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Rekindle Your Wild Joy and sense of deep Belonging through spiritual ecopsychology and the arts, incl. bioregional awareness, animistic perspectives, strategies for simple living, & low/no-tech DIY fun.

Happy Interdependence Day July 4, 2018

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“The great fallacy of the United States is that it was built on individuality. That’s the greatest lie ever was told, because it was not. It was built on community politics. People got out in the communities and helped each other; farmers lent each other horses and tractors, and built barns. America was a much better place when she was a family, not an individual.”   –Betty Williams, 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner

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Happy Interdependence Day, family.

These are hard times we’re living in. Here in the USA, the events carry so many echoes of the last days of Rome, when the mad emperor Nero sat on the throne and brought that once-powerful Empire down in flames.

Perhaps that’s not a bad thing. Perhaps the days of Empires should be limited. They tend to go sour and turn on their own people and lands, along with despoiling all around. Multiple murders to capture and keep thrones. The decadence of wasteful consumption: the wealthy in Rome ate suppers of things like peacocks’ tongues, then visited the vomitorium in order to return and eat some more. Germany built concentration camps, where they sent many of their own people. Perverted power run amok.

We have the horror of the Republican Administration stealing and caging the children of asylum seekers. The irony of the United States of America turning on immigrants now! The time for that would have been when the first ships arrived on her shores. But in the apocryphal stories they told us as schoolchildren to build our identity as Americans, the native peoples here welcomed the fleeing Pilgrims with open arms. So now the descendants of pilgrims want to say, I’m here so it’s enough; it’s ours now, close the door?

 

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Another part of the irony lies in the fact that much of what we now call the USA was previously owned by other countries.

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Sure, incoming numbers have to be limited for a country to remain optimally functional, but we can address this global problem without reverting to inhumane ways.

Remember, this country was founded on revolution against tyranny. (There’s a great 4th of July meme of a British flag with the statement, “Happy Treason Day, ungrateful colonials.”)  Revolt against unjust tyranny, along with articles on how to get along from the Haudenosaunee people, here for generations before Europeans arrived. In fact, their highly functional governance structure informed the basis of our current Constitution. We in the Industrial Growth Society still have much to learn from native peoples, especially regarding skill with relationships.

What we can do to foment revolution now in the face of increasing horrors; our strongest resistance, I think, is to be kind to one another.

We must firmly oppose what is happening, of course; we must dare to speak out fiercely – AND we must do it in a way that is honorable, even noble. As John Lennon said in a little-known video called I Met the Walrus,

“They got all the weapons. They got all the money. And they know how to fight violence because they’ve been doing it for a thousand years. The only thing they don’t know about is nonviolence and humor.”

So we must not unconsciously buy in to the casual cruelty, mockery and stupidity that is leaching like a miasma out of our highest office. We must not replicate that cancer further. Instead, we must consciously choose to embody kindness, generosity, and humor. What’s radical in these times is going ahead and acting out the world in which we want to live, as if it were already here. To assume that most people are basically good, and doing their best, even when they screw up or have an opinion that makes you want to scream. To listen, and not only with the ears, with the heart too. To openly care for one another and the earth. To make choices that are right and aligned with greater good, despite what the despots want. To benefit our grandchildren and grandchildren of all species for generations to come, not some rich corporation’s wallet this week. And if we want to do advanced practice, to get past the idea of any ultimate “they.”

The good news is, this sort of resistance is happening, and not only on an individual level. I gain hope from watching hundreds of cities and businesses openly state that they will continue to work according to the Paris Accord for Climate Change, despite what noise to the contrary comes out of the White House. They recognize the way the wind is blowing; they recognize that dialing down reliance on dwindling fossil fuels is the way that their businesses will be able to continue in a global marketplace which is, by the way, dependent on a finite globe. Acting in accord with our long-term means is just good business. Once regime change happens again in a couple of years, it’s clear that the next sitter on the U.S. throne will have to reinstate these agreements, lest we become an isolated and impoverished backwater.

Rome fell, and so could we. We can see the struts shivering now. But we don’t have to fall so hard.

This country can let go of Empire leanings and go forward into being a single, beautifully functioning collective of states, counties, towns, and neighborhoods. Or a better vision because it’s more realistic (based in the real), dividing our governance along resource-based watersheds. If we begin to see ourselves not as isolated autonomous individuals who must fearfully look out for Number One but more as a strong community looking out for the common good of all, and of our lands not as plunderable resources for private corporate gain but as commons for all, and we act accordingly, then we have a chance.

