Section 1: Welcome/Introduction

Background References for
Awakening the Dreamer Symposium (V2)
Module 1:
1A – Eco-Spot Connection [Page 2]
1B – The Pachamama Story [Page 3]
Module 2: Where Are We?
2A – Environmental Sustainability [Page 6]
2B – Environmental and Social Justice [Page 22]
2C – Spiritual, Psychological and Emotional Impact [Page 30]
Module 3: How Did We Get Here?
3A – Worldviews and Assumptions [Page 35]
3B – Another Worldview [Page 44]
Eco-Spot: Island Home [Page 49]
Module 4: The Universe Story [Page 49]
Module 5: What’s Possible For The Future?
5A – History and the Emerging Dream [Page 55]
WOMBAT [Page 67]
Module 6: Where Do We Go From Here?
6A – Personal Stand [Page 68]
6B – In Blessed Unrest, Choosing Action [Page 69]
Module 7: Finale: Hope Committed in Action [Page 73]
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Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium
V-2 Background References
These are the background references for the Version 2 (V2) of the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium.
For comments or additions to this document please email [email protected]
V-2 Module 1A: Eco-Spot Connections
Key Points:
It’s the third planet from the sun—
a tiny sphere spinning through a
moment in time—a remarkable
place that was kind enough to
yield just the right elements to
sustain a phenomenon called life,
where each creature is as unique
as this world we call home. And a
day begins in much the same way
for all. Maybe that's when it
crosses your mind—in the warmth
from a ray of sun or the kindness
of a stranger—it occurs to you
how one life touches so many
others. And you begin to see how
all things are connected, like the
blood that unites one family. And
you come to realize that mankind
did not weave the web of life;
we're merely a strand in it, and
whatever we do to the web, we
do to ourselves…on the third
planet from the sun. (Voiceover:
Linda Hunt)
Eco-Spot Connections Video
A non-profit Earth Communication Office (ECO) created
the 60-second video spots we have been showing
today. They would love to get them distributed as much
as possible, in movie theaters, in any and all settings.
There is a CD with about 20 of the spots on it available
at their website
Earth Communications is working to change the way
that media is used, refocusing it from a tool for selling
things, to a tool to help re-imagine a sustainable future.
V-2 Module 1B: The Pachamama Story
Key Points:
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A symposium is a form of meeting where ideas can be
Key Points:
Awakening the Dreamer,
Changing the Dream
This Symposium was created by
The Pachamama Alliance.
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shared; the word derives from the Greek verb sympotein
meaning "to drink together." For more see
The Pachamama Alliance is a non-profit (or you could
say “social profit”) organization that works primarily with
indigenous groups in the Amazon basins of Ecuador
and Peru.
The destruction of the world's rainforests is driven by a
complex web of social and economic forces, many of
these a logical result of modern society's worldview -- a
view that, although rich in technological insight, is often
ignorant of the value of nature's apparently free and
limitless services. It is a view guided by maximum shortterm financial gain while disregarding the long-term
costs of ecological degradation. It is a worldview in
which tropical forests can show up as a cash crop to be
harvested rather than as an irreplaceable ecosystem to
be protected. This is not, however, the only worldview.
For more information, see:
The Pachamama Alliance now has an important role in
assisting Ecuador to consider moving to a nonpetroleum based economy. Millions of acres of pristine
rainforest have been protected by the Ecuadorian
government and its stewardship has been granted to the
The Pachamama Alliance has assisted the Ecuadorian
government of Rafael Correa government in adopting a
green constitution. Ecuador has become the first country
to approve a constitution that, among other reforms,
recognizes certain inalienable rights for nature. Under
five provisions in the new constitution's Rights of Nature
chapter, an ecosystem has the "right to exist, persist,
maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure,
functions and its processes in evolution," and "every
person, people, community or nationality, will be able to
demand the recognitions of these rights." For more
information, see:
The Pachamama Alliance is also fostering with the
Ecuadorian government the development of a gifteconomy incubator in Quito, inspiring greater
volunteerism and a shift in our cultural ethos towards
generosity. In a gift economy, goods and services are
given without any strings attached; it is an economic
system where wealth is decreased by hoarding and it is
the circulation of the gifts within the community that
leads to increase – in both connections and relationship
strength. The gift-economy is an ancient, indigenous
idea that is curiously finding its footing in the modern
Internet economy.
For more information, see:
See the following links for some details on progress
Key Points:
“…The Achuar are an ancient
dream culture … in Ecuador and
“… they began to see what the
outside world and its thirst for oil
was doing to the land…”
Indigenous people
Lynne Twist
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made in protecting forests and the rights of indigenous
people in Ecuador:
Pachamama is a word in the Quechua language of the
Andes. Quechua was the language of the Inca empire. It
is the most widely spoken of all American Indian
languages. For more, see Wikipedia at:
Achuar (Ah-chwar)
To read about the Achuar people see the NAE website:
and see Wikipedia at:
Read about the importance of dreams to the indigenous
To see a movie about oil damage in the Amazonian
rainforest, go to:
As an Achuar leader said, because they live here, they
preserve the forest, they love the forest—so that it can
be sustained and give life to nature for all living beings.
They believe that life is under the ground, on the surface
of earth, and in the atmosphere. These three things are
interrelated so that the world can exist. Therefore, it’s
not possible to say, ‘I'll take the oil and ignore the
forest.’ Everything is connected to everything else in this
world. The territory of the Achuar is sacred to them as
they explain on this website:
The term “indigenous people” has no fixed, standard
definition. Literally, the word “indigenous” means
originating from or native to a place. In this broad sense,
we are all “indigenous” but most of us raised in the
dominant culture lack a deep connection to place.
To understand more about this complex concept, see:
Lynne Twist is co-founder of The Pachamama Alliance.
She is also the founder of Soul Money Institute. She is a
global activist, fundraiser, speaker, consultant, and
author. She has dedicated her life to global initiatives
that serve the best instincts in all of us. She has raised
hundreds of millions of dollars and trained thousands of
fundraisers to be more effective in their work. An original
staff member of The Hunger Project, an organization
started in 1977 to end world hunger, Lynne served as a
leader of this global initiative for 20 years. Lynne has
spent more than three decades working in positions of
Key Points:
Lynne Twist:
“… we would need to change the
dream of the North – the dream
of the modern world, a dream
deeply rooted in consumption and
acquisition, without any regard to
the consequences…”
Bill Twist
Bill Twist:
“… But we took the request of
the Achuar very seriously…”
“The intention is that by the end,
…, you see them as interrelated
facets of one profoundly
interconnected whole.”
“… the scope and urgency of the
planetary situation we face.”
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leadership with many global initiatives, including: ending
world hunger, protecting the world’s rainforests,
empowering indigenous peoples, improving health,
economic, and political conditions for women and
children, advancing the scientific understanding of
human consciousness, creating a sustainable future for
all life.
For further information, see:
For a video, see:
To learn more about the materialistic dream of the
North, see:
If we consider that the dream of the North is a trance,
the following article can be useful:
Bill Twist is co-founder of The Pachamama Alliance
and has been President and Chairman of the Board
since its inception. He has an extensive background in
business and was the Senior Vice-President for
Financial Services for Comdisco, a New York Stock
Exchange company. He is on the Board of the Centro
Economicos Derechos y Sociales in Ecuador, an NGO
working on economic and social rights issues in the
Andes countries in South America. He is also the Board
President of the Champion Securities Company.
The Pachamama Alliance’s mission is two-fold:
- To preserve the Earth’s tropical rainforest by
empowering the indigenous people who are its
natural custodians.
- To contribute to bringing forth an
environmentally sustainable, socially just and
spiritually fulfilling human presence on this
planet as the guiding principle of our time.
For video on interconnectedness see:
For an article on the interface between science and
metaphysics, see:
For a video discussion on oneness between a physicist
and a mystic, see:
For an article on interconnectedness by a biologist, see:
For a short video on the global crisis, see:
For a brief overview of the planetary situation, see:
Key Points:
Blessed unrest
“… One such legend is found
throughout much of the Americas
— the Prophecy of the Eagle
and the Condor.”
John Perkins
Don Alverto Tazo
Domingo Paez
For an article on the state of the world, see:
For definition of blessed unrest, see:
For a video on defining blessed unrest:
For more information on the Prophecy of the Eagle
and the Condor, go to :
Other possible sources: or
John Perkins is a board member and one of the
founders of The Pachamama Alliance. Economist,
activist and author.
John Perkins spent three decades as an Economic Hit
Man, business executive, author, and lecturer. He lived
and worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin
America, and North America. Then he made a decision:
he would use these experiences to change the world.
For more information, see: or
John’s website:
For more information on "time of prophecies", see at
John’s organization, Dream Change:
Don Alverto Tazo is a shaman of the Andes. A shaman
is a practitioner of shamanism, a term used to denote a
number of separate practices and belief sets found in
different indigenous peoples in many different parts of
the world. Shamans might typically be active as healers
and intermediaries with the spirit world on behalf of their
own community.
For more about this complex topic read:
Domingo Paez is an Achuar leader. He was the first
Achuar who ran for Congress in Ecuador. Although he
did not win, he has been an active leader in his
community for quite some time. There is no information
on Domingo on the web, you can find out more about
the Achuar:
V-2 Module 2A: Where Are We? Environmental Sustainability
Key Points:
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Sustainability is the ability of the current generation to
meet its needs, without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet theirs. The UN definition of
sustainability was originally put forth in Section 3, #27 of
Our Common Future, a report from the United Nations
World Commission on Environment and Development
Key Points:
Ecology and biodiversity
References - 3/8/2016
(WCED) and was published in 1987. This report was
also called the Brundtland report in recognition of former
Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland's role
as Chair of the World Commission on Environment and
The report is one of the seminal environmental
documents of the 20th century. It is representative of the
growing global awareness in the second half of the
century of the enormous environmental problems facing
the planet, and of a growing shift towards global
environmental action. As the report observes,
humankind saw the earth from space for the first time
only a few decades ago, and yet this has had a
profound impact on the way in which we perceive the
earth and our place on it.
For a copy of the report see this link:
Or this link from the World in Balance website:
Here is one of the various definitions of sustainability:
Sustainability can be defined as humanity’s investment
in a system of living, projected to be viable on an
ongoing basis that provides quality of life for all
individuals of sentient species and preserves natural
ecosystems. Sustainability in its simplest form describes
a characteristic of a process or state that can be
maintained at a certain level indefinitely.
See more on this definition at:
The Iroquois Confederacy, as well as many other
indigenous peoples, held care and respect for the earth
as a duty. The Iroquois had as guiding principles the
consideration of impacts to peace, nature and future
generations when making decisions. This principle was
referred to in the presentation to the United Nations
made by the people of the Six Nations in 1995: “In
making any law, our chiefs must always consider three
things: the effect of their decision on peace; the effect
on the natural world; and the effect on seven
generations in the future.”
A synthesis of these definitions can be found at:
The term ecology refers to the relationships between
organisms and their environments and the study of
those relationships. It also refers to the branch of
sociology (human ecology) that is concerned with
studying the relationships between human groups and
their physical and social environments. And a third
definition is the study of the detrimental effects of
modern civilization on the environment.
See definitions at
Key Points:
“What kind of world is our
modern way of life actually
“One place to begin is with the
dramatic changes that have
occurred in population.”
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Biodiversity is another term widely used in relation to
ecology. Biodiversity is defined as the variation of life
forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire
Earth. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the
health of biological systems. Biodiversity found on Earth
today consists of many millions of distinct biological
species, which is the product of four billion years of
For more information, see:
In May 2008, there was a convention on biodiversity:
For a video on Biodiversity:
In terms of lack of biodiversity, just 12 crops and 14
animal species now provide most of the world’s food.
Less genetic diversity means fewer opportunities for the
growth and innovation needed to boost agriculture at a
time of soaring food prices.
Human activity is putting such a strain on the natural
functions of Earth that the ability of the planet’s
ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer
be taken for granted. An excellent summary of the
impact of all this on the environment is in the
comprehensive United Nations Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment report (a study carried out by 1,360
scientists around the world, completed in 2005), which
concludes unequivocally that we are in an
environmental crisis. The Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment presents the findings of the 1,360 scientists
worldwide who worked for five years to evaluate the
impact of human presence on the planet. Initiated in
2001, the objective of the MA is to assess the
consequences of ecosystem change for human wellbeing and the scientific basis for actions needed to
enhance the conservation and sustainable use of those
systems and their contribution to human well-being.
Each part of this assessment has been scrutinized by
governments, independent scientists, and other experts
to ensure the robustness of its findings. The assessment
report as well as other related information can be found
See summary of reports at GreenFacts website:
The world population was estimated at 6.71 billion in
July 2008 by World Fact book.
See the chart created by the Population Reference
Bureau ( Download the chart entitled
Key Points:
“For thousands of years, human
population on Earth remained
relatively steady. But then, about
200 years ago, at the time of the
industrial revolution, humans
learned how to harness the
energy of fossil fuels. That
allowed agricultural productivity to
increase dramatically, and human
population began to grow
“… ever-expanding process of
extraction, production,
consumption and disposal of
natural resources.”
References - 3/8/2016
World Population Growth through History at:
Find out more about current world population,
development and social issues at the following links:
See current population count and other real time
statistics at:
Find out more about current world population,
development and social issues at the following links:
Sunlight is the energy which was absorbed on earth
during the Carboniferous Period, 400 million years ago.
Then, for a period of about 70 million years, the sunlight
which fell on the planet was the single and primary
source of energy. It was “trapped” in the growth of plant
matter, both on land and in the seas. The accumulation
of dead plant matter over this period, its fossilization and
subsequent compression by geological forces has
resulted in the reserves of what we call fossil fuels.
Find out more on the link between population growth
and the industrial revolution at the following link:
The concept is brilliantly described and discussed by
author Thom Hartmann in his book Last Hours of
Ancient Sunlight and on his website:
Two examples of our over-consumption relates to
paper and water. For information on paper consumption
and ideas for reducing paper consumption visit the
following sites:
For a visual interpretation of paper consumption (as well
as visual representation of the consumption of other
commodities such as plastic and cell phones) , see the
Running the Numbers exhibit by artist Chris Jordan at
his website:
Statistics used for creating his art work include:
1.14 million brown paper supermarket bags are used in
the US every hour.
410,000 of disposable hot-beverage paper cups are
used in the US every fifteen minutes.
30,000 reams of office paper, or 15 million sheets, are
Key Points:
“Poverty is increasing…”
“Increased material wealth has
not produced the personal
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used in the US every five minutes.
For current water use, see other real time statistics at:
Information on water use and the world water crisis can
be found at:
and from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO) report on water resources:
To ensure availability for future generations, the
withdrawal of fresh water from an ecosystem should not
exceed its natural replacement rate. Minimizing human
water use helps to preserve fresh water habitats for
local wildlife and migrating waterfowl, as well as
reducing the need to build new dams and other water
diversion infrastructure.
For statistics, go to:
This issue is discussed further in the symposium.
In his book Happiness: Lessons from a New Science
(NY: Penguin Press, 2005), British economist Richard
Layard asserts that, while average incomes have
doubled in the United States, Britain, and Japan, people,
on average, are no happier today than they were fifty
years ago (as measured by the World Values Survey,
1981, 1990, 1995-7). See Richard Layard’s income and
happiness chart, U.S on p. 16 and comparing happiness
across countries on pp. 19-20 at:
Business Week: 2006: Rating Countries for the
Happiness Factor. The U.S. came in at 23 of 178 world
The Center for Disease Control says that 17 percent of
American high school kids report having seriously
considered suicide during the previous 12 months; 9
percent report having actually attempted suicide.
The overall rate of suicide among youth has declined
slowly since 1992 (Lubell, Swahn, Crosby, and Kegler
2004). However, youth suicide is a major public health
problem in the United States. In 2003, suicide ranked as
the 3rd leading cause of death for young people. See and
The National Youth Risk Behavior Survey: 1991-2005
found that the percent of high school students
nationwide who:
 had seriously considered suicide in 2005 was 16.9%
(down from 29% in 1991).
 made a suicide plan in 2005 was 13% (also a
Key Points:
“The worst housing turndown
since World War Two……”
Walden Bello
Walden Bello:
“Gross domestic product (GDP)
is supposed to be a measure of
everythin – puts a value on
everything – that’s been produced
in an economy within a year’s
“The current industrial model
requires continuous economic
growth, …”
Dr. Noel Brown
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 made an actual suicide attempt in 2005 was 8.4%
(no appreciable change from 1991).
Time Magazine featured a special report on happiness
in . The contents of this issue can be reviewed at this
The American Psychological Association reports that,
between 75 and 90% of all visits to physicians are for
stress-related conditions.
A Time magazine article reported that insurance claims
for stress, depression, and job burnout are now the US’s
fastest growing disability category.,8816,1580401,
The impact of the present housing turn down is
discussed here:
Walden Bello is an Akbayan Representative in the 14th
Congress of Republic of the Philippines. He is also a
senior analyst of Focus on the Global South and
professor of sociology at the University of the
Philippines, and is one of the leading critics of the
current model of economic globalisation, combining the
roles of intellectual and activist.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of the
measures of national income and output for a given
country's economy. GDP is defined as the total market
value of all final goods and services produced within the
country in a given period of time (usually a calendar
Economic growth is the increase in the value of goods
and services produced by an economy and is most
commonly measured as a percentage change in GDP.
See definition of GDP at this Wikipedia link:
As the Wikipedia points out, GDP per capita is often
used as an indicator of how well a country is doing
economically, with the implication that this is related to
people’s standard of living. See:
Dr. Noel Brown is the former director of the United
Nations Environmental Program.
Key Points:
United Nations Environmental
Program (UNEP)
Randy Hayes
Randy Hayes:
“Virtually every natural habitat
across the planet is being
Randy Hayes:
“We’ve got climate disruption…”
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The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)
has as its mission to provide leadership and encourage
partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring,
informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve
their quality of life without compromising that of future
Randy Hayes is founder and President of the Rainforest
Action Network ( and a Senior Staff
Associate at the International Forum on Globalization
A brief bio of Randy can be found at the following link:
More on habitat degradation and destruction can be
found at Wikipedia:
Global Change and the Earth System: a Planet Under
Pressure- This 2004 book catalogues how human
activity has begun to significantly affect the planet and
how it functions. Atmospheric composition, land cover,
marine ecosystems, coastal zones, freshwater systems
and global biological diversity have all been substantially
affected. The magnitude and rate of human-driven
change is alarming. It is now clear that the Earth has
entered the so-called Anthropocene Era — the
geological era in which humans are a significant and
sometimes dominating environmental force. Records
from the geological past indicate that never before has
the Earth experienced the current suite of simultaneous
changes: we are sailing into planetary terra incognita.
The authors are Margot Wallström, European
Commissioner for the environment, Bert Bolin, founding
chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, Paul Crutzen, who was awarded the 1995
Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Will Steffen, Executive
Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere
The book is available through the website:
Also see the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report
mentioned above.
Evidence of climate disruption has been well
documented in scientific literature.
The UNEP has established the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change. The IPCC was established to
provide the decision-makers and others interested in
climate change with an objective source of information
about climate change.
See current real time statistics on CO2 emissions at:
Find out about global warming in the news at this PBS
Key Points:
Randy Hayes:
“We’ve got deforestation of the
rainforests and the other
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Climate change is threatening earth’s ecosystems in an
unprecedented way. If patterns of emissions continue at
the current rates, effects such as species extinction,
food shortages, water shortages, desertification,
increased flooding, increases in disease and severe
weather changes are predicted. The Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (PCC), (which, along with Al
Gore, was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize)
provides an objective source of information about
climate change. The IPCC is a scientific intergovernmental body set up by the World Meteorological
Organization (WMO) and by the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP). Find out more about
the IPPC at their website:
See the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
report on Climate Change:
Deforestation of rainforests: In 1950, we had lost only
8% of the tropical rainforests that existed in 1750; by
2000, we had lost 30% of what existed in 1750.
Since the beginning of the Industrial Age we've
eliminated almost 70% of our forests.
 In the last decade (the 1990s) alone we lost 96
million hectares of the Earth’s forest cover (a
hectare is approximately 2 ½ acres). That was,
by far, the largest of any recent decade.
