I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Melting Arctic ice.......beautiful and frightening!

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Love and Climate Change

The effects of climate change are all around us:   permanent Arctic sea ice is melting ; killer droughts decimate Africa; spring comes earlier everywhere ;  BC pine forests have been ravaged by pine beetles and thousands of jobs will be lost in our forest industry;   the rivers of the Mekong Delta get saltier and saltier..... and yet we do so little I think we do - nothing.  Particularly in Canada we procrastinate.    
Climate change is caused by the burning of fossil fuels.  We could phase out fossil fuels if we had the will.....
A paper published in Energy Policy in 2011 concluded  that " barriers to 100 % conversion to wind, water and solar worldwide  are primarily social and political, not technological or even economic.  "  
I repeat   "   Barriers are social and political ....."

We could have, in the twenty years since the Rio summit, replaced fossils fuels with alternate sources of energy.     (In fact,  - there's an alternative energy grid in Germany composed of solar, wind, hdyro, and biofuel - and it provides its customers with energy day and night.  ) 

And yet we do very little - so little that sometimes I despair and think we do nothing. We cannot translate our love of  future generations - our own children - our own grandchildren - into collective action right now.

 We lack empathy for those who suffer the effects of climate change in Bangladesh - or Vietnam - or Sudan - or the Arctic.   I  have a friend who said   " what do I care what happens to Africans or Pakis because of climate change? " 

I was astonished, befuddled,   consternated, dumfounded, flabbergasted, and speechless that he didn't understand that we are all connected.  That everything is interconnected -  that every action we take affects the world  and everyone in the world.

This is true at a physical level.    To use a really cheering example,  radioactive fallout doesn't stop at national borders   - witness Chernobyl.   Sheep farmers in Cumbria (in England) couldn't sell their lambs  due to the radiocesium contamination in the years after Chernobyl.     A few farms continue to be affected to this day.   

But interconnectedness isn't merely   physical.   It is true on an economic level  - just think of the worries that Greece will dump everyone back into recession with a default on their bonds - and  also true on  a  spiritual level .

The Dalai Lama states  that, by  neglecting others  " we ignore the reality of our situation"  
and ignore the " the interdependent nature of reality." 

Curiously,  denying climate change  is more distressing  and disempowering than acknowledging it.    It takes a lot of energy to repress truth...  ... or a lot of drink and drugs.

But - perhaps oddly - stating that climate change is real and that we live with an unprecedented disaster looming over us - is empowering. 

And healing.  Telling the truth  - with loving kindness - shifts the Zeitgeist .

So.  The truth.

 We -   we humans -  exist in a time of ecological holocaust -  created by ourselves.  I don't think any words exist for the level of pain I feel -  or the level of pain others feel. -when think of htis truth. 

 I weep due to this pain .  Often.     It  is nearly unbearable. 
 But- oddly -  this pain  is good - in a way - it reminds me that I am a part of Gaia -   it reminds me that I love this beautiful blue green world   and that I exist to give voice to her. 

A tree  once told me - yes, I said a tree told me - that, If we learn to love ourselves, other people, and Gaia, we will save ourselves.   Gaia is a part of us - we are a part of her -we need her.  
When we are healed of self hatred, we will be healed of world hatred. 

What to do ?  Love - more, more fully, more openly, more encompassingly...
This seems to be an appropriate time to meditate on increasing love in the world. 
Please make yourself and let the tension drain from your body.   Read the following out loud - gently. 

May I be happy.
May I be well.
May I be free of suffering.
May I love myself - all of myself - with my whole heart.
May I accept myself.
May all  living beings be well, may all living beings be happy.
May all living beings be free of suffering.
May I love all living beings  - with my whole heart.
May we all  love all living beings with our whole hearts.
May we accept all living beings as ourselves - not separate from us.

May this earth - this beautiful blue pearl -  Gaia-  be well.  May she be happy.
May she be free of suffering.
May I love this earth - this Gaia   - with my whole heart.
May we all love  Gaia with our whole hearts.
May we accept Gaia as  ourselves - not separate from us.

May all sentient beings be well .
May all sentient beings dwell in spacious equanimity -
May all beings dwell in love -  inseparable from Gaia.

Take a moment to return to yourself. 

When our values change - we will change our systems.
Martin Luther King said that

 I say  when we love ourselves, we will be able to love the world, and to create a velvet climate revolution.

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