No Longer Taken For Granted

Our evolving environmental disaster can no longer be denied or ignored.  The status quo is neither just, moral, or survivable.

In the preface to Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work that Reconnects by Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown, the Dalai Lama of Tibet writes:

We take the existence of clean air and water, the continued growth of crops and availability of raw materials, for granted. We know that these resources are finite, but because we only think of our own demands, we behave as if they are not. Our limited and self-centered attitudes fulfill neither the needs of the time, nor the potential of which we are capable.
If we are to overcome the problems we face, we need what I have called a sense of universal responsibility rooted in love and kindness for our human brothers and sisters.
In our present state of affairs, the very survival of humankind depends on people developing concern for the whole of humanity, not just their own community or nation.

The coming together of indigenous communities around the world to support the water protectors at Standing Rock is an example of this, of how we need to be thinking and working together now to address the calamities rapidly approaching.

If we glance forward just 30 years, our future outlook is shocking and unbelievable. The United Nations estimates that, due to carbonic acidification and rising temperatures (both driven by burning fossil fuels), there will be no fish in the oceans by 2048, over one-quarter of humanity will be displaced or dead due to sea level rise, war, and violent weather; there will be 50 percent less fresh water available; and significant portions of the Earth will be uninhabitable due to extreme temperatures.   

One of the shared world views of this new coalition is that all oppressions are one and the same. There will be no life-sustaining society without massive atonement, reparations, and healing. There will be no heart-unity between all peoples without the end of extraction industry and the pillage of the Earth, cultures, species, and ecosystems that humbly and majestically sustain all of us.    Ethan Hughes, The Case for Mass Civil Disruption and Resistance: The story of how 15 intentional communities and experiments came together to form a national coalition to defend life, come hell or high water

The gathering of 15 intentional communities to discuss this conclude the following three interrelated things are needed:

  • Holding actions in the defense of life (nonviolent direct action)
  • Transforming the foundations of our common life (creating a life-enhancing society)
  • Fundamental shift in perceptions and values (self-transformation)

The Indigenous Women of the Americas, in their Treaty Compact of 2015, ask all of us to:
● commit nonviolent acts of civil disobedience where destruction is occurring until it is stopped.
● continue these acts until “business as usual” is halted and life on Mother Earth is safe for generations to come.

“Business as usual” currently is war on Mother Earth and against any peoples trying to resist extractive practices, and economic systems that enslave entire populations.  We have to change what is “usual” now.  We have to live our own lives as examples of care for the Earth and everyone living on it, and for future generations.


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