 Forests have effectively disappeared in 25
countries, and another 29 have lost more than
90% of their forest cover.
 We continue to destroy rain forests on the
planet at the rate of a football field a second;
one fifth of the Amazon has already been
See a visual of the disappearing rain forests:
And see current real time statistics on forest loss at:
76% of original forest over the past 8000 years has
been destroyed as of 2000. Based on sq. kilometers lost
from 62,203 down to 13,501 sq. K.
Some countries losing forest at 10% annually as of
2005, as per Mongabay, as per UN
Key Points:
Randy Hayes:
“We’ve got soil erosion.”
Randy Hayes:
“We’ve got the draining of
underground water aquifers…”
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Almost half of the planet’s original forest has been
destroyed, mostly during the last three decades, as per
UN Earthwatch, and UN Food and Agricultural
Organization, 1997
The world’s forests have shrunk by some 40 percent
since agriculture began 11,000 years ago, as per Earth
Policy Institute
Soil erosion is second only to population growth as the
biggest environmental problem the world faces, said
David Pimentel, professor of ecology at Cornell. See:
For up-to-the-minute figures on soil erosion and other
statistics see:
Farmland (Soil) – 40% of the globe’s agricultural lands
are degraded…20% are in danger of becoming deserts.
See overview with map showing degradation at:
We are losing 0.7% of cultivated arable land annually,
as per UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
Nearly one-third of the world’s arable land was lost in
the second half of the twentieth century.- A Fairer World.
Originally from Electronic Green Journal, Univ. of Idaho
For more information on aquifers see Wikipedia:
Desertification is potentially the most threatening
ecosystem change impacting livelihoods of the poor. Dry
lands occupy 41% of Earth’s land area. More than 2
billion people—a third of the human population in the
year 2000—live in these dry regions of the world. They
suffer more than any other parts of the population from
problems such as malnutrition, infant mortality, and
diseases related to contaminated or insufficient water.
The pressure to support life is increasing on dry land
ecosystems, yet twenty per cent are in danger of
becoming deserts.
Re: Ogallala Aquifer - Basic definition:
Ogallala Aquifer facing depletion:
Key Points:
Randy Hayes:
“… the polluting of our rivers
with poison .”
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If present trends continue, 1.8 billion people will be living
in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity by
2025, and two-thirds of the world population could be
subject to water stress, according to a UN report (Global
Environment Outlook: Environment for Development
(GEO-4) Assessment. Since 1987, many coastal and
marine ecosystems and most freshwater ecosystems
have continued to be heavily degraded, with many
completely lost, some irreversibly.
Another source for general information on the state of
water is this UNESCOs site:
Re: Water shortage for 2 billion - See 2002 U.N. Report
reported by BBC
Some areas, like California, are experiencing drought
believed to be linked to climate change.
Aquatic and marine dead zones can be caused by an
increase in chemical nutrients in the water, known as
eutrophication. Chemical fertilizer is considered the
prime cause of dead zones around the world. Currently
the most notorious dead zone is a 22,126 square
kilometers (8,543 square mile) region in the Gulf of
Mexico, where the Mississippi River dumps high-nutrient
runoff from its vast drainage basin, which includes the
heart of U.S. agribusiness, the Midwest, affecting
important shrimp fishing grounds. This is equivalent to a
dead zone the size of the State of New Jersey.
Dead zones are increasing around the world.
Dead zones may be linked to global warming:
Experts estimate there are 200 so-called ocean dead
zones, as per Reuters Oct 2006, as per UN Env
Oxygen-poor ocean zones are growing. Linked to global
warming, these areas of the Pacific and Atlantic cannot
sustain most marine life, a new study warns.,0,1285619.story
Other types of water pollution:
Key Points:
Randy Hayes:
“We’ve got the overfishing of the
oceans of the world.”
Randy Hayes:
“We’ve got the toxic burden in
people’s bodies…”
Randy Hayes:
“… the rates of cancer that are
going up.”
References - 3/8/2016
Although progress has been made in cleaning up
pollution from human waste in some areas of the world,
new pollution sources such as nutrients, sediments, and
toxics from runoff produced by agriculture, storm drains
and gas and oil production have worsened the problem.
The North Atlantic ocean eco-system is on the verge of
collapse. The plankton of the oceans are disappearing.
For information about the decline of Europe’s seas see:
In 1950, 15% of the ocean’s ecosystems were being
exploited at a non-sustainable rate; in 2000, 80% were
being exploited at a non-sustainable rate.
The unchanging appearance of the ocean belies a major
shift in the systems of life hidden beneath the waves,
due mostly to the human appetite for fish and the
increasing technological efficiency of the fishing
industry. The full consequences of this pressure are still
poorly understood, but catches of edible fish in the
oceans have plummeted dramatically.
UN Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that
70% of the world's fish species are either fully exploited
or depleted.
Globally, 90% Of Large Fish Are Gone, by Kate Melville
Toxins are accumulating in the environment, destroying
the ability of our planet to regenerate itself or to continue
providing life-sustaining environmental services. Sewer
sludge, landfill and run-off of fertilizers are polluting our
waters … And the toxins are not just in the environment.
They’re in our bodies as well, because the chemical
pollutants in the waters and air and land don’t just stay
there. Ultimately they end up inside our bodies- us and
other species.
Acid rain damage far worse than previously believed.
For information on health affects of air pollution, see:
The rate of cancer is expected to double as per
WebMD, 2002
However, the overall cancer mortality id declining at a
Key Points:
Randy Hayes:
“These are all big ticket, global,
ecological issues, and what they
are doing is that they are
shredding the fabric of life that
basically creates the life support
systems; the ability of the planet
to support our life and future
“Many experts say that oil
extraction worldwide is about to
reach its peak. Peak Oil is the
term they use.”
Micheal Meacher
References - 3/8/2016
record pace, says National Study, 2007
The work of Lynn Marguelles and Dorian Sagan, What
is Life addresses the concept of our biological
interconnectivity. This article from In Context magazine
addresses their work:
There is established but incomplete evidence that
changes being made in ecosystems are increasing the
likelihood of nonlinear changes in ecosystems (including
accelerating, abrupt, and potentially irreversible
changes), with important consequences for human wellbeing. Changes in ecosystems generally take place
gradually. Some changes are nonlinear, however: once
a threshold is crossed, the system changes to a very
different state. And these nonlinear changes are
sometimes abrupt; they can also be large in magnitude
and difficult, expensive, or impossible to reverse… The
increased likelihood of these nonlinear changes stems
from the loss of biodiversity and growing pressures from
multiple direct drivers of ecosystem change. The loss of
species and genetic diversity decreases the resilience of
ecosystems, which is the level of disturbance that an
ecosystem can undergo without crossing a threshold to
a different structure or functioning. In addition, growing
pressures from drivers such as overharvesting, climate
change, invasive species, and nutrient loading push
ecosystems toward thresholds that they might otherwise
not encounter. (UN Millennium Assessment, Ecosystem
and Human Wellbeing Synthesis Report)
From a more spiritual vantage point, listen to a talk on
the web of life
In practical and considerably oversimplified terms, this
means that, if 2005 was the year of global Peak Oil, oil
production in the year 2030 will be the same as it was in
1980. However, the world’s population in 2030 will be
both much larger (approximately twice) and much more
industrialized (oil-dependent) than it was in 1980.
Consequently, worldwide demand for oil will outpace
worldwide production of oil by a significant margin. As a
result, the price of oil will skyrocket, and oil dependant
economies will crumble.
Michael Meacher is a British Labour party politician,
and Member of Parliament (MP) for Oldham West and
Royton. On 22 February 2007, he declared that he
Key Points:
Micheal Meacher:
“…the oil industry believes that
peak oil is probably in the area of
2010, 2015…”
“It is clear that the resources of
the Earth are being used up. The
critical question becomes ‘How
much and how fast? One useful
measurement system is called the
Ecological Footprint.”
Mathis Wackernagel
References - 3/8/2016
would be standing for the Labour Leadership,
challenging Gordon Brown and John McDonnell. On 14
May, however, after talks with John McDonnell, he
announced he would stand aside in order to back
McDonnell as the "candidate of the left".
For an interview with Micheal Meacher on peak oil, see:
Ecological Footprint: two researchers in Oakland,
California, Dr. William Rees of the University of British
Columbia and Dr. Mathis Wackernagel of the Global
Footprint Network, combined data on the actual use of
the Earth’s resources with information on the Earth’s
capacity for regeneration into a single indicator they call
the Ecological Footprint. These compare a population’s
demands on nature...with the Earth’s available biological
capacity to determine whether it can be sustained. This
approach has become one of the most widely
referenced sustainability analysis tools around the
The book is entitled Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing
human impact on Earth, New Society Publishers, 1996.
It can be found at:
Number of earths we use, crossed '1" in 1985. As of
2003, we needed the equivalent of 1.25 earths to
support us. Click on the link below and follow the ‘World
Footprint’ link to see how the demand is increasing
beyond biocapacity.
You can calculate your own ecological footprint by
clicking on the link to the Global footprint above and
following the ‘Your Footprint’ link to learn about the
impact you are having on the earth and ideas for
reducing it.
For more background reading on this concept, see
Resource Flows: The Material Basis of Industrial
Economies and The Weight of Nations by the World
Resources staff.
For new larger population numbers, see charts at:
Mathis Wackernagel is the founder and Executive
Director of Global Footprint Network, a research
organization which supports the creation of a
sustainable economy by advancing the use of the
Ecological Footprint. The goal of the organization is to
make ecological limits central to decision-making
Key Points:
Mathis Wackernagel:
“…Humanity has been
continuously increasing its
resource demand to the extent
that by the mid-eighties we
started to use more than what
nature can regenerate.”
Susan Burns
“Currently, if every one lived on
Earth as North Americans do,
we’d need five Earths.”
“…increasing amount of carbon
Maude Barlow
References - 3/8/2016
For his bio, along with other working on this project, see:
Susan Burns is the Managing Director of the Global
Footprint Network. In that role she leads the overall
strategic direction of the organization and oversees
communications, partnership, project development and
finance. Prior to launching Global Footprint Network,
Susan founded the pioneering sustainability consulting
firm, Natural Strategies.
See her bio along with other working on this project at:
Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are now at 383
parts per million by volume, compared with
approximately 295in the year 1900. For more
information see:
There has been a dramatic increase of carbon dioxide
and methane since the industrial revolution. For more on
the greenhouse effect gases see:
Evidence of climate change ahs been well documented
in the scientific literature. See:
Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of The
Council of Canadians and the co-founder of the Blue
Planet Project, working internationally for the right to
water. She serves on the boards of the International
Forum on Globalization and Food and Water Watch, as
well as being a Councilor with the Hamburg-based
World Future Council. Maude is the recipient of six
honorary doctorates degrees for her global water justice
work. She is also the best-selling author or co-author of
sixteen books, including Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop
Corporate Theft of the World’s Water and Blue
Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming
Battle for the Right to Water.
To find out more about the Council of Canadians, see:
To find out more about Food and Water Watch, see:
Key Points:
Maude Barlow:
“The scientists from around the
world are coming together to tell
us that climate change is actually
happening at a much faster rate
than they had anticipated.”
Maude Barlow:
“...the signs are the cataclysmic
storms, the extremes in
Maude Barlow:
“The polar ice caps are
Wake UP, Freak Out:
“…the fate of civilization itself
hangs in the balance… we are
now dangerously close to the
tipping point in the world’s climate
References - 3/8/2016
Research has found pollution and temperature levels
are rising faster and Arctic ice is melting quicker than
in the worst-case scenarios forecast by the United
References to accelerating climate change can be found
The Earth’s climate is capable of making sudden drastic
shifts. Although this has not happened during recorded
human history, the continued burning of fossil fuels
could bring this about.
For early warning signs of global warming, see:
As ocean temperatures increase, hurricanes are
predicted to be more severe.
As the ice caps melt precipitation and flooding is
predicted to increase and droughts become more
frequent and severe.
Scientists consider that the acceleration of the melting of
the Greenland ice cap could play an important role in
the future stability of ocean circulation and, hence, in the
development of climate change. For more information
on the potential impacts see the following story from
Science Daily:
The melting of the Greenland ice sheet and its progress
toward the sea is also accelerating.
Huge cracks are appearing in the Greenland ice sheets
are shown in this video:
Huge areas of the Wilkins Ice Shelf broke off Antarctic’s
continental ice shelf in March 2008 are shown here:
In a cover story Be Worried, Be Very Worried, Time
Magazine featured a special report on global warming in
March 26, 2006.
The Greenland ice sheet is melting. Alarming huge
Key Points:
Janos Pasztor
Janos Pasztor:
“If glaciers disappear, then they
will no longer be able to supply
the lakes and the rivers. As they
are melting, you have more water
around, flooding, and lakes are
full. But once they disappear,
then that’s it, there is no more.”
2A- 42
“…the impact we are having on
other species.”
David Ulansey
David Ulansey:
“We are in the midst of a mass
extinction, but the news has not
reached the general public.”
References - 3/8/2016
cracks in the oldest Arctic ice have been recently
Janos Pasztor is the acting head of the UNFCCC’s
Project-Based Mechanisms Programme about the
growth of the carbon market at the moment.
The acceleration of the ice melt is likely to put large
areas of the earth that are currently populated under
Glaciers have been slowly receding over the last
century, but since the mid 1990’s the rate at which they
are melting has greatly accelerated.
Mankind’s impact on other living species has been
dramatic. As habitat shrinks and pollution increases
species that depend on nature for their sustenance
Links that explore our relationship with animals include:
The World Wildlife Fund website:
Other sites are:
David Ulansey is founder of Species Alliance and a
professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies
(CIIS), as well as the founder of the Species Alliance.
He has done extensive research on species extinction
and has made it his personal mission to make others
aware of this critical issue.
For information on the Species Alliance, see:
As stated in the Randy Hayes segment, tens of millions
of species on earth are facing extinction; one third of
amphibian species and one half of the earth’s plants are
facing extinction.
In 2006 a U.N. report acknowledged that humans are
responsible for the worst spate of extinctions since the
dinosaurs and must make unprecedented extra efforts
to reach a goal of slowing losses by 2010. In effect,
humans are currently responsible for the sixth major
extinction event in the history of earth, and the greatest
since the dinosaurs disappeared, 65 million years ago.
The current pace of extinctions is 1,000 times faster
than historical rates.
Key Points:
David Ulansey:
References - 3/8/2016
The current loss of species is being called the Sixth
Mass Extinction. This video gives a succinct summary
of the species extinction crisis and the psychological
impact it has on us. It is the trailer for the movie Call of
Life: Facing the Mass Extinction.
According to the 1998 American Museum of Natural
History scientist report entitled Biodiversity in Crisis,
scientists estimate that tens of thousands of species are
headed for certain extinction over the coming decades,
with no preventive action possible because of the
extensive habitat loss that has already occurred
worldwide. Many other species will not go completely
extinct, but will experience drastic population declines,
lose distinct populations, and suffer severe loss of
genetic diversity.
See excerpts of this report or order the full report at:
See 2002 CNN news report: “There is virtual unanimity
among scientists that we have entered a period of mass
extinction not seen since the age of the dinosaurs...
Estimates vary, but extinction is figured by experts to be
taking place between 100 to 1,000 times higher than
natural "background" extinction.
A national survey reveals that a biodiversity crisis.
Scientific experts believe we are in the midst of the
fastest mass extinction in Earth’s history (American
Museum of Natural History, 2, April 2005). See:
Not counting the effects of global warming, one quarter
of the world’s mammals will face extinction in the next
30 years, according to the UN’s Geo3 report.
There are now 41,415 species on the International
Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List
and 16,306 of them are threatened with extinction. You
can look up individual species or search entire lists on
the IUCN website:
Key species on the IUCN Red Lists are featured in this
beautiful video:
Climate change is also exacerbating stress on bird
species as this article points out:
Although population counts and statistics on lion
populations vary, there is wide agreement that lions
Key Points:
“African lions are on the absolute
verge of extinction…there are
only 20,000 left… that’s down
90% in the last few decades.”
David Ulansey:
“Every species and subspecies of
tiger on the planet is on the
absolute verge of extinction.”
David Ulansey:
“Elephants…down 90% in the
last century.”
David Ulansey:
“90% of all large fish are gone
from the oceans.”
David Ulansey:
“Half of all species of life may be
extinct in 50 years…”
Brian Swimme
References - 3/8/2016
living in the wild are threatened.
According to according to the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature (IUCN), African lion populations
have declined 30-50% in the last 20 years.
The Defenders of Wildlife report that, today, fewer than
21,000 lions remain in all of Africa.
According to the Defenders of Wildlife, in the early
1900s, there were around 100,000 tigers throughout
their range. Today, an estimated total of around 3,0004,500 exist in the wild.
According to the Defenders of Wildlife, at the turn of the
20th century, there were a few million African
elephants and about 100,000 Asian elephants. Today,
there are an estimated 450,000 - 700,000 African
elephants and between 35,000 - 40,000 wild Asian
There is a growing realization that a much broader
range of marine species are under threat of extinction
and marine biodiversity is experiencing potentially
irreversible degradation.
More than 50% of the shark species in the ocean are
threatened by extinction.
According to the Live Science website, if the loss of
marine species from over fishing and climate change
continues at the current rate, all commercial fish and
seafood species could collapse by 2048. In addition to
that researchers have found that, in addition to
distressing a major food supply for humans, the loss of
marine life could disrupt biodiversity on a global scale.
The list of threatened species is growing at an
alarming rate as reported by various web sources.
Brian Swimme is a Professor of Cosmology at the
California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), founder of
Key Points:
Brian Swimme:
“Nothing this destructive has
happened in 65 million years.”
Brian Swimme:
“So we are suddenly confronted
with this fact and we don’t really
know how to respond to it. I think
that’s beyond most of us,
because we haven’t deepened
our hearts in a way that would
make possible the grief that is
wanting to be felt.”
The Center for the Story of the Universe, and author of
The Universe Story (Harper San Francisco, 1992)
written with Thomas Berry, and The Hidden Heart of the
Cosmos (Orbis, 1996). He has developed several video
presentations, and the most recent is Powers of the
Brian Swinne is referring to the Sixth Mass Extinction.
According to a 2002 CNN news report, there is virtual
unanimity among scientists that we have entered a
period of mass extinction not seen since the age of the
dinosaurs... Estimates vary, but extinction is figured by
experts to be taking place between 100 to 1,000 times
higher than natural "background" extinction.
Grief and loss are human processes. Elizabeth KublerRoss, in her pioneering work on grief On Grief and
Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five
Stages of Loss (2005) Described the five stages of grief
as: 1) denial 2) anger 3) bargaining 4) depression 5)
Understanding the grief process that people feel when
they feel loss might be useful in assisting us to allow
ourselves to feel our pain and grief at what is happening
to the earth. The hospice site has information on grief:
V-2 Module 2B: Where Are We? Social Justice
Key Points:
Social justice
References - 3/8/2016
Social justice is the concept of a society with a greater
degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive
taxation, income redistribution, or even property
redistribution, policies aimed toward achieving that
which developmental economists refer to as equality of
opportunity and equality of outcome.
In looking at a socially just human presence there are
two fundamental aspects to consider: democracy and
fairness (or justice).
Participatory democracy: Does the society or culture
provide everyone within the society the ability to
participate in decision-making—especially in decisions
that directly affect them and their lives?
Equality/fairness: Is everyone in the society afforded a
fair, or equal, opportunity to benefit from the common
resources (wealth) available to the society?
For more in-depth issues, see:
“One of the primary expectations
people have of the modern
industrialized system has been
that, by growing the economy,
life will get better for everyone…’
Christine Loh
Christine Loh:
“…in the last 20 years or so, the
world has become more
“We all know that a great
disparity currently exist
between rich and poor.”
“One way to understand this
disparity is to think of the Earth as
a community of 100 people…”
References - 3/8/2016
The idea that growth economy is beneficial to all is not
supported. For example, between 1980 and 1996 in the
USA, real incomes went up 58 percent for the wealthiest
5 percent of American households, but less than 4
percent for the lowest 60 percent.
