightful 2-minute animated video to introduce the concept of 350 to viewers worldwide who might speak one of the world’s 4,000 languages other than English., and an e-e-e-asy navigation system into organizing/participating in 10/1010 events in your local community.
Examples of ideas to put a toe in the water, generate a ripple, hang in there and watch the ripple become a wave: www.350.org has links to how to do all of this:
“Low-hanging fruit” in efforts to reduce carbon foot print:
a. reduce-re-use-re-cycle, which most of us are already doing
b. energy efficiency: as simple as changing a light bulb and weatherstripping your doors.
c. volunteer at a local trash clean-up day; local part and playgrounds are a natural.
d. decorate cloth grocery bags and gift them to your friends.
e. host an environmental movie screening of Inconvenient Truth; still a good choice
Longer term – for those ready to surf bigger waves.
a. organize a tree planting on your block
b. initiate a solar project in your community (like solar water heaters on rooftops of civic buildings)
c. start a local organic community garden
d. paint bike lanes in your city
e. organize composting at your child’s school.
You can find enough ideas and links on www.350.org to channel a lifetime of compassionate action. Check it out, open your heart, and inspire yourself. You can change your life and impact thousands of other lives, right here, right now.
TED is a 25 year old non-profit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. TED brings to annual conferences in Long Beach, California, Oxford, England, and Mysore, India the world’s cutting edge thinkers and doers in science, technology, culture, design and the arts, business and global issues. Over 4 days, 50 speakers each take an 18 minute slot to talk about topics as varied as mirror neurons, myths that shape the growth of business in Asian v. Western economies, harnessing water resources in desert climates, encouraging creativity and passion in schools. 450 conference talks, translated into 50 languages, are now easily viewable, for free, from TED’s website. Samples of recent environmental talks:
Johan Rockstrom: Let the environment guide our development
Lisa Margonelli: the political chemistry of oil
Rob Hopkins: a transition to a world without oil
Kamal Meattle: how to grow fresh air
Mitchell Joachim: Don’t’ build your home, grow it!
Ray Anderson: the business logic of sustainability
Mark Bittman: what’s wrong with what we eat
Steward Brand proclaims 4 environmental heresies
Al Gore: Averting climate crises
Yann Arthus-Bertrand captures the fragile earth in wide angle
www.karmatube.org is a collection of short “do something” videos coupled with simple actions that every viewer can do. Samples: (4-5 minutes each)
The Secret Life of Paper. Paper is costly, in loss of forests, air and water pollution from manufacturing, and the by-product methane gas in landfills. Ways to reduce, reuse, recycle one of the most elemental products in our every day lives.
Flow: A Move about the Importance of Water. Water as a public resource is increasingly privatized, processed, and packaged and sold back to us in plastic bottles at huge profits. Provocative questions about a resource we have taken for granted and that we are rapidly losing.
The Plastic Battle – an eloquent plea to reduce-reuse-recycle rather than drown our planet in plastic bottles, bags, toys, etc.
Earthship Biotechture: about stand-alone homes that make their own energy, harvest their own water, and treat their own sewage.
Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything by Daniel Goleman, Broadway Books, 2009 and www.goodguide.com
Ecological Intelligence proposes a radical transparency in how consumers “vote” for sustainable manufacturing, distribution and disposal of consumer goods. Literally knowing the hidden impacts of what we buy can change everything.
www.goodguide.com helps consumers know those hidden impacts by crunching data from hundreds of complex life cycle assessment data bases for 70,000 toys, foods, personal care and household products. (Electronics and apparel are in the works.) Good Guide analyzes all the data of a product’s back story: carcinogens, carbon emissions in the supply chain, how the workers who made the product were treated. Then Good Guide assigns all products a bottom line 0-10 LCA rating of sustainability.
The genius of Good Guide is that it’s downloadable to an i-phone. You can be in your local grocery store debating which brand of detergent to buy, click on Good Guide and in about 15 seconds see the ecological footprint of each brand compared to other brands.
Watch the 4-minute Symposium trailer to experience new energy and hope for an environmentally sustainable and socially just future for our planet. Symposiums are offered regularly all across the country and around the world, a guaranteed afternoon of inspiration to become the change we seek. Available through the Symposium is The Sustainable World Sourcebook, a wealth of facts about issues, viable solutions, and resources for action.
“The next four years will determine our planet’s next 1,000.”
Responding to the urgency of the changes needed in how we inhabit and impact our earth, Four Years. Go works to catalyze collaborative action among environmental organizations, NGO’s, individuals, companies and communities to reverse the disastrous trends – profound climate disruption, global water shortages, global poverty, loss of topsoil, depletion of fisheries, erosion of democracy, unsustainable population growth, mass extinction of plant and animal species, economic breakdown – by 2014. The 3-minute trailer explores what can be done in the next four year to create an environmentally sustainable, socially just, spiritually fulfilling future for the next 1,000 years.
The annual Bioneers conference, October 14-18, 2010, San Rafael, CA, is a leading-edge forum where social and scientific innovators focus on viable solutions to social and environmental crises. “There is as much cause for hope as for horror.” This conference is packed with plenaries, workshops, and inter-active events to lead people through the urgent transition to a healthy, sustainable, and just planet. Sample topics:
– Human-made Climate Change: A Moral, Political and Legal Issue
– The Cutting-Edge of Earth Systems Science: Re-Wiring the Brain with Geo-Visualization
– The Organic Challenge: Growing Market Share While Maintaining Ecological Value
– Generations Ahead: New Legions of Activists Share How Leadership Is Inspired, Activated and Sustained
– The Environment and Its Relationship to Equity and the Economy
– Everybody’s Planet, Everybody’s Movement: Why Equity Is an Environmental Issue and Environment is an Equity Issue
– Moving On: Greening Cars and Wheels
– Shared Prosperity and Mutual Aid: Cooperatives, Community Building and the Economics of Equity