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Read my March newsletter
D IS FOR DEMOCRACY AND DRAGONS
READ PAST NEWSLETTER ISSUES
"What's Worth Fighting For?"
"Code Red For Democracy"
Whatever It Takes
Happy Planet Index
"Climate Solutions to Act On
"Playing For Change"
Welcome Friends ~
You’re one of millions of thoughtful, caring and aware people who want to
create a world that works for all.
You’re seeing the humanitarian and ecological
crises around the world, and longing for that world where everyone’s basic
needs are met—a peaceful world based on the values of caring, justice and
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the problems, and don’t know where
to begin to make the biggest difference?
You might be wondering how you can
contribute your unique talents and gifts to create this world. You might feel called
to do a little more than what you’re already doing because you understand the
urgency of our time. With contemplation and compassionate action, we can focus
on the positive, the possible, and the visionary and solve the troubling problems
of our time, bringing into being a peaceful, healthy and sustainable world.
I hope you will join me
as I share with you insights, information and news about
the world we’re all longing for, and creating.
CODE RED FOR DEMOCRACY
For some time people in this country have been raising red flag alerts about the threat posed to our democracy by the possible election of Donald Trump and other right wing extremists to positions of power. Given the threat to our democracy, and by extension the threat to the world, I have listed below a number of links to organizations to help people vote this November to save our democracy.
The Civics Center
: Mobilizing the youth vote in America.
: Another group working to register young voters.
: Everything you need to know to vote.
: A non-partisan guide to how candidates stand on issues.
: Write letters to encourage folks to vote.
Postcards To Voters
: Write postcards to encourage people to vote.
: All you need to know to be sure you can vote.
: An organization working for all aspects of democracy.
: Another organization working for our democracy.
The States Project
: A Pro-democracy organization working at the state level.
You can help these groups in all kinds of ways. No matter what you do every action contributes to defending our democracy.
Climate Solutions to Act On
The science about climate change is clear. The evidence is here. The solutions to reduce CO2 emissions abound. The path to creating a thriving life for all beings and the planet is before us. If we want that we must act now. Here are the best sources for climate action that I have found:
100 Things You Can Do to Help in the Climate Crisis
This is an excellent list of things everybody and anybody can do.
1309 Solutions presented by the Solar Impulse Foundation
Explore these solutions and realize there can be no more excuses to put off climate action with "blah blah blah."
A Comprehensive plan to drawdown CO2: Solutions and information
"The World’s largest, most complete listing and network of soltions to the climate crisis. And how to do them."
Doughnut Economics: A Circular Economy
First of all, click here to see a larger, clear image.
The image is part of an article by visionary thinker, David Korten, that will answer the question, How does a doughnut relate to economics? He describes the work of Kate Raworth, the creator of "Doughnut Economics." Click here
to visit the Doughnut Economics homepage. I particularly recommend the animations that visually describe our social, political and environmental situation. We can see the relationships and the problems presented in a totally understandable form of a doughnut. It puts our human activity that is undermining our social and environmental foundations in one picture which I find energizing and exciting.
It's Our Choice
The fact that has shocked me the most is the Overshoot Day: By July 29th, we used up all the regenerative resources of 2019. From July 30 we started to consume more resources than the planet can regenerate in a year. It's very serious. It's a global emergency.
Pope Francis, August 9, 2019
All human activity requires energy and Earth resources, which means more greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate our climate crisis, and fewer resources for our genuine needs. World demand for energy continues to rise and development of "clean, renewables" is not enough to satisfy this demand.
There can be good lives for all people if we abandon the goal of infinite energy growth. Our guiding principle needs to be that the only form of truly clean energy is less energy.
Don Fitz, Local Futures"What is Energy Denial?"
"Renewable Energy Won't Change the World."
Stepping Out of the Consumer Culture
Using less energy means we become more conscientious about what and how we consume. The conundrum is that we have been raised on the "mother's milk" of the consumption of stuff as the one thing that will nourish us, physically, emotionally and spiritually. So what do we do?
The first step to leave this habit behind is to imagine another, and more fulfilling, way of life. I invite and encourage you to browse the resources listed below to spark your imagination and reveal new ways of living comfortably and happily without compromising our personal health or that of our planet.
"Making Do With More."
Fr. Richard Rohr, (the Center for Action and Contemplation) presents a series of meditations entitled "The Economy, Old and New." Other titles include "Moral Capitalism," "Departing the Consumer Culture," "The Gift of Sufficiency." He also cites a book by Eisenstein called Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition.
These are all excellent. "Vision a New America, by Gus Speth
This is another way to stir your imagination.
Local Futures presents a compelling short film called "The Economics of Happiness.
The Story of Stuff
Do you know the Story of Stuff?
Watch this 21-minute film
to find out. In this upbeat, blunt, simple and often humorous presentation, Annie Leonard graphically unfolds the story we've bought into for several decades; namely, that our main value and purpose as human beings is to consume stuff. We have believed that growing the economy is the number one priority for our being here on Earth. The big problem is that this linear system of exploitation and extraction of natural resources, cheap labor to make cheap goods for the profit of a few does not work on a finite planet. I wish everyone could watch this! It's worth the time you feel you don't have. Then go to my November Column
for more good ideas and resources for how we can rewrite a good story for people and the planet. Here's a bit of what you'll learn in this film.
Shortly after WWII, when big business wanted to ramp up the economy, economist and retail analyst Victor Lebow said,
Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. . . . We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced and discarded at an ever increasing pace. We need to have people eat, drink, dress, ride, live, with ever more complicated and, therefore, constantly more expensive consumption.
We've consequently created and bought into a system that is "designed for the dump." It has created an environmental and social wasteland.The film is a crash course, a primer with animated, audio Cliffs Notes about what our present economy looks like and why it doesn't work.
It goes to the heart of why we urgently need a new system, a new story for humanity and Earth. The new story is circular, a closed loop, a doughnut.
CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL. ACTION IS NEEDED NOW
Before I introduce you to one of the best Climate Action Projects I know of, let me say there is much more information and links about climate change in "Inspired Action—What You Can Do" in this website.
What is Project Drawdown? What does draw down mean?
“Drawdown is that point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis.” Project Drawdown is a most impressive, inspiring and rewarding work. Edited by Paul Hawken in collaboration with over 70 professionals, researchers and scientists from 22 countries, the work outlines 100 solutions that we already employ to reverse global warming and address climate disruption. It's "a road map with a moral compass."
The website, drawdown.org
is virtually an online version of the book and incredibly accessible. This video presentation
of the project by Paul Hawken is well worth the hour. Hawken has a refreshing holistic approach to the issue of climate change. He addresses the science, our fears, our possibilities. In all realms of human activity--energy, food, women and girls, buildings, land use, transport, materials--Drawdown meticulously examines the things that are being done now and what can be done to draw down CO2 emissions and reverse global warming. Whatever piques your interest, it's all there. He puts the challenge before us: Game over or game on.
View a larger image of this graph of CO2 levels and read more about Project Drawdown in my monthly column of September 2017 and December 2018