In an article of the Washington Monthly journal of March
1999 about the downside of a growth economy,
Jonathan Rowe and Judy Silverstein wrote:
“But what actually has been expanding? A lot of things
can grow, and do. Waistlines grow. Medical bills grow.
Traffic, debt, and stress all grow. We can't know
whether an "expansion" is good or not unless we know
what it includes. Yet the President didn't tell, and the
media homes didn't ask, which was typical too.
A human economy is supposed to advance well-being.
That is elementary. Yet politicians and pundits rarely talk
about it in those terms. Instead they revert to the
language of "expansion," "growth," and the like, which
mean something very different.”
Christine Loh is currently the CEO of Civic Exchange,
a Hong Kong think tank which she co-founded in 2000.
In January 2007 she was named Hong Kong Business’
Woman of the Year for 2006. She has worked in many
areas, including law, business, politics, media and the
non-profit sector, but is best known as a leading voice in
public policy in Hong Kong, particularly in promoting
democracy and environmental protection. In recent
years she has also been strongly associated with the
campaign to save Hong Kong's Harbour from excessive
land reclamation and overdevelopment.
Of the 173 countries in the study, 70 to 80 have lower
per-capita incomes than they did 10 or 30 years ago.
People in Africa consume 20 percent less than they did
25 years ago.
So the poor are getting poorer as the rich are getting
richer. (UN report shows rich richer, poor poorer; John
Over the last 30 years, per capita income has actually
fallen in 80 countries9 (David Korten, The Great
Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, 2006).
See an overview of the research on Globalization and
Income Inequality at:
The concept of ‘if the earth were a village of 100 people’
was originally proposed in the State of the Village report
entitled Who Lives in the Global Village (1990) by
Donella Meadows, a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard
and founder of the Sustainability Institute.
“The movement to address this
[disparity] has a name,
environmental justice.”
Majora Carter
Majora Carter:
“Environmental justice is the
belief that no community should
have to bear the brunt of a
disproportionate amount of
environmental burdens and not
enjoy any environmental
References - 3/8/2016
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency,
environmental justice is the fair treatment and
meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race,
color, national origin, or income with respect to the
development, implementation, and enforcement of
environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has
this goal for all communities and persons across this
Nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the
same degree of protection from environmental and
health hazards and equal access to the decision-making
process to have a healthy environment in which to live,
learn, and work.
Environmental Justice, a quarterly peer-reviewed
journal, is the central forum for the research, debate,
and discussion of the equitable treatment and
involvement of all people, especially minority and lowincome populations, with respect to the development,
implementation, and enforcement of environmental
laws, regulations, and policies.
People are organizing to promote environmental justice.
For example, Greenaction mobilizes community power
to win victories that change government and corporate
policies and practices to protect health and to promote
environmental justice.
Majora Carter founded the non-profit environmental
justice solutions corporation, Sustainable South Bronx
The mission of the SSBx is environmental Justice
through innovative, economically sustainable projects
that are informed by community needs.
Her first major project was writing a $1.25M Federal
Transportation planning grant for the South Bronx
Greenway with 11 miles of alternative transport, local
economic development, low-impact storm-water
management, and recreational space. This led to the
first new South Bronx water front park in over 60 years.
To learn about Sustainable South Bronx and the
projects, see:
In the US, there is evidence of a lack of environmental
justice. A report entitled Toxic Wastes and Race at
Twenty, 1987-2007: Grassroots Struggles to Dismantle
Environmental Racism in the United States, shows that
20 years after it’s first report on the issue,
disproportionately large numbers of people of color still
live in hazardous waste host communities, and that they
are not equally protected by environmental laws.
According to the report, nearly half of all Asian
Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans live
in communities with uncontrolled waste sites.
Majora Carter:
“…but right now race and class
are the most excellent indicators
of where you are going to find the
good stuff like parks and trees
and where you will find the bad
stuff like waste facilities or power
plants, and almost to a fault
around the world that is
something that you see.”
“In the United States, Native
American continue to be
marginalized and have their
natural resources appropriated.”
2B- 12
Enei Begaye
References - 3/8/2016
On Earth, there is a new phenomenon in the global
arena: environmental refugees. These are people who
can no longer gain a secure livelihood in their
homelands because of drought, soil erosion,
desertification, deforestation and other environmental
problems, together with the associated problems of
population pressures and profound poverty. In their
desperation, these people feel they have no alternative
but to seek sanctuary elsewhere, however hazardous
the attempt. Not all of them have fled their countries,
many being internally displaced.
Environmental racism refers to intentional or
unintentional racial discrimination in the enforcement of
environmental rules and regulations, the intentional or
unintentional targeting of minority communities as the
location for polluting industries, or the exclusion of
minority groups from public and private boards,
commissions, and regulatory bodies.
The Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) found
that people of color are nearly 50 percent more likely
than whites to live near a commercial toxic waste facility,
and three times more likely than whites to live in
communities with multiple toxic waste facilities.
The CPA also recently released a study entitled Toxic
Wastes and Race Revisited which revealed that
commercial toxic waste facilities are even more likely to
be located in minority communities now than ever
before, despite grassroots
activism and growing national attention to the issue.
Native Americans maintained a land base and a
cultural identity, economically as well as socially and
politically, things that continue to set them apart from
other ethnic groups or classes in the United States.
Although viewed as relatively valueless by nineteenthcentury white standards, these lands were places of
spiritual value and some contained resources of
immense worth. Land (its loss, location, and resource
wealth or poverty), exploitation of land, and changing
Indian needs, attitudes, and religious demands define
the issues facing modern Indians and their
Enei Begaye grew up on the Navajo reservation. She is
currently the Executive Director of the Black Mesa
Water Coalition, Enei studied Geological and
Environmental Sciences with a focus on land and water
management at Stanford University. She is a recognized
advocate of Indigenous Peoples rights, youth, and the
environment. She is an active speaker, strategist, writer,
and organizer. Her experience includes work within the
United Nations as well as national and local
Enei Begaye:
“The people who live off Black
Mesa, the people who live right
off the coal mine area don’t have
electricity. They don’t even have
running water.”
governments, representing Indigenous and
environmental interests. Enei is also a co-founder of the
Native Movement Collective and a campaigner for the
Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), where she
worked with Indigenous communities throughout the
U.S. to protect their water resources.
At Black Mesa, Navajo and Hopi people needed to
organize to protect the N-Aquifer from the Peabody Coal
Mine slurry lines that pumped millions of gallons from
Black Mesa to the Mojave generating station in
Laughlin, NV. In 2005 through efforts of BMWC and
other environmental and sacred site protection
organizations, they successfully shut down the Peabody
Coal Mine.
Water is also a part of the sacred way of life of the
native people living in Black Mesa. For an argument in
favor of Native Americans’ rights to protect sacred water
sites, see:
“One way to look at the dynamics
of environmental injustice comes
from the United States in this
excerpt from a film by Annie
Leonard called “The Story of
Annie Leonard
Annie Leonard:
“…We have 5% of the world’s
References - 3/8/2016
Other Indigenous homelands are also being sacrificed.
Here is a link to the Indigenous Environmental Network
(IEN) website, with a story about the Tar Sands of
Northern Alberta:
ml See the IEN website for other stories of
environmental degradation of indigenous lands to
support our habits of consumerism and our addiction to
fossil fuels:
See the entire video of “The Story of Stuff” and learn
more about it at:
View the statistics in ‘The Story of Stuff’ and learn the
sources for that information at:
Annie Leonard is an expert in international
sustainability and environmental health issues, with
more than 20 years of experience investigating factories
and dumps around the world. Coordinator of the
Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and
Consumption, a funder collaborative working for a
sustainable and just world, Annie communicates
worldwide about the impact of consumerism and
materialism on global economies and international
The Global Issues website reports that inequalities in
consumption are stark. Globally, the 20% of the world’s
people in the highest-income countries account for 86%
population, but we are using 30%
of the world’s resources and
creating 30% of the world’s
of total private consumption expenditures — the poorest
20% a minuscule 1.3%. More specifically, the richest
 Consume 45% of all meat and fish, the poorest fifth
 Consume 58% of total energy, the poorest fifth less
than 4%
 Have 74% of all telephone lines, the poorest fifth
 Consume 84% of all paper, the poorest fifth 1.1%
 Own 87% of the world’s vehicle fleet, the poorest fifth
less than 1%.
p This figure is citied in many places. For example:
John L Seitz: Global Issues: An Introduction (2001).
Annie Leonard, The Story of
“So, my country’s response to this
limitation is simply to go take
someone else’s! This is the Third
World, which—some would say—
is another word for our stuff that
somehow got on somebody else’s
land. So what does that look like?
The same thing: trashing the
There is now a term, ecological debt, which tries to
address the issue of resource extraction from
developing countries. The cumulative responsibility of
industrialized countries for the destruction caused by
their production and consumption patterns is called
'ecological debt'. Natural wealth extracted by the North
at the expense of southern people has contaminated
their natural heritage and sources of sustenance. This
debt is the result of a development model that is being
spread throughout the world and which threatens more
sustainable local economies. For another definition, see:
A Canadian website tells the story of how a Louisiana
based company is extracting resources from West
All oil companies are still exploring for more oil. In the
next 5 years, BP alone will spend $5bn on oil
exploration and production alone. Here is one of BP’s
new projects. NorthStar is the first offshore oil project
proposed for the Arctic Ocean. Inupiat Eskimos from
Alaska’s North Slope, whose subsistence lifestyle is
already under threat from climate change, are using the
law to try and stop this oil exploration project.
According to the United Nations Population Fund
(UNFPA), unless concerted action is taken to address
the root causes of rapid urbanization, including
migration from rural to urban areas, the number of
people living in slums will grow in the coming years.
Many people migrate to cities from rural areas to seek
economic opportunity and to escape deprivation or
environmental degradation that has driven them off the
land. But often people who leave the countryside to find
better lives in the city have no choice but to settle in
shantytowns and slums where they lack access to
decent housing and sanitation, health care and
education—in effect, trading in rural poverty for urban
Annie Leonard
“Globally 200,000 people a day
are moving from environments
that have sustained them for
generations into cities many to
live in slums. So, you see, it is
not just resources that are wasted
along this system, but people too.
Whole communities get wasted.”
References - 3/8/2016
“…the industrial world’s demand
for oil, minerals, and timber is
having devastating effects on
the land, air, water, and people.”
“An example is the Niger Delta of
Nigeria where hundreds of
millions of dollars of oil have been
extracted and exported, yet most
of the people live in poverty on
less than one US dollar a day.”
Wangari Maathai
References - 3/8/2016
Although we know about the devastation to the natural
environment, the devastating effects of our industrialized
world also include the creation of a human devsatation,
namely environmental refugees. Globally, mass
movements of people are taking place as people are
being forced from their homelands due to environmental
degradation. Currently, the number of these
environmental refugees is surpassing those refugees
created by political and social strife. See:
Rising sea levels, desertification and shrinking
freshwater supplies will create up to 50 million
environmental refugees by the end of the decade,
experts warn today. Janos Bogardi, director of the
Institute for Environment and Human Security at the
United Nations University in Bonn, said creeping
environmental deterioration already displaced up to 10
million people a year, and the situation would get worse.,,1589883
Scholars are predicting that 50 million people worldwide
will be displaced by 2010 because of rising sea levels,
desertification, dried up aquifers, weather-induced
flooding and other serious environmental changes, says
Andrew Simms, policy director of the New Economics
Foundation in the United Kingdom and the author of a
book entitled Environmental Refugees: The Case for
For in-depth discussion, see:
To look at the human conditions at the Niger Delta of
Nigeria, look at an account from a person who lived
Wangari Maathai is a Kenyan environmental and
political activist. She was educated in the United States
at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as at the
University of Nairobi in Kenya. In the 1970s, Maathai
founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental
non-governmental organization focused on the planting
of trees, environmental conservation, and women's
rights. In 2004 she became the first African woman, and
the first environmentalist, to receive the Nobel Peace
Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development,
democracy and peace.” Maathai was an elected
member of Parliament and served as Assistant Minister
for Environment and Natural Resources in the
government of President Mwai Kibaki between January
2003 and November 2005. She is of Kikuyu ethnicity.
Wangari Maathai:
“What we do not understand is
that we humans are only part of
this ecosystem. And when we kill
part of the system we are killing
Robert Reich
Robert Reich:
“The principal of social justice is
that there is a social contract. We
are not just individuals. We are
part of a society, a worldwide
society. We’re interdependent
and that interdependence flows
at many levels. It’s spiritual, it is
psychological, it is economic. The
notion that we can exist and
prosper just individually based
purely on what we do and what
we earn is a rather new notion in
history and it doesn't work.”
Maude Barlow
References - 3/8/2016
A system is a set of interacting or interdependent
entities forming an integrated whole. The study of
complex systems brings an old approach to the many
scientific questions that are a weak fit for the usual
mechanistic view of reality present in science. Complex
system is therefore often used as a broad term
encompassing a research approach to problems in
many diverse disciplines including anthropology,
artificial life, chemistry, computer science, economics,
evolutionary computation, earthquake prediction,
meteorology, molecular biology, neuroscience, physics,
psychology and sociology. Human societies (and
probably human brains) are complex systems in which
neither the components nor the couplings are simple.
Nevertheless, they exhibit many of the hallmarks of
complex systems.
Robert Reich is presently Professor of Public Policy at
the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of
California at Berkeley. He has served in three national
administrations, most recently as secretary of labor
under President Bill Clinton. He has written ten books,
including The Work of Nations, which has been
translated into 22 languages.
Various organizations have created declarations of
interdependence. Read some of them here:
Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of The
Council of Canadians and the co-founder of the Blue
Planet Project, working internationally for the right to
water. She serves on the boards of the International
Forum on Globalization and Food and Water Watch, as
well as being a Councilor with the Hamburg-based
World Future Council. Maude is the recipient of six
honorary doctorates degrees for her global water justice
work. She is also the best-selling author or co-author of
sixteen books, including Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop
Corporate Theft of the World’s Water and Blue
Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming
Battle for the Right to Water.
Maude Barlow:
“I think for a lot of people who are
born in privilege there’s a sense
that what a friend of mine calls
the right not to know. I don’t have
to know about poverty, I don’t
have to know about racism, I
don’t have to know about
environmental degradation or
environmental justice or injustice
because it’s not me, I’ve got my
life and I’ve you know got my
family and I can do what I want.”
Van Jones
Van Jones:
“A socially just world is a world
in which, if you had to draw a lot,
and it would put you anywhere in
that society, you would feel
perfectly confident, you wouldn’t
be worried, because you knew
whatever lot you drew would be a
good lot. It doesn’t mean
everything’s equal -- it just means
that every single person in that
society has a decent shot at living
the fullest life that they can. But if
you close your eyes and you think
to yourself, would you want to be
black? Would you trade places?
Well if you wouldn’t trade places,
then there’s work to be done.”
References - 3/8/2016
The sense of entitlement that one race or class has, the
sense that they deserve all that they have by reason of
birth or position, that they have an inherent right to it,
and that they do not have a responsibility for others’ well
being, that other less fortunate people’s problems are
not their problem, has been termed white privilege.
Peggy McIntosh, Associate Director of the Wellesley
College Center for Research on Women, describes
white privilege as an invisible package of unearned
assets, which I can count on cashing in each day, but
about which I was meant. to remain oblivious. White
privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of
special provisions, maps, passports, code books, visas,
clothes, tools, and blank checks.
Also see Whiteness is ownership of the earth by W.E.B.
Du Bois.
Van Jones is the founding director of the Ella Baker
Center for Human Rights. Founded in 1996 and named
for an unsung civil rights heroine, the Center seeks to
replace the U.S. incarceration industry with youth
opportunities and community-based solutions. Van
Jones is also a passionate advocate for the environment
and for responsible business. He serves on numerous
governing boards, including: Rainforest Action Network,
WITNESS, Bioneers, the New Apollo Project and the
Social Venture Network. Van's efforts have earned him
many honors.
See: or
101 and the Ella Baker Center at:
Social justice refers to the concept of a society in which
justice is achieved in every aspect of society, rather than
merely the administration of law. It is generally thought
of as a world which affords individuals and groups fair
treatment and an impartial share of the benefits of
V-2 Module 2C: Where are We? Spiritual, Psychological & Emotional
Key Points:
Spiritual, Psychological, and
Emotional Impact
We submit that in terms of our spiritual/emotional
health, the costs resulting from our modern worldview
and how we’re living aren’t out in the future somewhere;
they are present—right here, right now.
If we tell the truth, most of us would admit that
something is seriously "off course" about our lives and
the lives of those around us. The pace of life in the
modern world is getting faster and faster. Stress levels
are rising as our culture supposedly “advances.” People
around us seem increasingly isolated, alienated,
mistrusting, angry, cut off from one another and from
their own hearts, lacking any deep or abiding connection
to spirit or sense of purpose in their lives.
In The American Paradox: Spiritual Hunger in an Age of
Plenty (2004), David G. Myers writes that this diagnosis
of spiritual poverty has come from many perspective”:
 The real problem of modernity is the problem of
belief,” observed sociologist Daniel Bell. “To use an
unfashionable term, it is a spiritual crisis.
 In this Harvard commencement address, Alexandr
Solzhenitsyn deplored the Western world’s material
obsession and spiritual poverty. We have placed
too much hope in politics and social reforms, only to
find out that we were being deprived of our most
precious possession, our spiritual life.
 There is within us a crisis, a kind of spiritual
surrender, agreed Jesse Jackson. Can we rebuild
the wall (of hope)? We have the money. We have
the education, but there is something within us that
is in trouble.”
 There is a yawning hole in the psyche of American
and Americans where our sense of common
purpose, of community and connection, of hope
and spiritual satisfaction should be, echoed former
NY columnist Anna Quindlen. We liberals must
acknowledge this: that while the rights of the
individual are precious, at some deep level
individualism alone does not suffice. And the ability
of the radical right to seize and exploit the terrain of
the soul has been helped immeasurably by the
failure of so many of the rest of us to even
acknowledge the soul’s existence.
 Television producer Norman Lear concurred,
saying, at no time in my life has our culture been so
estranged from spiritual values…Our problems are
not economic and political. They are moral and
spiritual—and must be addressed on that level if
real solutions are to be found.
 Rabbi Michael Learner, editor of Tikkun, called for a
politics in the image of God, an attempt to
References - 3/8/2016
Sheikh Bentounes
Sheikh Bentounes :
"The model of the society of
consumerism is a model bringing
us to a catastrophe at all levels.
Today’s world is in crisis;
economic, financial, energetic; a
crisis of meaning."
John Robbins
References - 3/8/2016
reconstruct the world in a way that takes seriously
the uniqueness and preciousness of every human
being and our connection to a higher ethical and
spiritual purpose that vies meaning to our lives.
Alienation and spiritual yearnings can also be found in
popular music, as in these lyrics from Sting: “Everyone I
know is lonely/and God’s so far away/and my heart
belongs to no one/ s now some times I pray/please take
this peace between us/ and fill it up some way….”
Looking beyond America, Czech poet-president Vaclav
Havel saw the present global crisis as directly related
the spiritual condition of modern civilization. This
condition is characterized by loss: the loss of
‘metaphysical certainties, of an experience of the
transcendental, of any personal moral authority, and of
any kind of higher horizon. Havel believes that if the
world is to change for the better it must star with a
change in human consciousness. We must discover a
deeper sense of responsibility toward the world, which
means responsibility toward something higher in the
Sheikh Bentounes is the designated spiritual leader of
the Sufi congregation known as Al’ Alawiya. Writer,
teacher, and speaker, Sheikh Bentounes has been
traveling around the world for many years now, mainly in
Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, carrying the
traditional education of Sufism. Sheikh Bentounes states
that if Islam is a body, Sufism is its heart, a place where
we learn anew to taste the savor of God in the silence of
the moment.
Crisis has four defining characteristics. Seeger, Sellnow
and Ulmer explain that a crises are "specific,
unexpected, and non-routine events or series of events
that [create] high levels of uncertainty and threat or
perceived threat to an organization's high priority goals.