Happy Interdependence Day, human family. Enjoy those firecrackers invented by the Chinese, hotdogs invented by the Germans, and tortilla chips and salsa invented by the Mexicans. While driving to the party, let someone into your lane ahead of you. Go forth and make positive change, and don’t forget to celebrate who’s rowing in the boat with you.

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Art credits: Photo of people running with flag from Dreamstime.com. Earth Pledge poster from Earthpledge.org. Map of earlier US borders was a comment from vierotchka on https://climatecrocks.com/2017/01/06/a-solar-wall-one-way-to-make-mexico-pay/. Cartoon origins unknown. If you know, please tell me so I can give credit. If you are the artist and would prefer I not share your work here, please contact me and I will respect this. Thanks, all.

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Paris Climate Agreement: We Are Still In June 6, 2017

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I feel proud to be able to tell you that my employer, Naropa University, joins other college and university leaders, mayors, governors, investors and businesses in declaring that regardless of current decisions made by the Republican president, we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

This action thereby continues alliances with other countries, businesses, and systemic thinkers around the globe. More basically, it is a step that helps ensure that large mammalian life on this planet (such as humans) can continue.

This is the only smart move.

Companies like eBay, Netflix and Microsoft are in. And you can add your company’s name to this pledge as well – link below.

You may be as surprised as I to learn that even ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, two of the world’s largest oil producers, pledge to abide by the Paris Agreement! They recognize that this change to alternative fuels is inevitable, and that being on board is the best choice for their business’ bottom line. From Bloomberg.com:

“President Donald Trump faces some unlikely opposition to the idea of pulling the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris climate accord: Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, two of the world’s biggest oil producers. 

Both companies reiterated their support Wednesday for the global agreement to cut greenhouse gas pollution amid reports that Trump planned to ditch a pact he says hurts the U.S. economy. Their argument: The U.S. is better off with a seat at the table so it can influence global efforts to curb emissions that are largely produced by the fossil fuels they profit from.

…ConocoPhillips, the world’s largest independent oil and gas producer, also expressed support for the climate agreement on Wednesday. “It gives the U.S. the ability to participate in future climate discussions to safeguard its economic and environmental best interests,” spokesman Daren Beaudo said in an email.

BP Plc CEO Bob Dudley, another oil executive who supports the accord, said that even if the U.S. quits, the nation should find new policies to support the inevitable transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Every one of you, please stand up and act with us – the majority.

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Here is the formal statement, with signatories visible below:  We Are Still In  Note that you can add your company’s name to this pledge as well – see link at the end.

Open letter to the international community and parties to the Paris Agreement from U.S. state, local, and business leaders

We, the undersigned mayors, governors, college and university leaders, businesses, and investors are joining forces for the first time to declare that we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

In December 2015 in Paris, world leaders signed the first global commitment to fight climate change. The landmark agreement succeeded where past attempts failed because it allowed each country to set its own emission reduction targets and adopt its own strategies for reaching them. In addition, nations – inspired by the actions of local and regional governments, along with businesses – came to recognize that fighting climate change brings significant economic and public health benefits.

The Trump administration’s announcement undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change and damages the world’s ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of climate change. Importantly, it is also out of step with what is happening in the United States.

In the U.S., it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt.

In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities, businesses and investors, representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.

It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities, investors and businesses. Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2℃ and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.

Click here to read full press release.

Companies, investors, mayors and governors wishing to add their name to the statement can do so by registering here. Colleges and universities wishing to add their name can do so by registering here.

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ON BEHALF OF THE EARTH AND HER CHILDREN OF ALL SPECIES, THANK YOU ALL.

Thank you for being responsible adults who take care of our home, despite the short-term difficulties we face from the current White House now.

In the wise words of King Solomon, this too shall pass. According to the New York Times, the withdrawal process from the Paris Accord could take four years to complete, by which time the regime will have been changed. So let’s just keep steering our collective boat of systemic wisdom through these jerky rapids until the river flows freely and easily once more.

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The terrific political cartoons in this post are by Dan Wasserman, Monte Wolverton, and Christian Bloom (from Norway).

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