Thus the first three characteristics are that the event is
1. unexpected (i.e., a surprise), 2. creates uncertainty,
and 3. is seen as a threat to important goals. However,
Venette argues that crisis is a process of transformation
where the old system can no longer be maintained.
Therefore the fourth defining quality is 4. the need for
change. If change is not needed, the event could more
accurately be described as a failure.
John Robbins is a food activist, author and plant diet
enthusiast who has made a generation aware of the
linkages between agriculture, health and the
environment. According to him, the choices that we
make today as to the way we treat each other, the way
we raise our children, the kinds of families and
communities we create, will determine how the future
Are Americans lonelier, more isolated? - A recent study
John Robbins:
“There is a great loneliness of
spirit today. We’re trying to live,
we’re trying to cope in the face of
what seems to be overwhelming
evidence that who we are doesn’t
matter, that there is no real hope
for enough change, that the
environment and human
experience is deteriorating so
rapidly and increasingly and
massively. This is the context,
psychically and spiritually, in
which we are working today. This
is how our lives are reflected to
us. Meanwhile, we’re yearning for
connection with each other, with
ourselves, with the powers of
nature, the possibilities of being
When that tension arises, we feel
pain, we feel anguish at the very
root of ourselves, and then we
cover that over, that grief, that
horror, with all kinds of distraction
– with consumerism, with
addictions, with anything that we
can use to disconnect and to go
References - 3/8/2016
reported that American adults, who shocked pollsters in
1985 when they said they had only three close friends,
today say they have just two. And the number who say
they have no one to discuss important matters with has
doubled to 1 in 4. See:
As a society we are deeply troubled, and many of us are
beginning to wake up to the fact that material success
will not bring us the satisfaction and fulfillment, meaning
and happiness that we thought would come with it.
A number of books explore the “spiritual hunger” in
American culture, including:
 Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the
New Consumer Culture, The Overspent American:
Why We Want What We Don’t Need, and
Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline in
Leisure by Juliet B. Shor
 The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry
 The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies by
Robert Lane
 Psychology and Consumer Culture: The Struggle for
a Good Life in a Materialistic World by Tim Kasser
A recent study by the University of Chicago showed that
25% of all Americans report they have no one in their
lives they can confide in, and another 25% reports they
have just one person in their lives that they can confide
in. Both of these figures had approximately doubled over
the past 20 years—showing a rapid loss of close
relationships by half of all Americans.
The report Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core
Discussion Networks over Two Decades, Miller
McPherson, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and Matthew E.
Brashears, (June 2006) can be studied in depth at:
Alternatively a commentary can be viewed at:
In the United States 700,000 people receive treatment
for alcoholism on any given day (and those are the
ones seeking treatment).
The number of people treated for alcoholism on any
given day appears in Alcoholism Treatment in the
United States, a report available on the National Institute
of Alcohol Abuse and A. 10th Special Report to the U.S.
Congress on Alcohol and Alcoholism, 2002. See:
Record Sales of Sleeping Pills Are Causing Worries,
appeared in the New York Times on February 7, 2006.
Juan Manuel Carrion
Juan Manuel Carrion:
“The problem is that we have
created artificial needs that
make us consume more than we
really need.”
Van Jones:
“The reason that people are into
this mass consumption nightmare
dream is because people are
lonely and people are hurt, and
people really believe that more
income more stuff more
consumption more things – the
relationship with things -- will
fix the hunger in the human heart,
and it will never work”.
Paul Hawken
References - 3/8/2016
More statistics on alcoholism and substance abuse:
 In U.S. alcohol abuse is increasing, while alcohol
dependence is declining.
 Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading
preventable cause of death in the United States.
 In 2002, almost 5 million adults were alcoholdependent or alcohol-abusing and had at least one
child younger than age 18 living in their home.
 More than one-fourth of all children in the United
States are exposed to alcohol abuse or dependence
in their families before they are 18 years of age.
 In 2002, 6.2 million Americans were current abusers
of prescription drugs.
Juan Manuel Carrion is an artist, ornithologist and
environmentalist living near Quito in Ecuador. For many
years he has worked to raise Ecuador's public
awareness about the need to preserve and protect its
natural environment and its bio-diversity.
To hear him speak, go to:
To look at an article on artificial needs and the
capitalistic model, see:
This article on consumerism and its lack of fulfillment
echoes want Van says in a lighthearted way:
Here is an report on consumerism and the planet:
Vicki Robbins and Joe Dominguez, in their book, Your
Money or Your Life, argue that our time is more precious
than working to accumulate wealth and urge people to
express their values through their money. See the New
Roadmap Foundation website for more information:
Not only is consumerism not filling our loneliness, it is
also eroding our fiscal security and impacting the
Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, and
author. Starting at age 20, he dedicated his life to
sustainability and changing the relationship between
business and the environment. His practice has included
starting and running ecological businesses, writing and
teaching about the impact of commerce on living
systems, and consulting with governments and
corporations on economic development, industrial
ecology, and environmental policy.
Paul Hawken:
“This is not the best of all possible
worlds, even though it appears
that way on TV and
advertisements. I think people in
their most poignant and honest
moments will admit that this is
really hard right now. For
“The idea that material gain leads
to personal fulfillment has been
demonstrated not to be the case.
Although incomes have
skyrocketed in economicallyadvanced countries, study after
study have shown that levels of
reported happiness have
remained the same or even
declined. Developed nations also
generally have higher rates of
mental illness.”
A World Health Organization study released in 2004
(published in JAMA in June) shows that, “rates of most
mental illness are far higher in the U.S. than in any
other country in the world.” ‘These numbers are
absolutely staggering,’ says Ronald C. Kessler, PhD, a
professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical
School in Boston, and one of the study's coresearchers.
2005 Update: One in 4 adult Americans surveyed by
Harvard researchers (2001-2003) had symptoms
consistent with a diagnosable mental disorder. The most
common is anxiety.
See statistics on mental disorders from National Institute
of Mental Health at:
Are we over-diagnosing? Read a counter view at Web
The American Psychological Association reports that
between 75 and 90% of all visits to physicians are for
stress-related conditions.
A Time magazine article reported that insurance claims
for stress, depression, and job burnout are now the US’s
fastest growing disability category.,8816,1580401,
Luke Tayor
Luke Tayor:
For people of my generation who
are just coming into their
experience of despair as the
details of what’s happening
References - 3/8/2016
In her new book The Work That Reconnects, Joanna
Macy discusses the angst of our era, and the pain, fear,
guilt and inaction it has engendered. Then it points
forward to the way out of apathy, to the work that
around the globe become clearer
and begin to click into place,
there’s no language for us quite
yet. I think it must be
unprecendented on an individual
level, on a human level, that we
are facing that kind of loss.
Joanna Macy
Joanna Macy:
The anguish we feel for what is
happening to our world is
inevitable and normal and even
healthy. Pain is very useful. Just
don’t be afraid of it. Because if we
are afraid to feel that, we won’t
feel where it comes from, and
where it comes from is love, our
love for this world. That’s what is
going to pull us through.
John Robbins:
There is the possibility that the
energy that has been bound in
the repression of it can now flow
through us and energize us,
make us clearer, more alive, more
passionate, committed,
courageous, determined people.
Joanna Macy, Ph.D., is an eco-philosopher and a
scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep
ecology. A respected voice in movements for peace,
justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship
with four decades of activism. She has created a
ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and
social change, as well as a powerful workshop
methodology for its application.
The current crisis invites each of us to explore our
personal relationship to the natural world. In the
following comments, Joanna Macy uses the example of
Saint Francis who established a mystic bond with the
Earth. Participation at this level of caring and intimacy is
an exciting venture. It is to know the heart of the Earth
as Saint Francis did. …
t could well be that our work now is to grow a new
planetary consciousness. Carl Jung said there’s no birth
of consciousness without pain. We are discovering that
we are the sensory organs of our living planet, and that
discovery involves pain. All of a sudden we realize that
we care, that our hearts are breaking over people who
aren’t even born yet. This is truly a noble thing. Over
twenty years of doing this work I have found that people
would rather hurt and feel connected than be
anesthetized and feel isolated.
In The Coming of the Cosmic Christ he wrote, the
Pascal Mysteries of the Third Millennium will have to do
with the death and resurrection of the Earth, where
Earth, Herself, plays the role of Christ crucified.
According to Joanna Macy, we cannot deny our grief.
We must deepen our hearts to allow it to come out and
be expressed, and it can become part of the ground that
supports us we move forward. Many of us feel called to
respond to the ecological destruction of our planet, yet
we feel overwhelmed, immobilized, and unable to deal
realistically with the threats to life on Earth. This
beautiful article on Gratitude and how that is the
beginning of healing, by Joanna Macy, tell of a way to
transform grief:
V-2 Module 3A: How Did We Get Here? Worldviews and Assumptions
Key Points:
3A- 1
Worldviews, Assumptions
References - 3/8/2016
What is a worldview?
Worldview might be imagined as a giant lens-bubble
that encases us entirely but invisibly, translating events
and experiences into forms that fit our patterned
The western scientific view tends to analyze and dissect
things in order to understand them. This taking apart, or
seeing things as made up of their component parts is
one of the bases of our perception of separateness.
Over the centuries, the story that’s been communicated
to us, consciously or unconsciously, has been that the
world is a huge machine, made up of separate parts,
like a big clock or something that has no meaning, and
that, aided by our technology we can strategize how to
use and even master it.
The Clockwork Universe was the metaphor, the story
that shaped the dream of Western civilization for
hundreds of years. According to the Wikipedia, the
“Clockwork Universe” is a theory as to the origins of the
universe. In this theory, the universe can be thought of
as a machine--a clock wound up by God that ticks
along, like a perfect machine, governed by the laws of
physics. The task of scientists, then, was to discover
those laws. The theory has its roots in the work of Isaac
The popularity of this theory swelled during the
European Age of Enlightenment (18th century), as
scientists looked to Newton's laws of motion to explain
the behavior of the solar system. The second law of
thermodynamics and quantum physics has now
undermined this theory.
In the modern world in which we are living, “We are
separate” has been a deep and fundamental part of the
cultural story of western civilization, especially since the
development of the scientific method of inquiry about
400 years ago. Given that assumption, it’s perfectly
understandable how we could behave the way we’ve
behaved in our culture; it makes sense. If we're here,
and the world is “out there,” then we’d naturally use it for
our own well-being and prosperity. Why not?
The scientific method is an approach to understanding
the phenomena of the world we live in through a
process of hypothesis and then gathering evidence.
Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world’s most innovative
biologists said, I think that many of the problems we
have come from a too narrow scientific paradigm or
model of reality which creates a split between the
mind... feelings and experience. This creates a split in
our entire culture which is at the root of our ecological
crisis and the sense of alienation and loss of meaning. I
think a more holistic and inclusive scientific approach
will help heal this split and improve our relations with the
natural world around us and each other.
Find out more about Rupert Sheldrake at:
References - 3/8/2016
More on Assumptions
Now that we have looked
squarely at where we are, a good
question to ask might be: How did
an intelligent, well-meaning
species who, for the most part,
only wanted to make the world
better and more secure for their
children, end up in such a
condition? What could possibly
explain how we got into our
current predicament?
Thomas Berry
References - 3/8/2016
Come Together: Can we discover a depth of wisdom far
beyond what is available to individuals alone?
by Craig Hamilton: “…For Bohm, all the problems of
human affairs could be traced to the “incoherence of our
thought,” and particularly, of our collective thought.
Looking at the way our unexamined cultural
presuppositions, beliefs, and ideas prevent us from
coming together in meaningful exchange on matters of
importance, he proposed a new mode of inquiry that
would both reveal this incoherence and point the way
beyond it. Drawing from the Greek dialogos, which he
defined as “meaning moving through,” Bohm explained
that in this new form of dialogue, “a new kind of mind . . .
begins to come into being which is based on the
development of a common meaning that is constantly
transforming in the process of the dialogue. People are
no longer primarily in opposition, nor can they be said to
be interacting, rather they are participating in this pool of
common meaning, which is capable of constant
development and change.”…
Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over
and over again and expecting different results. However,
we do not need to do the same thing over and over once
realize what we are doing is self-destructive.
See more about the human capacity to learn and
change at these websites:
“We don't have to make human beings smart. They are
born smart. All we have to do is stop doing the things
that made them stupid." ~ John Holt
Thomas Berry is a Catholic priest, a cultural historian,
and a cosmologist or “Earth scholar,” as he prefers to be
called. He is an advocate for deep ecology and
‘ecospirituality.’ As the Wikipedia describes him, Berry
proposes that a deep understanding of the evolving
universe is “a necessary inspiration and guide for our
own effective functioning as individuals and as a
species. He is considered a leader in the tradition of
Teilhard de Chardin.” His books include: The Dream of
the Earth, The Universe Story From the Primordial
Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era, A Celebration of the
Unfolding of the Cosmos (with physicist Brian Swimme,
1992) , and The Great Work: Our Way into the Future.
You can read about A Dream of the Earth here:
Co-intelligence is a capacity that goes far beyond
Thomas Berry:
The great work of our times, I
would say, is moving the human
community from its present
situation as a destructive
presence on the planet to a
benign or mutually enhancing
presence. It’s that simple.
Drew Dellinger
Drew Dellinger:
Thomas Berry says that the
primary problem with western
civilization is that it creates and
perpetuates a radical separation
between the human world and the
natural world -- that we’ve given
all the rights to the human and no
rights to the natural world.
We think we're behaving very
rationally - creating jobs, gross
domestic product is rising, that
we're on this kind of a logical
economic course, but actually
References - 3/8/2016
individual IQ-based intelligence. It is intelligence that's
grounded in wholeness, interconnectedness and cocreativity. It is collective, collaborative, synergistic, wise,
resonant, heartful, and connected to greater sources of
intelligence. We find co-intelligence -- and its opposite,
co-stupidity -- in
 individuals
 groups
 organizations
 communities
 societies
 processes
 systems and
 institutions
Each of these can be co-intelligent whenever it calls
forth collective wisdom in and around it -- usually by
using diversity creatively.
According to Co-Intelligence, the story as pattern forms
one of the underlying structures of reality,
comprehensible and responsive to those who possess
what we call narrative intelligence. Our psyches and
cultures are filled with narrative fields of influence, or
story fields, which shape the awareness and behavior of
the individuals and collectives associated with them.
Drew Dellinger is a poet, teacher, and activist. He is
founder of Poets for Global Justice, and author of the
collection of poems, love letter to the milky way.
Dellinger has presented and performed at hundreds of
events across the country, speaking on justice,
cosmology, ecology, and democracy. Dellinger’s poetry
has been widely published and his work is featured in
the film, "Voices of Dissent," and the books Igniting a
Revolution, Children of the Movement, and Global
Uprising. In 1997 he received Common Boundary
magazine’s national Green Dove Award. Dellinger has
studied cosmology and ecological thought with Thomas
Berry since 1990, and has taught at Prescott College,
Naropa University-Oakland, and Esalen Institute.
According to the Tapestry Institute website, modern
culture has lost the kinship with nature that is its
birthright. The dead and dying pieces of the great and
ancient relationship between humans and the earth lie
scattered like bleached bones across the landscapes of
our exile. But they can be collected again, reassembled
into the whole, sung back to life for us all.
On the myth of separation, Einstein said, a human being
is a part of a whole, called by us 'universe', a part limited
in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts
and feelings as something separated from the rest... a
kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This
delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our
personal desires and to affection for a few persons
we're heading toward our
destruction. And the only way to
explain this is that we've been
locked into a kind of mythic
entrancement, a worldview that's
become dysfunctional and
therefore destructive.
According to Berry, our industrial
age is a period of technological
entrancement in which our
obsession with progress has us
marching toward an ill-defined
magical paradise somewhere in
the future — a future in which we
have mastered the Earth and
everything on it — without any
It could be said that we in the
modern world are living in a kind
of “trance” – something the
indigenous people would call “the
dream of the modern world. This
dream is our current worldview –
a point of view we don’t even
know that we have.
Our worldview is held in place
by a set of beliefs and
unexamined assumptions that we
are completely unaware of – like
glasses we’ve worn so long, we
don’t even know we’re looking
through them any more.
People’s actions correlate with
their worldview. We take the
actions appropriate to how we
see the world. So when our
actions produce outcomes we are
not intending, it is important to
identify the unconscious,
unexamined assumptions that
generated those actions in the
first place.
Brian Swimme:
One way to characterize the
cosmology that really is at work
in our culture is this: That the
natural world, the Earth, is there
for us to satisfy our needs and
desires, whatever they might be.
So we want to make things, and
we use the Earth. We make
References - 3/8/2016
nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from
this prison by widening our circle of compassion to
embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in
its beauty.
Thomas Berry spent most of his life looking at the
question of why humans would behave the way we
have, and he offers this as an explanation of what’s
going on with our human presence on this planet at this
time. Berry says that the whole Industrial Age is a period
of technological entrancement, an altered state of
consciousness, a mental fixation that alone can explain
how we came to ruin our air and water and soil and to
severely damage all our basic life systems (Jerry
Mander, In the Absence of the Sacred, 1991).
For the transcript of an interview with Jerry Mander, see:
The idea of mental models may be useful here:
Here is one woman’s story of waking up from a trance:
In this article on creating a spacious center for
transformation, Dr. Aftab Omer, of the Institute of
Imaginal Studies states that the cultural center of the
historical era that we refer to as “modernity” has
collapsed. Its norms, values, and practices no longer
have credibility and legitimacy. In the wake of this
collapse, our planet’s ecological crisis calls for global
cultural transformation. The ways in which we consume
and share our planet’s resources are ecologically
unsustainable as well as painfully oppressive for millions
of people. Extreme economic injustice and other
oppressive conditions engender chronic conflict at a
global level. Our contemporary challenge is to create a
postmodern culture that once again has a center—a
“spacious center” where the creative potentials of
diversity, conflict, and chaos can be actualized.
NASA describes cosmology is the scientific study of
the large scale properties of the Universe as a whole. It
endeavors to use the scientific method to understand
the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the entire
Universe. Like any field of science, cosmology involves
the formation of theories or hypotheses about the
universe which make specific predictions for
phenomena that can be tested with observations.
Depending on the outcome of the observations, the
theories will need to be abandoned, revised or extended
things. And we think of it as
something like a lumberyard. In
fact, we use the word “resource,”
so that the Earth is full of
resources that are there for us to
use as we see fit.
Now that orientation actually is
not that bad so long as humans
are not that powerful. But
suddenly, when we become so
massively present, that
orientation turns out to be
completely pathological. You
can’t call a forest a resource. It’s
filled with amazing beings. You
can’t call the ocean with all those
fish and the marine mammals a
resource. Each of these species
is the end result of 13.7 billion
years of evolution. They’re
spectacular; they’re stupendous;
they have a right to be here. So
to think of them as resources and
to use them however we like is
really what is driving our
In a world we assume to be full of
resources for our use, clearcutting of forests makes perfect
sense. Another example of an
unexamined assumption is that
competition alone is the
fundamental law of nature. But,
when we really look, does that
assumption hold true?
Dr. Vandana Shiva
3A- 13
Dr. Vandana Shiva:
So much sort of pseudo-science
being done trying to show that the
world is in competition. Survival
of the fittest and all that. I think
human beings are more prone to
compassion and cooperation. If
we look at the work that’s being
done in science, it’s about
cooperation: cells must
cooperate, species must
cooperate. Cooperation rather
References - 3/8/2016
to accommodate the data. The prevailing theory about
the origin and evolution of our Universe is the so-called
Big Bang theory.
We act upon our beliefs. So the way we behave reflects
how we see ourselves and the world. Our belief system
is the actual set of precepts from which we live our daily
life, those beliefs which govern our thoughts, our words,
and our actions. Without these precepts, we could not
Dr. Vandana Shiva is a physicist, philosopher,
environmental activist, eco feminist and author of
several books. She is currently based in Delhi and has
authored over 300 papers in leading scientific and
technical journals.
Competition is a contest between individuals, groups,
nations, animals, etc., for territory, a niche, or allocation
of resources. It arises whenever two or more parties
strive for a goal which cannot be shared. Competition
occurs naturally between living organisms which coexist in the same environment. For example, animals
compete over water supplies, food, and mates, etc.
Humans compete for water, food, and mates, though
when these needs are met deep rivalries often arise
over the pursuit of wealth, prestige, and fame. Business
is often associated with competition as most companies
are in competition with at least one other firm over the
same group of customers.
than competition is the way
nature works.”
In modern society, many of us
believe that our job as “smart
shoppers’ is to get the highest
level of comfort and convenience
at the lowest possible price. We
assume that when we buy
something, the price we pay
reflects the full cost of making it.
According to Annie Leonard in the
Story of Stuff, maybe not.
Annie Leonard:
I was walking to work and I
wanted to listen to the news, so I
found this cute little green radio
for 4 dollars and 99 cents. I was
standing there in line to buy this
thing, and I was thinking how
$4.99 could possibly capture the
costs of making this radio and
getting it to my hands. The metal
was probably mined in South
Africa; the petroleum was
probably drilled in Iraq; the
plastics were probably produced
in China; and maybe the whole
thing was assembled in Mexico.
References - 3/8/2016
Cooperation is the process of working or acting
together, which can be accomplished by both intentional
and non-intentional agents. In its simplest form it
involves things working in harmony, side by side, while
in its more complicated forms, it can involve something
as complex as the inner workings of a human being or
even the social patterns of a nation. It is the alternative
to working separately in competition. Cooperation can
also be accomplished by computers, which can handle
shared resources simultaneously, while sharing
processor time.
Humans, like all animals, form cooperative groups to
compete for limited resources. All life is ultimately
competitive, because the natural tendency of any
population is to explode, although it is kept in check by
the limited food supply (and other factors). Because
there are more animals than food, animals must
compete to survive. In situations where the food supply
is somehow sufficient, deadly competition falls. Liberals
therefore advocate the creation of a sustainable
economy, where the population is kept constant
(through birth control) and resources are used no faster
than they can be replaced. The result will be a more
cooperative and civil society.
If you use an internet search engine and enter in the
search box “smart shopper,” you will see many, many
websites emerging, which reflects that our way of life in
the industrialized world is oriented toward making us, or
reducing us, into “smart shoppers.”
Think of the things that you have purchase in the past
that cost under $10 and were made overseas… often by
hand. What would happen if we paid the true cost of
Here are some links with information about sweatshops:
$4.99 wouldn’t even pay the rent
for the shelf space it occupied
until I came along, let alone part
of the staff guy’s salary that
helped me pick it out, or the
multiple ocean cruises and truck
rides pieces of this radio went on.
That’s how I realized, I didn’t pay
for the radio…
Lynne Twist:
We have a lot of unexamined
assumption around money. One
of them is that people have
equated their own value with
Julia Butterfly Hill
Julia Butterfly Hill:
When you say you’re going to
throw something away, where’s
“away”? There’s no such thing.
And where “away” actually is, is
social justice issues and
environmental justice issues.
Every plastic bag, plastic cup,
plastic to-go container -- that is
the petroleum complex in Africa,
Ecuador, Colombia, Alaska, you
name it. Every paper bag, paper
plate, paper napkin -- that is a
forest. Everything that is called
waste or disposable is the ways in
which we are saying that it is
acceptable to throw our planet
and its people
away…Disposables are one of
the huge magnifiers of how we've
lost our connection to the sacred.
References - 3/8/2016
To learn more about the importance we place on the
value on money in our lives, visit:
Julia Butterfly Hill is an activist who, in 1997, climbed
up an ancient Redwood to save it from being felled. She
stayed in the tree for over two years before the timber
company agreed not to cut it down (nor any of the trees
immediately surrounding it).
Julia helped found the Circle of Life Foundation (an
offshoot of the Earth Island Institute) to promote the
sustainability, restoration, and preservation of life. As a
writer and poet, Julia reflects on what it will take to make
sustainability mainstream. Julia has been the recipient
of many honors and awards, and is a frequent speaker
for environmental conferences around the world. She is
also a policy board member of Organic Consumers
Association and an activist leader for Earth First!
For a visual interpretation of paper consumption (as
well as visual representation of the consumption of other
commodities such as plastic and cell phones) , see the
Running the Numbers exhibit by artist Chris Jordan at
his website:
Every 30 seconds, the US throws
“away” 106,000 aluminum cans
Every day, the US throws “away”
426,000 cell phones
Every hour, the US throws “away”
1.14 million paper bags
Every 5 minutes, the US throws
“away” 2 million plastic bottles
Every 15 minutes, the US throws
“away” 410,000 coffee cups
Julia Butterfly Hill:
We just take it for granted that we
are just going to go to the coffee
shop and get coffee that came
from an exploited community
where a forest was destroyed for
a monoculture, put it in a paper
cup that used to be a forest, put a
plastic lid on top of it that used to
be an indigenous
somewhere in a beautiful area,
drink it and then throw it away
where it goes back and pollutes a
nature community or a human
community at the end.
I am so fiercely passionate about
it, because I know in my heart
that as long we are trashing the
planet and trashing each other, a
healthy and a holistic, and a
healed world is not possible. We
cannot have peace on the Earth
unless we also have peace with
the Earth.
Van Jones:
See, we don’t just have
unexamined assumptions about
how we relate to the planet. We
have underlying assumptions that
we haven’t examined about how
we relate to each other. We have
a society that believes that we
have throwaway resources,
throwaway species, and
throwaway people.
The same mindset that says I
References - 3/8/2016
For a visual interpretation of consumption, see the
Running the Numbers exhibit by artist Chris Jordan at
his website:
For a visual interpretation of consumption see the
Running the Numbers exhibit by artist Chris Jordan at
his website:
For a visual interpretation of consumption see the
Running the Numbers exhibit by artist Chris Jordan at
his website:
For a visual interpretation of the human consumption of
plastic, see the Running the Numbers exhibit by artist
Chris Jordan at his website:
For a visual interpretation of consumption see Running
the Numbers exhibit by artist Chris Jordan at his
The throw-away society is a human society strongly
influenced by consumerism. The term describes a
critical view of over-consumption and excessive
production of short-lived or disposable items.
Children in prison…
American prisons are home to 73 inmates locked up for
life for crimes they committed when they were 13 or 14.
Bump that age limit up three years and we have 2,225
prisoners locked up for the rest of their lives for crimes
they committed when they were 17 or younger.
According to the UN, more than 1 million children
worldwide are living in detention as a result of being in a
position of conflict with the law, without access to a fair
judicial process or legal representation.
can ball up this can and throw it
away, the same mindset that says
I can ball up this child and throw
that child into a prison forever for
a mistake that that child made,
similar to a mistake my child
might be making with drugs or
whatever -- that’s the core
The dream of the modern world is
constructed almost entirely out of
assumptions that have simply
been accepted for generations.
Questioning these assumptions
is a powerful way to begin to
awaken from our collective
References - 3/8/2016
Children in poverty…
The organization CARE estimates that ‘Of the 57 million
people worldwide who died last year, 10.5 million of
them were children less than five years old. The majority
of these children — some 98 percent — were in
developing nations.
Child in labor/slavery…
Image of child laborers:
Traditional Lakota spiritual beliefs tell us that when a
child experiences trauma his or her spirit is hurt. A first
step toward healing is nagi kicopi, or "calling the spirit
back". What we find is that the problem of the child,
whatever it is-drugs, alcohol, rebelliousness, violence or
suicidal tendencies –does not happen in isolation.
Rather it is an individual reflection of the larger pain of
the family and the community.
(Ethleen Iron Cloud Two Dogs)
On traditional medicine:
Separating from our illusion is described here:
For more information on assumptions or paradigms
from an indigenous viewpoint, see:
When we begin to look, we find that we are
swimming in unexamined assumptions. By beginning to
identify them, we at least have a chance of separating
ourselves from them and consciously making different
choices. An example of one of our unexamined
assumption is that we must have economic growth.
One of the most prevalent assumptions in our society
is that a healthy economy is a growing economy. Right?
We must have growth! The economy depends on
consumers consuming. This unexamined assumption
makes us into consumers, not citizens! You may
remember a time when people used to be referred to as
‘citizens,’ when we were talked to and related to as
citizens, as people who actually had some responsibility
for generating the well-being of the common good or
caring for it. We’re now not that anymore. Now our
primary label is consumers.
This idea is also discussed in Lynne Twist’s book,
The Soul of Money: Transforming your Relationship with
Money and Life (W.W. Norton, 2003).
Economic growth is the increase in value of the
goods and services produced by an economy, and is
most commonly measured as a percentage change in
GDP. GNP is a measure of the total value of final goods
and services produced in a year by a country's nationals
(including profits from capital held abroad). Another
measure is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The two
terms GDP and GNP are almost identical.
As the Wikipedia points out, GDP per capita is often
used as an indicator of how well a country is doing
economically, with the implication that this is related to
people’s standard of living.
However, it is not, strictly speaking, a measure of
standard of living. For instance, in an extreme example,
a country which exported 100 per cent of its production
would still have a high GDP, but a very poor standard of
Efforts are underway to institutionalize more
meaningful measures of well-being based on criticisms.
Some say that the relentless pursuit of GDP growth has
been the defining characteristic of Western politics over
the last 50 years. The report exposes the comfortable
assumption that economic growth is a good indicator of
human progress and well-being as a myth. Economic
growth is leading to unacceptable environmental risks,
failing to guarantee social progress and doesn’t make us
any happier.
You can view the report Chasing Progress: Beyond
measuring economic growth, The power of Well-being
The dream of the modern world is
constructed almost entirely out of
assumptions that have simply
been accepted for generations.
Questioning these assumptions is
a powerful way to begin to
awaken from our collective
V-2 Module 3: How Did We Get Here? Another Worldview
Key Points:
Of all the countless assumptions
that make up our modern
References - 3/8/2016
The myth of the industrialized world is that we are
separate. Another way of being able to see our own
trance or worldview is to recognize that there are people
on this planet who aren’t doing the things we’re doing,
industrialized world, there is one
that is primary and allencompassing. The assumption
that we are separate – from
every one and every thing. This
assumption shapes virtually all of
our perceptions and actions.
Jakada Imani
Jakada Imani:
There is a fundamental
misconception that we are
separate and more than one.
And I think we're learning that
that's not true. If there's only one,
whatever I do to you I do to me, if
there's only one, whatever I do to
the air I do to me. If there's only
one, whatever I do in society is
what I'm actually doing to myself,
doing to my family, doing to my
Spiritual traditions have long
taught that separation is an
illusion. Buddhist teacher Thich
Nhat Hanh puts it this way.
Thich Nhat Hanh
References - 3/8/2016
who aren’t caught in this dream of progress; people who
have a very different worldview. These are people of the
Condor, intact indigenous cultures, many of whom,
incidentally, have been living sustainably, in sacred
reciprocity with (the) Earth for thousands of years.
For more on this idea, see this excerpt from Earthdance:
Living Systems in Evolution (1999) by Elizabeth
Sahtouris at:
For more information, see:
Jakada Imani is the Executive Director of the Ella Baker
Center for Human Rights. Previously, he was a lead
strategist on some of the Ella Baker Center’s most high
profile campaigns including Books Not Bars, the
ongoing campaign to replace California’s abusive youth
prisons with effective rehabilitation programs. Before
joining Ella Baker Center, Mr. Imani was a Constituent
Liaison for Oakland City Councilwoman Nancy Nadel.
He helped launch or lead a number of important San
Francisco Bay Area organizations.
A Mayan elder had this to say: “We hold this reality
together. We are the keepers of the Earth. When we
truly honor ourselves and our awesome creative power
we will again live in a sacred way where we honor all
life. When we honor all live the essence/spirit of all living
things will manifest.”
(Hunbatz Men)
Sharing Indigenous Wisdom website:
Thich Nhat Hanh is an expatriate Vietnamese Zen
Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist.
In the early 1960s, he founded the School of Youth for
Social Services (SYSS) in Saigon, a grassroots relief
organization that rebuilt bombed villages, set up schools
and medical centers, and resettled families left
homeless during the Vietnam War. He traveled to the
U.S. a number of times to study at Princeton University,
Thich Nhat Hanh:
We have the word to be, but what
I propose is that a word to interbe. Because it is not possible to
be alone, by yourself. You need
other people in order to be. You
need other beings in order to be.
Not only (do) you need father,
mother, but also uncle, … brother,
sister, society, but you also need
sunshine, river, air, trees, birds,
elephants, and so on. So it is
impossible to be yourself, alone.
You have to inter-be with
everyone and everything else,
and therefore to be means to
Over the centuries, the story
that’s been communicated in the
modern world, consciously or
unconsciously, has been that the
world operates like a huge
machine made up of separate
parts like a big clock. For the past
400 years, the scientific tradition
has been trying to take the clock
apart and figure out how it works
so we can master it and use it for
our own purposes.
Carl Anthony
Carl Anthony:
References - 3/8/2016
and later lecture at Cornell University and teach at
Columbia University. His main goal of those travels,
however, was to urge the U.S. government to withdraw
from Vietnam. He urged Martin Luther King, Jr. to
oppose the Vietnam War publicly, and spoke with many
people and groups about peace. In a January 25, 1967
letter to the Nobel Institute in Norway, King nominated
him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Nhat Hanh led the
Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks.
Need for social contact: George Gallup said that
Americans are the loneliest people on the planet,
despite their busy lives and their constant activity and
interaction. We long for deeper community, something
outside of commerce. In their book, Creating
Community: Five Keys to Building a Small Group
Culture, Andy Stanley and Bill Willits assert that People
Need Community. It is medically proven that social
isolation has bad effects on health and well-being:
Indigenous values have always reflected the importance
of community:
One form of the mechanistic view is Universal
Mechanism, which holds that the universe is best
understood as a completely mechanical system--that is,
a system composed entirely of matter in motion under a
complete and regular system of laws of nature.
Somewhat similar to the Mechanistic view is the
Clockwork Universe Theory established by Isaac
Newton. A "clockwork universe" can be thought of as
being a clock wound up by God and ticking along, as a
perfect machine, with its gears governed by the laws of
Carl Anthony, PhD. is a Ford Foundation Senior Fellow
and Visiting Scholar at the Department of Geography at
UC Berkeley. Before joining the Ford Foundation, he
was Founder and Executive Director of the Urban
Habitat Program. He served as President of Earth Island
Institution and co-founded and published the Race,
Poverty and the Environment Journal, the only
environmental justice periodical in the United States. Dr.
Anthony is co-founder with Margaret Paloma Pavel, of
the Earth House Leadership Center. He is writing a book
on the Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of
The cosmological world-views reflect a belief that nature
is controlled by something which is bigger than and
A mechanistic view meant that
instead of seeing the
interconnection between things,
there was a way of analyzing
what people were coming into
contact with and taking it apart.
So what evolved was kind of a
fragmented view of the natural
world. And we became
hypnotized, really, with the power
that came out of this technology,
and we lost our connection to
each other, we lost our
connection to the mystery of the
Even though the modern
worldview is dominant on Earth,
it’s important to recognize that it’s
not the only worldview. Traditional
indigenous cultures, for
example, are no so focused on
progress; rather, they concern
themselves with the health and
durability of their community and
see the interconnection of all
Tom Goldtooth
Tom Goldtooth:
We use another terminology
called Mitakuye Oyasin, which is
“All My Relations”. We try to
recognize that we are related to
everything as indigenous
people… Mitakuye Oyasin is also,
defines our relationship to the
animals, to the fish, to the plants,
to the trees, to the birds, to the
even the microorganisms, OK.
So that we are all related.
Jeannette Armstrong
References - 3/8/2016
extends beyond the limits of the universe - God or the
gods. The mechanistic world-views have no need for
such supernatural control; indeed, they deliberately
exclude it. They view the natural world like a machine.
These world-views can be traced back to the
Renaissance in Europe, through the work of early
scientists such as Bacon, Galileo and Newton. The
Industrial Revolution helped to promote them further.
Modern ideas about technocracy and scientism closely
reflect these mechanistic views about the world and how
it functions. (Earth Care)
As an Achuar indigenous leader said, because they
live here, they preserve the forest, they love the forest—
so that it can be sustained and give life to nature for all
living beings. They believe that life is under the ground,
on the surface of earth, and in the atmosphere. These
three things are interrelated so that the world can exist.
Therefore, it’s not possible to say, ‘I'll take the oil and
ignore the forest.’ Everything is connected to everything
else in this world. The territory of the Achuar is sacred to
them as they explain on this website:
Tom Goldtooth is Director of the Indigenous
Environmental Network and oversees its policy work
around environmental protection, environmental justice,
climate justice, energy, toxics, water, globalization and
trade, and sustainable development.
Tom speaks about the indigenous way in this article,
which appeared in Yes! Magazine:
Jeanette Armstrong is Okanagan author and Executive
Director of the En’owkin Centre from Okanagan in
British Columbia, Canada. She is the first Native woman
novelist from Canada. While growing up on the
Penticton Indian Reserve, Armstrong received a
traditional education from Okanagan Elders and her
family. As an indigenous civil rights activist, Armstrong
fights for the right of Native people to keep land that
legally belongs to them. To learn more about Jeanette,
Jeannette Armstrong:
The foundational understanding
from my point of view, or an
indigenous point of view, is that
you are a part of that land in a
very interdependent way. And
that that interdependence arose
with thousands of years of
intelligence in terms of being a
part of that land. You are part of
that land. It’s your body – it’s you.
And you can't do things to the
land that in the end comes back
and destroys you.
Bob Randall
Bob Randall:
We’re only caretakers for our time
on this Earth, for our children’s
children, who’s gone come after
Kiritapu Allan
Kiritapu Allan:
I’m a young indigenous woman,
but I am born in a colonized
world. My worldview begins with
an intrinsic understanding of what
is balance.
If I step on or take away or do
something to upset the balance,
then we go through a process of
restoring it.
Cormac Cullinan
References - 3/8/2016
An example of the indigenous point of view is
explained in this article from Yes Magazine by Jeanette
Bob Randall is part of the Stolen Generations of
Australia and former Indigenous Person of the Year. He
is credited with bringing to light the issue of forced
removal of Aboriginal children from their families, in
1970. His song, "My Brown Skin Baby They Take Him
Away," written at the time, is described as an "anthem"
for the Stolen Generations.
Non aboriginal people are rediscovering their intent to
be caretakers of the Earth, for example, see:
Kiritapu Allan is an indigenous activist from
Aotearoa/New Zealand who has been engaged with the
Native Movement. She is Co–Director of the NonGovernmental Organization, Conscious Collaborations.
Western society has gone through many traumatic
episodes over the past five centuries to separate secular
knowledge from spiritual knowledge. This is generally
not the case for indigenous and local communities. Their
knowledge is often embedded in a cosmology, and the
distinction between "intangible" knowledge and physical
things is often blurred. Indigenous peoples often say
that their knowledge is holistic, and cannot be separated
from our lands and resources.
Cormac Cullinan is a senior environmental lawyer and
adviser on institutional, policy and regulatory reform in
the fields of environment and natural resource
management. His work in pioneering a legal philosophy
that restores an ecological perspective to governance
systems (Earth jurisprudence) is internationally
recognized and in 2008 led to his inclusion in “Planet
Cormac Cullinan:
I think that the indigenous
peoples of the world have a
particularly important role to play
at this moment in history, this
moment in the life of
Pachamama, of the Earth. We
need them to come forward and
explain how they see things,
because these are things which
have been forgotten.
Tom Goldtooth:
Somehow, industrialized society
has not caught up with itself to
really appreciate and respect
what indigenous peoples have to
offer, but it’s something that’s
very important, I think, that’s
going to save the planet.
By combining the technological
brilliance of the industrialized
world with the Earth-honoring
spirit of indigenous cultures,
we have the opportunity now to
merge the genius of the human
mind with the wisdom of the
human heart.
Bill Twist:
And now that we are starting to
wake up to how the world is really
organized, that’s a real moment of
hope for us. We’re not flawed, evil
people; we’re misinformed and,
informed properly, we can count
on ourselves.
Savers: 301 Extraordinary Environmentalists”.
This point of view about the importance of the role to be
played by indigenous people at this moment in time is
echoed in the following article:
Another indigenous leader echoes this stand. In Saving
the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge, what the world
needs today is a good dose of Indigenous realism, says
Native American scholar Daniel Wildcat in this
thoughtful, forward-looking treatise. The Native
response to the environmental crisis facing our planet,
Red Alert! seeks to debunk the modern myths that
humankind is the center of creation and that it exerts
control over the natural world.
As an example, the contribution of indigenous
peoples' knowledge to the development of
pharmaceuticals and herbal remedies is being
recognized in the industrialized world.
As an example, in Reinventing the Sacred, the
renowned biologist and complexity theorist Stuart A.
Kauffman says that one view of God is that God is our
chosen name for the ceaseless creativity in the natural
universe, biosphere, and human cultures. Because of
this ceaseless creativity, we typically do not and cannot
know what will happen. We live our lives forward, as
Kierkegaard said. We live as if we knew, as Nietzsche
said. We live our lives forward into mystery, and do so
with faith and courage, for that is the mandate of life
itself. But the fact that we must live our lives forward into
a ceaseless creativity that we cannot fully understand
means that reason alone is an insufficient guide to living
our lives. Reason, the center of the Enlightenment, is
but one of the evolved, fully human means we use to
live our lives. Reason itself has finally led us to see the
inadequacy of reason. We must therefore reunite our full
humanity. We must see ourselves whole, living in a
creative world we can never fully know. (Think About
This: Living Forward, 6.26.08, at
References - 3/8/2016
We are mistaken -- not flawed!
This is good news, because
there’s not much hope for an
inherently flawed species. But
there is hope for one that has
recognized – and is waking up
from – a trance. That opens up
some new possibilities for the
Eco-Spot: Island Home
What if you lived in a home on an
island you could not leave – with
limited amounts of food and safe
drinking water? It would be very
important to use only what you
need. Well it doesn’t matter where
your home is because we all live
on an island we can’t leave.
A non-profit Earth Communication Office (ECO)
created the 60-second video spots we have been
showing today. They would love to get them distributed
as much as possible, in movie theaters, in any and all
settings. There is a CD with about 20 of the spots on it
available at their website
Earth Communications is working to change the way
that media is used, refocusing it from a tool for selling
things, to a tool to help re-imagine a sustainable future.
V-2 Module 4: The Universe Story
Key Points:
One way to describe our
collective worldview and the
unexamined assumptions that
comprise it would be to call it our
Anthropologists tell us that a
culture’s story about how the
Universe came to be created and
how the human community came
to be a part of the Universe is
really the background for
everything else the culture
believes—their values, ethics,
laws, institutions. Everything.
A new cultural story is emerging
at this time in history, and it’s a
story that says we are not
separate, but rather we are
profoundly connected at both the
macro and micro level. Our
children are being raised within
this new “operating system”
already, and it’s beginning to
shape the consciousness on our
Stories are critical to culture. Every culture has its
stories. Stories tell us who we are and teach us our
cultural worldview.
In The Power of Story in Social Movements, Marshall
Ganz analyzes the link between story telling and the
development of agency, reformulation of identity, the
accessing of motivational resources to form a leadership
group, found a new organization and launch a new
social movement.
“Social movements are not merely reconfigured
networks and redeployed resources. They are new
stories of whom their participants hope to become.”
The book entitled The Universe Story by cosmologists
Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme inspired the film
References - 3/8/2016
One way of telling this story
comes from cultural historian
Thomas Berry and mathematical
cosmologist Brian Swimme who
wrote a book called The Universe
Story. Here is an excerpt from a
film by Neal Rogin about this new
way of seeing the world.
Thomas Berry:
We will be alienated from the
universe until we have a story,
an adequate story of the universe
that tells the story of the human
References - 3/8/2016
entitled The Awakening Universe.
In this book, cosmologists Brian Swimme and Thomas
Berry fashion a new cosmology from the "Primordial
Flaring Forth" at the beginning of time through the
successive stages of the universe culminating with the
emergence of consciousness.
In the last eighty years or so, the vast majority of the
scientific community has gradually come to espouse a
single story of how the Universe and all living things
were created.
What is the new cosmology? Brian Swimme writes that,
we live in a moment of breakdown and creativity similar
to the moment in 1543 when Copernicus announced to
a startled Europe that the Earth was not stationary, but
was sailing rapidly through space as it spun around the
This was difficult news to take in all at once, he says,
but over time the Europeans reinvented their entire
civilization in light of this strange new fact about the
Universe. The fundamental institutions of the medieval
world, including the monarchies, the church, the feudal
economic system, and the medieval sense of self,
melted away as a radically different civilization was
constructed. Today we face a similar challenge.
The cosmological discovery that shatters nearly
everything upon which the modern age was built is the
discovery that the Universe came into existence 13.7
billion years ago and is so biased toward
complexification that life and intelligence are now seen
to be a nearly inevitable construction of evolutionary
dynamics…As a consequence, the major institutions of
the modern period, including that of agriculture and
religion and education and economics, need to be reimagined within an intelligent, self-organizing, living
Universe, so that instead of degrading the Earth's life
systems, humanity might learn to join the enveloping
community of living beings in a mutually enhancing
manner. This great work will surely draw upon the
talents and energies of many millions of humans from
every culture of our planet and throughout the rest of the
21st century.
Wikipedia defines cosmology as the study of the
Universe in its totality, and by extension, humanity's
place in it.
See also definition on NASA website:
Here is a website for the current PBS series, Faith and
Author Michael Colebrook describes two key elements
in Thomas Berry’s thinking. Firstly, the primary status of
the universe. The universe is, ‘the only self-referential
reality in the phenomenal world. It is the only text
without context. Everything else has to be seen in the
context of the universe’. The second element is the
as well as the story of everything
else, because it is part of one
single process that has been
going through a sequence of
transformative episodes.
Miriam MacGillis
Miriam MacGillis:
This idea of an emergent
universe is very, very new. There
is no culture, no tradition, no
sage, no prophet that could know
References - 3/8/2016
significance of story, and in particular the universe as
story. ‘The universe story is the quintessence of reality.
We perceive the story. We put it in our language, the
birds put it in theirs, and the trees put it in theirs. We can
read the story of the universe in the trees. Everything
tells the story of the universe. The winds tell the story,
literally, not just imaginatively. The story has its imprint
everywhere, and that is why it is so important to know
the story. If you do not know the story, in a sense you do
not know yourself; you do not know anything.
Berry connected the primal awakening to an awesome
universe permeated with numinous energy to the
primordial experience of human consciousness, and
considers this era to be the archetypical period of
human history. Although the modern techno-progress
myth presides over Eurowestern human consciousness,
there are fragments of the primal sensitivities that still
reside in the deeper realms of the unconscious. It is this
recovery or reintegration of the primal numinous
experiences of the universe, genetically encoded within
the human psyche, which needs to be retrieved into
consciousness. This can be accomplished best through
myth, which connects the paradigmatic structure of the
depth of the human psyche to the human context of
cultural narrative. Berry wrote that the mythic dimension
of the ecological age is neither romanticism nor an
idealism. It is rather a depth insight into the structure
and functioning of the entire earth process. … The
revelatory aspect of the ecological age finds expression
in the ecological archetype which finds its most effective
expression in the great story of the universe. … These
archetypical symbols are the main instruments for the
evocation of the energies needed for our future renewal
of the earth.
Twelve Principles for Understanding the Universe and
the Role of the Human in the Universe Process
(Thomas Berry):
Miriam MacGillis is a Dominican Sister who lives and
works at Genesis Farm, a 140-acre community farm that
practices biodynamic agriculture. Miriam coordinates
programs exploring the work of philosopher and
cosmologist Thomas Berry, including a graduate and
undergraduate Earth Literacy program. In her
international lectures she seeks to convey that a new
understanding of cosmology is essential for a response
to the present ecological crisis and for shaping our
planet's future.
Her work at Genesis Farm is rooted in a belief that the
Universe, Earth, and all reality are permeated by the
presence and power of that ultimate Holy Mystery. A
Sacred Mystery that has been so deeply and richly
expressed, and is the common thread, in the world's
spiritual traditions.
that the way our generation is
blessed to know it.
Mary Evelyn Tucker
Mary Evelyn Tucker:
When we begin to realize this
tremendous sense of time that’s
orienting us and space that’s
grounding us, we are energized in
a new way to take responsibility
for the planet and its
ecosystems. In other words, our
response to the magnificence of
cosmology and this story is a
responsibility to its continuity.”
Brian Swimme:
The Universe Story shows how
profoundly related we are… It
shows that we are involved with
each other and have been for a
long time. It is not the case that
the Earth was assembled and
then we were added to the Earth,
and it was there for our purposes.
Rather, we came out of the
Matthew Fox
References - 3/8/2016
Mary Evelyn Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Senior
Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments
in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as
well as the Divinity School and the Department of
Religious Studies. She is a co-founder and co-director
with John Grim of the Forum on Religion and Ecology.
Together they organized a series of ten conferences on
World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study
of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School. They is a
series of ten volumes from the conferences distributed
by Harvard University Press.
Mary Evelyn Tucker has authored many books on
religion and ecology including, Worldly Wonder:
Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase. She is the coeditor of books on ecological views of Buddhism,
Confucianism, and Hinduism. She has published the
volume Confucian Spirituality co-edited with Tu
Weiming, and her newest book, The Record of Great
Doubts: The Philosophy of Ch'i, is forthcoming.
In a complementary perspective, the Earth is
understood as emerging from an intelligent
“Intelligent design” refers to a scientific
research program as well as a community of scientists,
philosophers and other scholars who seek evidence of
design in nature. The theory of intelligent design holds
that certain features of the universe and of living things
are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an
undirected process such as natural selection. Through
the study and analysis of a system's components, a
design theorist is able to determine whether various
natural structures are the product of chance, natural law,
intelligent design, or some combination thereof. Such
research is conducted by observing the types of
information produced when intelligent agents act.
Scientists then seek to find objects which have those
same types of informational properties which we
commonly know come from intelligence. Intelligent
design has applied these scientific methods to detect
design in irreducibly complex biological structures, the
complex and specified information content in DNA, the
life-sustaining physical architecture of the universe, and
the geologically rapid origin of biological diversity in
the fossil record during the Cambrian explosion
approximately 530 million years ago. This scientific
model needs to be distinguished from creationism.
Matthew Fox is an American Episcopal priest and
theologian. He is an exponent of Creation Spirituality, a
movement grounded in the mystical philosophies of
medieval visionaries Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas
Aquinas, Meister Eckhart and Nicholas of Cusa. His
books have sold millions of copies and by the mid 1990s
had a huge and diverse following.
Matthew Fox:
Now the recovery of cosmology
brings back a sense of
community, or it ought to, to
rediscover that we are kin with all
other beings. And if you run the
film of the universe backward 14
billion years, you realize we all
descend from an original pin prick
smaller than a zygote. It’s really
one being here. We’re all
Imagine nothing. No space. Not
darkness. Not even a vast
emptiness. But nothing. Now
imagine …everything! In a
stupendous explosion of light,
heat and energy, radiating out in
every direction, the Universe
erupted into existence 13.7 billion
years ago.
Drew Dellinger:
We can see that everything that
ever was, is or will be, was
compressed into a space smaller
than a seed, tinier than a tear,
more minuscule than a molecule.
All space, all time, and the
potential for everything that would
ever exist started as a single
point. So in a very real sense
science has discovered what
indigenous people have known
all along: we are all one; we are
all connected; we all come from
the very same source.
This massive fireball continued
expanding, eventually cooling
enough for the very first atoms to
References - 3/8/2016
The Big Bang Theory is an effort to explain what
happened at the very beginning of our universe.
Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown
beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact
have a beginning. Prior to that moment there was
nothing; during and after that moment there was
something: our universe. The big bang theory is an
effort to explain what happened during and after that
To read more about Drew’s point of view on this point,
This refers to the Big Bang Theory. The Big Bang
Theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very
beginning of our universe. Discoveries in astronomy and
physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our
universe did in fact have a beginning. Prior to that
moment there was nothing; during and after that
moment there was something: our universe. The big
bang theory is an effort to explain what happened during
and after that moment.
For similar thoughts about the Earth as an amazing and
Brian Swimme:
If the expansion has just been a
little bit slower, the universe
would have collapsed into an
enormous black hole. Or if the
expansion had just been a little bit
faster the universe would have
expanded just too fast for the
galaxies to form and so we’d have
simply dust. If you altered the
expansion just 1 millionth of 1%
the entire universe would
collapse. So what it suggests is
that there is a profound wisdom at
work in the universe.
Miriam MacGillis:
Earth, as we see her now, has
arrived at such a complexity, such
a development, such a journey of
that original fireball, that she is
now alive in her own right. In
other words, the universe, in
earth, has reached a complexity
in which universe awakens into
life and is alive.
Drew Dillinger:
Think about it. Everything we see
around us has developed from
the boiling cauldron of the early
Earth, a sphere of lava that
miraculously gave rise to the sea
and the atmosphere, and then life
in its infinite expressions. As
Brian Swimme says, the Earth
was once molten rock and now
sings operas. So all creativity and
all consciousness arises, in
some mysterious way, from the
depths of the Earth itself.
Miriam MacGillis:
Why out of stardust has this come
to be? Why songbird? Why
green? Why the lushness of palm
and the stability of cypress, and
the grandeur of the mountains?
And why the oceans with their
billions of teeming life forms? We
are part of a journey so much
more than we ever could even
References - 3/8/2016
designed creation, see the book and movie entitled
The Privileged Planet by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay
W. Richards.
The Gaia hypothesis states that Earth herself, including
its atmosphere, is an organism. It’s author, James
Lovelock defined Gaia as a complex entity involving the
Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the
totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system
which seeks an optimal physical and chemical
environment for life on this planet.
Brian Swimme:
As we move into this
understanding, we have a new
identity of ourselves as
cosmological beings…. We are
the universe in the form of a
human. And it is true of everyone.
It’s an amazing new
understanding of ourselves that is
so profoundly inclusive and
everyone is part of this.
Everything is part of this, and we
discover as well a profound
kinship. That no matter what
being we talk about on the planet,
we are related. We are related in
terms of energy. We’re related in
terms of genetics. We’re all in one
way or another like a form of kin
and that just – It’s overwhelming.
So it’s just now coming into
human awareness. It’s going to
take a lot of reflection to embody
this fully, but it is a massive
change… in human
Joanna Macy’s “Milling”
What is the new cosmology?
In 1543 Copernicus announced to a startled Europe that
the Earth was not stationary, but was sailing rapidly
through space as it spun around the Sun. This was
difficult news to take in all at once, but over time the
Europeans reinvented their entire civilization in light of
this strange new fact about the Universe. The
fundamental institutions of the medieval world, including
the monarchies, the church, the feudal economic
system, and the medieval sense of self, melted away as
a radically different civilization was constructed.
We live in a similar moment of breakdown and creativity.
The cosmological discovery that shatters nearly
everything upon which the modern age was built is the
discovery that the Universe came into existence 13.7
billion years ago and is so biased toward
complexification that life and intelligence are now seen
to be a nearly inevitable construction of evolutionary
dynamics. Our new challenge is to reinvent our
civilization. The major institutions of the modern period,
including that of agriculture and religion and education
and economics, need to be re-imagined within an
intelligent, self-organizing, living Universe, so that
instead of degrading the Earth's life systems, humanity
might learn to join the enveloping community of living
beings in a mutually enhancing manner. This great work
will surely draw upon the talents and energies of many
millions of humans from every culture of our planet and
throughout the rest of the 21st century (Brian Swimme),
Another book entitled The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos:
Humanity and the New Story by Brian Swimme states
that the really surprising thing is that the news of the
birthplace of the universe was always here.
For a description of the Milling exercise by Joanna
Macy, you can visit:
V-2 Module 5: What Is Possible for the Future?
History and The Emerging Dream
Key Points:
References - 3/8/2016
Howard Zinn, historian, wrote that there is a tendency to
think that what we see in the present moment will
continue. What leaps out from history is its utter
unpredictability. The quote is from The Optimism of
Uncertainty by Howard Zinn (2004.)
Howard Zinn is an American historian and political
The emerging dream
References - 3/8/2016
scientist who has been active in the Civil Rights and
anti-war movements in the United States. A Professor
Emeritus in the Political Science Department at Boston
University, he is the author of 20 books. The best known
is the popular A People's History of the United States.
Read about him on Wikipedia at: and
Two more of Einstein’s quotes are applicable to
creativity. Here he calls us to find new thinking to solve
our problems.
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of
thinking we used when we created them. And this one
extols the power of creativity. Imagination is more
important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to
all we now know and understand, while imagination
embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to
know and understand.
In his book A New Reformation, Matthew Fox gives
the 97 Theses, one of which says that creativity is both
humanity’s greatest gift and its most powerful weapon
for evil and so it ought to be both encouraged and
steered to humanity’s most God-like activity which all
religions agree is: Compassion.
Another of Fox’s theses is that to honor the ancestors
and celebrate the communion of saints does not mean
putting heroes on pedestals but rather honoring them by
living out lives of imagination, courage and compassion
in our own time, culture and historical moment as they
did in theirs.
What is emerging, the new way of seeing the world is
called the Great Turning. (David Korten, The Great
Turning, from Empire to Earth Community). It has also
been called the Great Emergence. This is a turning
away from what is unsustainable a turning toward what
is sustainable. See this website on The Great Turning:
Joanna Macy has done extensive writing on this
In an article from Yes! Magazine, Joanna Macy talks
about the three dimensions of the Great Turning:
Something is emerging. Some call it the Great Turning.
Others call it the Turning Tide, or the Great Emergence,
or the Emergence of Earth Community. However we
name it, it’s being recognized widely that something is
now coming into existence, very powerfully.
Everett Rogers pioneering research on diffusion of
innovations found that when 5% of a population adopts
an idea it’s embedded, when 20% adopt it it’s
For more about Everett Rogers see Wikipedia:
For more on this concept of the adoption of innovation
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Let us remember that there is a
creative force in the universe, a
power that is able to make a way
out of no way and transform dark
yesterdays into bright tomorrows.
Let us realize that the arc of the
moral universe is long, but it
bends toward justice.
Male voice:
There is a tendency to think that
what we see in the present
moment will continue. We forget
how often we have been
References - 3/8/2016
Rogers, Everett M. (2003). Diffusion of Innovations,
From a more philosophical/scientific perspective,
Thomas Samuel Kuhn was an American intellectual who
wrote extensively on the history of science and
developed several important notions in the philosophy of
science. In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,
Kuhn argued that science does not progress via a linear
accumulation of new knowledge, but undergoes periodic
revolutions, also called "paradigm shifts" (although he
did not coin the phrase), in which the nature of scientific
inquiry within a particular field is abruptly transformed.
Our dream or concepts about this world have
changed through history. Four hundred years ago
Galileo tried to get the church fathers to look through a
telescope to see that the Earth was not the center of the
universe, but they refused. But not being willing to look
through the telescope didn’t disprove the existence of
the planets. Outdated worldviews can be very
entrenched and quite difficult to replace. Galileo, often
referred to as the father of modern science was a
philosopher, astronomer and physicist living in 16th and
17th century Italy.
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., was the most
famous voice for civil rights in US history. Van Jones
recommends the book Bearing The Cross by Martin
Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference by David J. Garrow. Being educated on
social justice issues and the history of the struggle for
social justice is a first step in creating a socially just
Martin Luther King, Jr. said that the arc of the moral
universe is long but it bends toward justice. When our
days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of
despair, and when our nights become darker than a
thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a
creative force in this universe, working to pull down the
gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make
a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into
bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral
universe is long but it bends toward justice (Southern
Christian Leadership Conference Presidential Address,
The British leaving India nonviolently.
India was regarded as the “Jewel of the British Empire”
and a source of great wealth to the colonial masters.
The activities leading up to its independence in 1947
and the role played by M.K. Gandhi.
astonished by the sudden
crumbling of institutions, by
extraordinary changes in
people’s thoughts, by unexpected
eruptions of rebellion against
tyranny, by the quick collapse of
systems of power that seemed
invincible. What leaps out of the
history of the past hundred years
is its utter unpredictability.
References - 3/8/2016
The Berlin wall coming down.
The Berlin wall was constructed in 1961 to separate
East Berlin from the West. It was dismantled in 1989.
From the Wikipedia, when a government statement that
crossing of the border would be permitted was
broadcast on November 9, 1989, masses of East
Germans approached and then crossed the wall, and
were joined by crowds of West Germans in a
celebratory atmosphere. The wall was subsequently
destroyed by a euphoric public over a period of several
weeks, and its fall was the first step toward German
reunification, which was formally concluded on October
3, 1990.
The fall of the Soviet Union.
An exemplar of “hospicing the old,” Mikhail Gorbachev
ended the political supremacy of the Communist Party
of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and dissolved the Soviet
Union. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.
Substantial smoking decrease.
How many of you smoke? How many of your parents’
smoked? Smoking has decreased dramatically in one
generation. CDC statistics:
End of Apartheid in South Africa.
Apartheid existed in South Africa from 1948 to 1991.
End of slavery.
This reference refers to the end of the slavery of AfricanAmericans in the USA and the abolition of the legal
trade in slaves. To this day many millions of people
remain in slavery around the world.
Woman’s suffrage.
This is the movement in the late 18th and early 19th
centuries to extend suffrage, the right to vote, to women.'s_suffrage
Man on the moon.
Initially seen as the stuff of science fiction, J.F. Kennedy
galvanized the American nation 1961 into putting a man
on the moon and returning him safely to Earth by the
end of the 1960’s.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the
United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. :
The Revolutions of 1989, the Autumn of Nations, the
Mariya Shall:
Demonstrations in Russia were
like totally illegal. After one
second holding a banner in front
of you, you would be arrested.
But we did it once, and we did it
twice, and then we did it three
times, and a year later
demonstrations were common
thing on the streets of Moscow.
We didn’t believe that we could
change anything, but we did it
Collapse of Communism or the Fall of Communism
were a revolutionary wave that swept across Central
and Eastern Europe in late 1989, ending in the
overthrow of Soviet-style communist states within the
space of a few months. The largely bloodless political
upheaval began in Poland, continued in Hungary, and
then led to a surge of mostly peaceful revolutions in
East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria. Romania
was the only Eastern-bloc country to overthrow its
communist regime violently and execute its head of
state. Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 failed to end
communism in China. In Slovenia, then part of former
Yugoslavia, the same process started already in spring
of 1988, but had little influence on the development in
other Socialist countries, except for neighboring Croatia.
The subsequent events that continued in 1990 and 1991
are sometimes also referred to as a part of the
revolutions of 1989.
After many centuries of warfare in
Europe, who could have imagined
the emergence of the political and
economic power that is now the
European Union?
And, in a country with a history of
slavery and segregation, who
could have predicted that a man
of color would be elected its
Or that a nation would publicly
apologize for the wrongs
committed against its First
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political
union of 27 member states, located primarily in Europe.
Committed to regional integration, the EU was
established by the Treaty of Maastricht on 1 November
1993 upon the foundations of the European Economic
Community. With almost 500 million citizens, the EU
combined generates an estimated 30% share (US$18.4
trillion in 2008) of the nominal gross world product and
about 22% of the PPP gross world product. The EU has
developed a single market through a standardized
system of laws which apply in all member states,
ensuring the free movement of people, goods, services,
and capital. It maintains common policies on trade,
agriculture, fisheries and regional development. Sixteen
member states have adopted a common currency, the
euro, constituting the Eurozone.
Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United
States and the first African American to hold the
office, as well as the first president born in Hawaii.
Obama previously served as the junior United States
Senator from Illinois from January 2005 until he
resigned after his election to the presidency in
November 2008.
A long-awaited apology from the Canadian government
to the country's native population was Canadian Prime
Minister Stephen Harper. The apology, which took place
as planned, involved Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
Harper offering his regrets, on behalf of the government,
for decades of racial discrimination towards natives in
residential schools. These schools were operated during
the 19th and 20th centuries by churches and funded by
a branch of the federal government. The First Nations
native children in the residential school system were
References - 3/8/2016
forced to assimilate into non-native culture, were at
times victims of physical and/or sexual abuse, and were
exposed to poor sanitation and a lack of medical
Prime Minister Rudd
Prime Minister Rudd is the 26th and current Prime
Minister of Australia and federal leader of the centre-left
Australian Labor Party (ALP). He majored in Chinese
language and Chinese history, became proficient in
Mandarin and acquired a Chinese alias, Lù Kèwén.
Rudd's thesis on Chinese democracy activist Wei
Jingsheng was supervised by Pierre Ryckmans, the
eminent Belgian-Australian sinologist.
Prime Minister Rudd:
We apologize for the laws and
policies of successive
Parliaments and governments
that have inflicted profound grief,
suffering, and loss on our fellow
For the pain, suffering and hurt of
those Stolen Generations, we
say sorry…”
An apology has been offered to the Stolen
Generations of Australia. According to some, it can be
a hollow act when not supported by reparation. Current
calls for compensation to the Stolen Generations have
been endorsed by the UN Human Rights Committee in
its April 2009 report on Australia’s performance on
human rights. While applauding the Apology to the
Stolen Generations, the Committee raised serious
concerns about the lack of an adequately resourced
national Indigenous representative body and the need to
make adequate reparations to the Stolen Generations.
The Committee urged Australia to establish a national
compensation scheme.
Catherine Ingram is an international dharma teacher
with communities in the U.S., Europe, and Australia.
The Apartheid Legislation in South Africa was a series
of different laws and acts which were to help the
apartheid-government to enforce the segregation of
different races and cement the power and the
dominance by the Whites, of substantially European
descent, over the other race groups. Starting in 1948,
the Nationalist Government in South Africa enacted laws
to define and enforce segregation. With the enactment
of apartheid laws in 1948, racial discrimination was
institutionalized. What makes South Africa's apartheid
era different from segregation in other countries is the
systematic way in which the National Party, which came
into power in 1948, formalized it through the law. The
effect of the legislation was invariably favorable to the
whites and detrimental to the other race groups.
Catherine Ingram
Catherine Ingram:
Many years ago I interviewed
Desmond Tutu, prior to the end
of apartheid, about a year and a
half before it ended. And he kept,
in the interview, saying “when we
end apartheid,” and I kept
thinking as I was listening to him,
“yeah right,” you know, like,
“dream on” – I mean, I didn’t want
to rain on his parade or anything,
but in my heart of hearts I thought
not in your lifetime… …And lo
and behold, a year and a half
later it was over. So it was really a
profound lesson about what can
happen when-when the will of
people aligns.
References - 3/8/2016
Desmond Tutu
Desmond Tutu:
We have defeated awful things
like Nazism, like communism, like
apartheid. And we have also seen
some wonderful human beings -Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa,
the Dalai Lama. And so you say,
you know what that says is that
ultimately good prevails. It is a
moral universe, despite all
appearances to the contrary.
Hahahaha! It is that… there’s no
way in which evil will ultimately
Rob Hopkins
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a South African cleric and
activist who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as
an opponent of apartheid. In 1984, Tutu became the
second South African to be awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize. Tutu was the first black South African Anglican
Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, and primate of
the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the
Anglican Church of Southern Africa). Tutu chaired the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is currently
the chairman of The Elders. Tutu is vocal in his defence
of human rights and uses his high profile to campaign
for the oppressed. Tutu also campaigns to fight AIDS,
tuberculosis, homophobia, poverty and racism. He
received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert
Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism, the Gandhi
Peace Prize in 2005[1] and the Presidential Medal of
Freedom in 2009. Tutu has also compiled several books
of his speeches and sayings.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s opposition to apartheid
brought him worldwide notice in the 1980’s. Apartheid is
a system of racial segregation that was enforced in
South Africa from 1948 to 1991. Desmond Tutu stood
for "a democratic and just society without racial
divisions" with equal civil rights for all. Tutu won the
Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. After the fall of apartheid, he
headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, for
which he was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999.
Desmond Tutu now has Peace Center, the mission of
which is to nurture peace by promoting ethical,
visionary, and values-based human development. See:
Rob Hopkins is the co-founder of Transition Town
Totnes and of the Transition Network. He has many
years experience in education, teaching permaculture
and natural building, and set up the first 2 year full-time
permaculture course in the world, at Kinsale Further
Education College in Ireland as well as co-ordinating the
first eco-village development in Ireland to be granted
planning permission. He is author of ‘Woodlands for
West Cork!’, ‘Energy Descent Pathways’ and most
recently ‘The Transition Handbook: from oil dependence
to local resilience.’
Rob Hopkins:
We sit at a point in time which is
extraordinarily pregnant with
possibilities. And that what’s
really important, is that we shift
our thinking from being focused
on probabilities – as in well,
what’s the probability that we’ll
References - 3/8/2016
have runaway climate change … -- to possibilities.
And so once you start to look at
possibilities, then there’s huge
energy that is unlocked from that.
New possibilities for the future
are emerging in all sectors of
society – in national and
international government, in
business and commerce, and the
myriad organizations of civil
Now, governments worldwide are
beginning to step up to address
our global challenges.
Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband:
For the proposals published today
are the first time we’ve set out a
comprehensive plan for carbon
across every sector.
Iceland, New Zealand, Norway
and Costa Rica are racing to
become the world’s first
developed nation to go entirely
carbon neutral.
Natalia Greene
Natalia Greene:
Ecuador is the first country in the
world to recognize the rights of
nature in its constitution.
References - 3/8/2016
One area where radical changes in thinking have
occurred is in the scientific world. This article on
paradigm shifts in Wikipedia gives examples of changes
in scientific thinking:
According to scientists we are even evolving more
quickly than humans use to evolve:
Ed Miliband is a British Labour politician, who has been
the Member of Parliament for Doncaster North since
2005 and is the current Secretary of State for Energy
and Climate Change (2009).
The UK has today announced its strategy for meeting
carbon emissions targets and to a massive increase in
renewable energy. Plans announced this morning by UK
Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband,
have been met with cautious praise by industry and
environment groups (July 2009).
Every time we travel or turn on our computers, we add
greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. This is because
most of the energy we use comes from fuels like oil,
coal, and gas. Other types of energy, like solar and wind
power, do not contribute to climate change. But they are
often more expensive.
Being "carbon neutral" means removing as much
carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as we put in. How
can we remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?
One way is to buy "carbon offsets". This supports
projects like a wind farm or solar park. It helps make
clean energy more affordable. It reduces future
greenhouse gas emissions to make up for our travel and
electricity use today.
Natalia Greene is … ???
In September 2008 Ecuador became the first country in
the world to declare constitutional rights for nature,
thus codifying a new system of environmental
protection. Reflecting the beliefs and traditions of the
indigenous peoples of Ecuador, the constitution
Recognizing the rights of nature
means treating nature as a
somebody, as someone to protect
and not as something to be
destroyed or exploited.
declares that nature “has the right to exist, persist,
maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure,
functions and its processes in evolution.” This right, the
constitution states, “is independent of the obligation on
natural and juridical persons or the State to indemnify
the people that depend on the natural systems.” The
new constitution redefines people’s relationship with
nature by asserting that nature is not just an object to be
appropriated and exploited by people, but is rather a
rights-bearing entity that should be treated with parity
under the law.
The United Nations’ Millenium
Development Goals represent a
worldwide effort to end hunger
and poverty by 2015.
Businesses and corporations are
recognizing that success in the
twenty-first century means paying
attention to the triple bottom line:
People, Planet, and Profit.
Hunter Lovins
“Time is short. We must seize this historic moment to
act responsibly and decisively for the common good.”
With only six years until the 2015 deadline to achieve
the Millennium Development Goals, UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon chose these words to strongly
urge Governments to engage constructively in the
preparations for a high-level meeting in September 2010
to review progress towards the MDGs and other
international development goals.
Hunter Lovins:
The world’s largest corporation
has announced aspirational goals
to be 100% renewable energy,
zero waste, and sell only
sustainable products.
Sixty to ninety thousand
companies that sell products to
Wal-Mart will now have to show
that they are measuring and
tracking their carbon footprint
and beginning to reduce it.
The economic landscape is also
being remade with new green
collar jobs…
References - 3/8/2016
Hunter Lovins is President and founder of the Natural
Capitalism Solutions. NCS educates senior decisionmakers in business, government and civil society to
restore and enhance the natural and human capital
while increasing prosperity and quality of life. In
partnership with leading thinkers and implementers,
NCS creates innovative, practical tools and strategies to
enable companies, communities and countries to
become more sustainable.
Many businesses are taking the lead through
environmental policies and actions. Internet companies
have been formed to help organizations formulate a
carbon footprint management plan, set realistic
carbon reduction targets, and meet them.
There are many websites providing opportunities to
companies, organizations and workers to post or offer
green collar jobs.
(any idea?)
Van Jones:
If you give them the tools and the
training and the technology, they
can retrofit a nation…
Eric Lombardi
Eric Lombardi:
A lot of people think that trash is
inevitable – it’s one of those
necessary evils of life. But that’s
not true. Waste is actually the
product of bad design, and bad
design can be changed.
Innovation design is also creating
low-tech solutions for the
developing world.
Everywhere on Planet Earth – in
cities and towns, suburbs and
villages – a vast and
unprecedented global
phenomena is beginning to make
itself know.
References - 3/8/2016
Eric Lombardi is currently the Executive Director of
Eco-Cycle, Inc. Eric has had a long career in resource
conservation, social enterprise development and nonprofit (NGO) organizational management.
Eco-Cycle, Inc. is an organization working to build zero
waste communities. Find lots of resources and
information for reducing waste at
Eco-Cycle, founded in 1976, is considered a nationwide
pioneer in the recycling industry.
Some recycling facts from the Eco-Cycle website:
 If every household in the U.S. replaced just one
roll of 1,000 sheet virgin fiber bathroom tissues
with 100% recycled ones, we could save:
373,000 trees, 1.48 million cubic feet of landfill
space, and 155 million gallons of water. Seventh
Generation Co.
 Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 trees, 2
barrels of oil (enough to run the average car for
1,260 miles), 4,100 kilowatts of energy (enough
power for the average home for 6 months), 3.2
cubic yards of landfill space, and 60 pounds of air
pollution. Trash to Cash
 Americans throw away enough aluminum to
rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes
every 3 months. Environmental Defense Fund
 About 80% of what Americans throw away is
recyclable, yet our recycling rate is just 28%.
Environmental Protection Agency
You can take steps to prevent junk mail. Each year, the
junk mail industry destroys about 100 million trees. The
production and disposal of junk mail consumes more
energy than 3 million cars.
Some internet sites offer people the possibility to cancel
magazine distribution in their mail boxes, that is, to
reduce junk mail and wasting of paper, as well as to
contribute to tree planting with their subscription.
At, paper is made out of elephant
dung. This paper is manufactured using a process that
promotes environmental protection. The paper is
sanitized and has good utility value. Variations is the
elephant’s diet, age and dental state give each batch of
paper a unique color and texture. Colour varies with the
type of food consumed: Coconut, Kitul or Jak. Texture
depends on whether the elephant is able to chew the
food or not. Fully digested fiber gives the paper a
smooth finish while half digested fiber makes the paper
coarser. In buying and using this paper. People are
making a contribution to the care of this magnificent
Paul Hawken:
(Bioneers Conference 2004)
There is another super power
here on earth that is an unnamed
movement. It is far different and
bigger and more unique than
anything we have ever seen. It
flies under the radar of the media
by and large.
It is non-violent; it is grass-roots.
It has no cluster bombs, no
armies, and no helicopters. It has
no central ideology. A male
vertebrate is not in charge… This
unnamed movement… You can
clap for that…
The very word “movement”, I
think, is too small to describe it.
This movement is humanity’s
immune system to resist and heal
political disease, economic
infection, and ecological
corruption caused by ideologies.
This is fundamentally a civil rights
movement, a human rights
movement; this is a democracy
movement; it is the coming
Paul Hawken:
What you are seeing here is the
beginning of a list of the two
million organizations in the world
that work towards social and
environmental justice, and that’s a
To give you a sense of how big
this movement is: If I start this
tape on today at 9:00 am, and we
watch this all day and all night,
and the day after that, until a wee
passed, and then for three more
weeks, and then a month after
that, we still would not have seen
the names of all the groups in the
It’s the largest social movement in
the history of humankind, by far.
References - 3/8/2016
animal which is being driven to extinction by loss of its
natural habitat. A percentage of the proceeds of our
sales goes to the Millennium Elephant Foundation –
affiliated to the World Society for protection of Animals
(WSPA) – which maintains a home for elderly and
disabled elephants.
(Blessed Unrest definition here too?)
(any idea?)
At the heart of a transition to a
new world are the communities,
families, and individuals who are
changing the way they are living –
making new choices based on the
values that support a more
sustainable, just, and fulfilling
Micheal Pollan
Micheal Pollan:
When we think about global
warming, we think about
transportation, we think about
how we heat our houses, but in
fact how we eat has just as big an
impact on climate change.
Powering this global phenomenon
is the explosive digital
revolution that is revealing and
connecting a planetary human
Muhammad Yunus
References - 3/8/2016
(any idea?)
Micheal Pollan is an American author, journalist,
activist, and professor of journalism at the University of
California, Berkeley.
Pollan's latest book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's
Manifesto, released on January 1, 2008, explores the
relationship with what he terms nutritionism and the
Western diet, with a focus on late 20th century food
advice given by the science community. Pollan holds
that consumption of fat and dietary cholesterol do not
lead to a higher rate of coronary disease, and that the
reductive analysis of food into nutrient components is a
flawed paradigm. He questions the view that the point of
eating is to promote health, pointing out that this
attitude is not universal and that cultures that perceive
food as having purposes of pleasure, identity, and
sociality may end up with better health. He explains this
seeming paradox by vetting then validating the notion
that nutritionism and, therefore, the whole Western
framework through which we intellectualize the value of
food is more a religious and faddish devotion to the
mythology of simple solutions than a convincing and
reliable conclusion of incontrovertible scientific research.
Pollan spends the rest of his book explicating his first
three phrases: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
The internet is one of the most significant technological
developments of the present time. Through the World
Wide Web humanity has been given a tool for global
communication and interconnectivity. Its use has
become central to the lives of millions of people,
businesses and organizations, linking humanity together
in ways unimaginable a few decades ago. But how does
it relate to the emerging consciousness of oneness?
The unified connectivity presented by the Internet has
been long known to the mystic, who in meditation has
access to a dimension of oneness in which everything is
simultaneously present, and all knowledge is accessible.
The experience of super-conscious state happens on
this plane of oneness. But the Internet presents a model
of a unified consciousness that is accessible on a more
physical plane, to anyone who has access to a
Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi banker and
economist. He previously was a professor of economics
Muhammad Yunus:
This generation is much more
powerful than our generation was
technology-wise, informationwise. Today, a little kid runs to
Google to find out what’s the
latest, and challenges everybody
else because he or she has the
latest information.
Jon Warnow
Jon Warnow:
People can now be connected
nationwide to act locally in their
communities and then have all
that local action united into one
synchronized beautiful harmonic
Niger Delta woman:
The only voice we have is this
video editing. They say we don’t
know books, we can’t write much.
But if we are able to make a
small film about what is
happening to us, it will go on the
internet and the whole world will
see it.
Awake, committed people are
discovering that a new future is
possible, and they are becoming
who they need to be to make it
happen – together.
Wombat Video
References - 3/8/2016
where he developed the concept of microcredit. These
loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for
traditional bank loans. Yunus is also the founder of
Grameen Bank. In 1998 he was awarded with the
Concorde Prince of asturias award. In 2006, Yunus and
the bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize,
"for their efforts to create economic and social
development from below."
To see statistics about children’s internet use, visit:
Jon Warnow has won the Brower Youth Awards 2007.
See his video about people connecting through the
internet in order to create a new way of getting together
toward activism and change:
YouTube is a website that offers web services for
uploading, viewing and sharing video files. The
technology used for viewing the clips is a very popular
one and can be very easily viewed with the help of one
of the numerous compatible software players currently
available. Moreover, the video clips using this format
can be very easily embedded in other websites, thus
increasing YouTube's own customer base. However,
practically, YouTube is a service which lets the users
upload just about any type of video material,
representing some sort of crossbreed between the file
sharing networks, blogs and social networking websites.
Oh, and it's also free and very user friendly.
One publication that reports on creating positive social
change is World Changing:
Global Mind Shift is an organization dedicated to
bringing about global community and has created the
wombat video.
The Wombat video can be found at the following link:
V-2 Module 6A: Where Do We Go From Here? Personal Stand
References - 3/8/2016
Key Points:
Drew Dellinger:
It’s 3:23 in the morning and I'm
awake because my great-great
grandchildren won’t let me sleep.
My great-great grandchildren ask
me in dreams
What did you do while the planet
was plundered?
What did you do when the Earth
was unraveling?
Surely you did something when
the seasons started failing,
as the mammals, reptiles, birds
were all dying.
Did you fill the streets with protest
when democracy was stolen?
What did you do once you knew?
So now we know. We know that
our current worldview, and the
industrial system it gave rise to,
have run up against the limits of
a finite planet.
We know that the vitality of the
Earth is declining every day. That
the chasm between the few of us
who have more than we need and
the many of us who have not
nearly enough gets wider every
day. And we know that it is
hurting all of us inside.
At the same time, we know that
we are part of a worldwide
awakening – a grassroots
movement for change that is
unprecedented in human history.
So now that we know, the
question arises: what part do we
play in this unfolding story?
Where do we go from here?
Where do you go from here?
Power of One Eco Spot
Not so long ago, a little girl in
Alabama wanted to go to the
same school as everyone else.
And a gentle man from India
wanted to raise consciousness
without raising his voice.
In East Germany, a man wanted
to break free.
And a woman traveled the world
giving hope to those who had
This is the power of one: To
protect your home in the Amazon.
To prevent poaching of the
African mountain gorilla.
To rescue harp seals in Finland.
Or to care for the environment in
References - 3/8/2016
our own backyard.
The power of one is the power to
do something. Anything.
Drew Dellinger is a spoken work poet, teacher, and
activist. Dellinger was listed as one of the "important
musical voices" of the "new international, broad-based
(global justice) movement" by YES! magazine. Dellinger
has inspired minds at hundreds of conferences,
colleges, rallies, and protests across the U.S. He has
published poems in magazines and books, including the
anthology Global Uprising. In 1997 he received
Common Boundary magazine's national Green Dove
Award for his work. Dellinger has studied cosmology
with Thomas Berry since 1990, and currently teaches at
Naropa University in Oakland and Prescott College in
Arizona. He is founder of Poets for Global Justice, a
project building movements for social and ecological
change by unleashing the poetry in everyone.
Also see a short interview with M.C Mehta entitled The
World Is On Fire at:
A non-profit Earth Communication Office (ECO) created
the 60-second video spots we have been showing
today. They would love to get them distributed as much
as possible, in movie theaters, in any and all settings.
There is a CD with about 20 of the spots on it available
at their website
Earth Communications is working to change the way
that media is used, refocusing it from a tool for selling
things, to a tool to help re-imagine a sustainable future.
Examples of the Power of One:
You may have heard of the winner of the 2004 Nobel
Peace Prize: Wangari Maathai, (whan-GAH-ree ma-TIE)
a Kenyan woman who is the founder of the Green Belt
movement. Thirty million trees have been planted in
Africa as a result of her work with the women in the
The biography of this remarkable woman can be read at
the Nobel Prize website:
And a time capsule message from Wangari for all us
V-2 Module 6B: Where Do We Go From Here?
In Blessed Unrest, Choosing Action
Key Points:
Once we take a personal stand to
change the dream of the modern
world, the question becomes:
Now what? Where do we start?
Kenney Ausubel
Kenney Ausubel:
People ask me what can I do,
what can I do, I want to do
something. Well the first choice,
you’ve already made the first
choice if you’re saying that,
because the first choice is you
know you have to do something.
In looking at taking action, there
are three areas that are useful to
consider. First, what can I do in
my personal life, right where I
work and live?
Dr. Vandana Shiva:
I think the most important step to
take to rebuild the environment,
to rebuild the planet’s health, to
rebuild our own health, and to
rebuild the health of communities
is to basically ask, what is it in my
immediate surroundings that I
can take a step towards in terms
of healing?
Hunter Lovins
References - 3/8/2016
Kenney Ausubel is CEO and founder of Bioneers, an awardwinning social entrepreneur, author, journalist and filmmaker.
Bioneers is a nationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to
disseminating practical and visionary solutions for restoring
Earth’s imperiled ecosystems and healing our human
communities. Kenny launched the annual Bioneers
Conference in 1990 with his producing partner and wife, Nina
Simons, Bioneers co-founder.
(any idea?)
The need to first transform ourselves personally before
attempting to transform our world is a central tenet to many
spiritual traditions. For a more psychological perspective, see:
This statement is consistent with motto Think Globally, Act
Locally. It urges people to consider the health of the entire
planet and to take action in their own communities. Long
before federal and state agencies began enforcing
environmental laws, individuals were coming together to
protect habitats and the organisms that depend on them.
These efforts are referred to as grassroots efforts. They occur
on a local level and are primarily run by volunteers.,_Act_Locally
Hunter Lovins is President and founder of the Natural
Capitalism Solutions. NCS educates senior decision-makers
in business, government and civil society to restore and
enhance the natural and human capital while increasing
prosperity and quality of life. In partnership with leading
thinkers and implementers, NCS creates innovative, practical
tools and strategies to enable companies, communities and
countries to become more sustainable.
Hunter Lovins:
We need to demand of our
government that they step forth
and take action. But even more
important is what each one of us
does. What we do in our
business, what we do in our
communities, and what we do in
our personal lives.
Another area of action is
communication: using the power
of words to engage others in
seeing and creating the new
possibilities before us; speaking
out to friends, family, and coworkers – in our own community
as well as to those in the halls of
References - 3/8/2016
The work of connecting goes against our competitive,
cultural grain, but what we are learning is that through the
principle of synergy, the power of connection is the power of
The Third Sector, Community Development and Social
Justice; Theodore J. Hopkins, Jr., Delivered at the Seventh
International Conference of the International Society for Third
Sector Research, July 9-12, 2006, Bangkok, Thailand.
In the book entitled Forces for Good; The Six Practices of
High-Impact Nonprofits, what authors Leslie Crutchfield and
Heather McLeod Grant discovered came as a surprise. They
initially assumed that there was something inherent to these
organizations that led to great impact—and that success was
directly tied to organizational growth or management. Instead,
they learned that becoming a high-impact nonprofit is not just
about building a great organization, and then expanding it to
reach more people. Rather, high-impact nonprofits work with
and through other organizations and individuals to create
more impact than they could have ever achieved alone.
High-impact nonprofits build social movements and fields;
they transform business, government, other nonprofits, and
individuals; and they change the world around them. In the
end, six patterns crystallized into the form presented here—
the six practices that high-impact nonprofits use to achieve
extraordinary impact. These nonprofits:
1. Work with government and advocate for policy change
2. Harness market forces and see business as a powerful
3. Convert individual supporters into evangelists for the
4. Build and nurture nonprofit networks, treating other
groups as allies
5. Adapt to the changing environment
6. Share leadership, empowering others to be forces for
Artists are working with environmentalists and residents to
make a political change in Louisiana, where toxic waste is
devastating communities along the Mississippi River.
Juan Manuel Carrion:
All the changes at the individual
level are important. First comes
the individual change, but since
none of us exists on his own,
isolated, and it isn’t about me as
an individual, but about us,
A third arena is collective,
cooperative action. We know we
cannot do this great work alone,
and the good news is we don’t
have to.
As we seek friends and partners
in this do-it-yourself project, we
can look to an example from
nature from evolutionary biologist
Elisabet Sathouris.
Jon Symes
Jon Symes:
There’s a moment in the life of a
caterpillar when it begins to eat
more and more. It becomes a
voracious consumer, and eats
many times its own weight in
food. It eventually becomes
bloated and immobile, and at that
very moment inside the caterpillar
there are these tiny cells waking
up. The biologists call them
imaginal cells.
These cells keep popping up and
joining together as clusters. The
clusters become strings of
imaginal cells. And at this point,
References - 3/8/2016
When people have the chance to witness their collective
stories, they get energized, more critical, and more powerful
as a group.
Synergy means "together energy", i.e., the energy that can
be released by bringing things into relationship, creating
something new which is not predictable from the original
things which were combined. "Project Synergy" was chosen
as the name for this alternative careers and lifestyles project
because people had experienced that, by trying to integrate
their values and their working life and lifestyles, whole new
solutions were discovered that they hadn't imagined before.
Moreover, synergy was something you could get by bringing
people into cooperative relationships. You've got synergy
when ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts (Lee
There’s another important point about the role of community
in working on these issues. We know that for us to find our
way to an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and
socially just human presence on this planet, it will completely
and totally depend on each one of us doing our very best to
find the pathway that will get us there (although it doesn’t
necessarily mean getting everyone to agree to do one “right”
The concept that the wisdom of the collective outweighs the
wisdom of any individuals, even when the people making up
the collective are not necessarily experts, is fascinating. It is
written about in the book The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the
Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom
Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, first
published in 2004, is a book written by James Surowiecki.
Elisabet Sathouris write about indigenous worldview.
Others speak about doing it with the Friend.
Jon Symes works at The Pachamama Alliance.
Imaginal cells – “What the caterpillar calls the end of the
world the rest of the world calls butterfly.” —Richard Bach
Note: A cluster of imaginal cells makes up an “imaginal disc.
An imaginal disc that begins to develop into a wing or a leg or
an eye is an “imaginal bud.”
This concept of imaginal cells has been popularized by
evolutionary biologist, Elizabet Sahtouris as a metaphor for
transformation in the human realm. She sees the
metamorphosis of the caterpillar into the butterfly as having
many parallels to our collective rite of passage. See:
For more about Sahtouris, see:
Note: The apparent originator of the metaphor is Norie
Huddle. Her butterfly metaphor was featured in the Institute of
Noetic Science (IONS) Magazine Issue 52, June-August
2000 in an article entitled “What the Butterfly Knows/Wired for
well before the cells are a
majority, the imaginal cells have
become the genetic director of
the whole of the caterpillar.
The rest of the caterpillar’s cells
collapse into a kind of nutritive
soup, which feeds the emergence
of the butterfly – the
unpredictable miracle that is a
Those of us standing for a just,
sustainable and fulfilling future
find ourselves seeing the world
through new eyes. We are in a
particular state – one that is at
once uncomfortable and
exhilarating – a state that could
be called Blessed Unrest.
Bill Twist:
Blessed Unrest is a state where
somebody sees, knows fully well
where we are, what’s going on
around them, what the
mechanisms are that keep us
where we are, and yet sees a
future that we all want to go to,
and has the ability to create
possibilities for holding that
future as something that inspires
their life.
References - 3/8/2016
Wings” by Keith Thompson. See:
See Huddle website:
The term “blessed unrest” came from a quote by Martha
Graham, who was an American dancer, teacher, and
choreographer known as one of the foremost pioneers of
modern dance. See Wikipedia reference at:
The full quote is:
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated
through you into action, and there is only one of you in all
time. This expression is unique.
And if you block it, it will never exist through any other
medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your
business to determine how good it is, not how it compares
with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours
clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You
have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that
motivate you. Keep the channel open…No artist is pleased…
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is on a
queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us
marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
--Martha Graham (to Agnes DeMille), Martha: The Life and
Work of Martha Graham.
Together we can be wiser than any of us can be alone.
We need to know how to tap that wisdom. Healthy
communities, institutions and societies -- perhaps even our
collective survival -- depend on our ability to organize our
collective affairs more wisely, in tune with each other and
nature. This ability to wisely organize our lives together -- all
of us being wiser together than any of us could be alone -- we
call co-intelligence. In its broadest sense, co-intelligence
involves accessing the wisdom of the whole on behalf of the
Co-intelligence is emerging through new developments in
democracy, organizational development, collaborative
processes, the Internet and systems sciences like ecology
and complexity. Today millions of people are involved in cocreating co-intelligence. Our diverse efforts grow more
effective as we discover we are part of a larger evolutionary
enterprise, and as we learn together and from each other.
The Co-Intelligence Institute works to further the
understanding and development of co-intelligence. It focuses
on catalyzing co-intelligence in the realms of politics,
governance and conscious evolution of ourselves and our
social systems. We research, network, advocate, and help
organize leading-edge experiments and conversations in
order to weave what is possible into new, wiser forms of
Luke Tayor:
Blessed Unrest is the willingness
to keep showing up day after day,
moment after moment, in spite of
how uncomfortable it is.
Alain Desouches:
It’s at the same time a state of
happiness to be in sync, in
synchronization with the Earth,
and at the same time a state of
being completely in touch with the
pain that Earth experiences in
this present time.
Onno Koelman:
It’s not lie “gotta do something,”
it’s more like “I want to do
Bill Twist:
Yes, we will take action; we’ll be
impelled to get out, to do things,
but equally important is that we
become something – we’ll
become an instrument of
something being able to work
through us.
Desmond Tutu:
Every single one of us can do
something to make a difference.
You can – you can – you can you can; I can. God bless you.
Some Websites of the
Emerging Dream:
1. The Pachamama Alliance
2. Wiserearth
3. Green for all
4. Low carbon diet
5. Better World Shopping
References - 3/8/2016
Find out more at
The term “blessed unrest” came from a quote by Martha
Graham, who was an American dancer, teacher, and
choreographer known as one of the foremost pioneers of
modern dance. See Wikipedia reference at:
Joanna Macy writes beautifully about how our pain is linked
to the pain of the Earth: “Because the pain I feel when I
allow myself to witness the pain of the world is no less than
your pain--you, who perpetuate destruction and cut
yourselves off from needs of the present and the generations
of the future, I bow to you in compassion and touch the
This statement refers to the psychological concept of intrinsic
motivation, that is, motivation that comes from inside an
individual rather than from any external or outside rewards,
such as money or grades. The motivation comes from the joy
one gets from the task itself or from the sense of satisfaction
in completing or even working on a task.
In its broadest sense, co-intelligence involves accessing the
wisdom of the whole on behalf of the whole.
Co-intelligence is emerging through new developments in
democracy, organizational development, collaborative
processes, the Internet and systems sciences like ecology
and complexity. Today millions of people are involved in cocreating co-intelligence. Our diverse efforts grow more
effective as we discover we are part of a larger evolutionary
enterprise, and as we learn together and from each other.
The Co-Intelligence Institute works to further the
understanding and development of co-intelligence. It focuses
on catalyzing co-intelligence in the realms of politics,
governance and conscious evolution of ourselves and our
social systems. We research, network, advocate, and help
organize leading-edge experiments and conversations in
order to weave what is possible into new, wiser forms of
Pachamama Alliance:
Green For All:
Low Carbon Diet :
6. Northwest Earth Institute
7. Native Americans
8. Ashoka
Better World Shopping Guide:
Northwest Earth Institute
Native Americans:
V-2 Module 7: Finale: Hope Committed in Action
Key Points:
Male voice:
The kind of hope that I often think
about…I understand above all as
a state of mind, not a state of the
Either we hope within us, or we
don’t. It is a dimension of the soul.
Hope is not a conviction that
something will turn out well, but
the certainty that something
makes sense, regardless of how it
turns out.
References - 3/8/2016
The quote is from Disturbing the Peace: A Conversation
with Karel Huizdala by Vaclav Havel (1990), a collection
of interviews that “are at once Havel’s political
autobiography, a history of Czechoslovakia under
communism, a meditation on the social and political role
of art, and a guide for all people of conscience facing
conscienceless regimes” (from the back cover). Here is
the full text of the quote from pp. 181-182:
“I think I should probably say first that the kind of hope I
often think about (especially in situations that are
particularly hopeless, such as prison) I understand
above all as a state of mind, not a state of the world.
Either we have hope within us or we don’t; it is a
dimension of the soul, and it’s not essentially dependent
on some particular observation of the world or estimate
of the situation. Hope is not prognostication. It is an
orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it
transcends the world that is immediately experienced,
and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. I don’t
think you can explain it as a mere derivative of
something here, of some movement, or of some
favorable signs in the world. I feel that its deepest roots
are in the transcendental, just as the roots of human
responsibility are, though of course I can’t—unlike
Christians, for instance—say anything concrete about
the transcendental. An individual may affirm or deny that
his hope is so rooted, but this does nothing to change
my conviction (which is more than just a conviction; it’s
an inner experience). The most convinced materialist
and atheist may have more of this genuine,
transcendentally rooted inner hope (this is my view, not
his) than ten metaphysicians together.
Hope, in this deep and powerful sense is not the same
as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest
in enterprises that are obviously headed for early
success, but rather, an ability to work for something
because it is good, not just because it stands a chance
to succeed. The more propitious the situation in which
we demonstrate hope, the deeper that hope is. Hope is
Julia Butterfly Hill:
What gives me hope? I reflect
back again to a time when I was
in the tree and it’s a time that as
soon as I go there it begins tears,
and I know that it will for the rest
of my life.
When I was listening to the
chainsaws every day and having
watched these ancient trees hit
the ground every day and not
being able to go and amuse
myself and shut down and just
bearing witness day in and day
out and feeling myself and every
last shred of hope being
strangled and killed. … And the
answer that came to me was,
“Julia, if you have hope in your
heart and even if you’re the only
person left who has hope in their
heart – is that hope is committed
in action, then there’s hope for
the world. If you’re the only
person left, as long as your hope
is committed in action, then hope
is alive in the world.”
David Ulansey:
I believe that this is the moment
when the human species can rise
to its full potential. We have now
created for ourselves the greatest
References - 3/8/2016
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. In short, I think that the deepest and
most important form of hope, the only one that can keep
us above water and urge us to good works, and the only
true source of the breathtaking dimension of the human
spirit and its efforts, is something we get, as it were,
from ‘elsewhere.’ It is also this hope, above all, which
gives us the strength to live and to try new things, even
in conditions that seem as hopeless as ours do, here
and now.”
Vaclav Havel was a “quizzical absurdist playwright”
when, in 1976, he agreed to become the spokesman for
a group calling for a more tolerant and open
Czechoslovakia. Thirteen years later, having endured
harassment and multiple imprisonments for his political
activities, Havel became his country’s president. You
can read about him on the Wikipedia at:, or at his
official website:
Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events
and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that
what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for
the best. When used in a religious context, hope carries
a connotation of being aware as spiritual truth. In
Christian theology, hope is one of the three theological
virtues (faith, hope, and love), which are spiritual gifts of
God. In contrast to the above, it is not a physical
emotion but a spiritual grace. Hope is distinct from
positive thinking, which refers to a therapeutic or
systematic process used in psychology for reversing
In psychology, any new demanding situation can be
seen as either a threat or a challenge. Depending on
how we perceive the new situation will determine how
we respond to it, that is, with fear and withdrawal, or
with hope and engagement.
(add reference)
challenge we have ever faced.
And that means that we are, we
have the opportunity to live the
most meaningful lives that have
ever been lived.
Rob Hopkins:
This is a historic process that’s
starting. This is a once-off
window of opportunity to create
something really, really
extraordinary that future
generations will tell stories about,
sing songs about, put plates up
7 -5
Van Jones:
Look to your left and look to your
right. Look at the beautiful people
who are around you right now.
We don’t need any hero on a
white horse. We’re the people
we’ve been waiting for. You
already have within you enough
love to save the planet.
Al Gore:
There is an old African proverb
some of you know that says, “If
you want to go quickly, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”
We have to go far quickly, so we
have to have a change in
consciousness, a change in
commitment, a new sense of
urgency, a new appreciation for
the privilege that we have of
undertaking this challenge.
Wangari Mathaai:
In the course of history there
comes a time when humanity is
called to shift to a new level of
consciousness, to reach a
higher moral ground, a time when
we have to shed our fear and give
hope to each other. That time is
We now have the
unprecendented opportunity to
set off in an entirely new direction,
and together make real the world
we so deeply yearn for: an
environmentally sustainable,
References - 3/8/2016
This famous saying “We are the ones we've been
waiting for” can be seen from a Hopi point of view at:
This statement is one part of The Pachamama
Alliance’s two-fold mission.
spiritually fulfilling, and
socially just human presence
on this planet.
References - 3/8/2016