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Climate Scientist and Theologian Tell How Ecological Crisis Requires New Cooperation between Science and Religion 

V. “Ram” RamanathanJohn CobbOn Earth Day 2018, two distinguished scholars and environmental activists pushed the envelope of understanding for all of us attending a “Reunion of Science and Religion, Head and Heart” event. The event was beautifully hosted by the Church of Our Common Home and 1st Unitarian-Universalist Church, San Diego.

Climate scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan is a Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences at Scripps Institute of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego and consulted with Pope Francis on “Laudato Si’,” the encyclical on ecology. Theologian John Cobb is the preemininent leader of process thought (following philosopher Alfred North Whitehead) and co-founded the Center for Process Studies, Claremont, California. He’s worked with Chinese scholars on an ecological civilization through the Institute of Postmodern Development of China, which he cofounded with Zihihe Wang in 2005.

Because both Ramanathan and Cobb have integrated science and religion in their own worldview, they contribute greatly to the new story in which the two need one another.

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Becoming an Eco-Spiritual Guide to Assist Our Relocation from Ego Civilization to Earth's Sacred Community of All Life

Earth is becoming our kiln of transformation. The thermometer is rising toward 2°C and higher above pre-industrial levels, and all species are feeling the heat. Change is happening faster than predicted. Human egos, stubborn and arrogant, are nonetheless cracking under the heat. Civilization, a creation of human egos, shows signs of melting and cracking. Thousands of humans have chosen the hard inner journey to dethrone their egos. Many have gotten far enough on the journey to relocate OUT of ego civilization and INTO Earth’s community of life. This is no small matter! Relocating out of ego control is the core journey of our souls in anyone’s lifetime.

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What Others Are Saying about Our Heroic Journey to Keep Earth Livable—It's One Year since Publication

Valentine’s Day is the one year anniversary of the release of my book, From Egos to Eden: Our Heroic Journey to Keep Earth Livable. What it says about bullying and cowardice in the face of the Call to great change rings true. What it says about living interdependently defiantly show a better way than making America great again. What it says about becoming new humans—people are doing it every day. Here’s what others are saying about From Egos to Eden.

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In the Name of Earth, Embrace the Fierce Urgency of Now 

We need to be impatient with plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. We need to see CO2 numbers coming down globally by 2020! We need to end them by 2030. Mother Earth is setting the schedule now. Our households, businesses, schools, and politics have been too slow. Long range schedules to reduce CO2 are just blather. “Now” has become the important word. We cannot agree with plans that do not work on Mother Earth’s schedule. That’s why I’m encouraged to read on The Climate Mobilization website about two motions being introduced to the Los Angeles City Council labeled with the words, “Fierce Urgency of Now:”

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Why Is There So Much Meanness in This Land of the Free and Brave?

Just what is the source of the meanness happening across the U.S. today? Words are mean. Policies toward immigrants have become mean. Hundreds of women are speaking up, telling painful stories of sexual exploitation as they break out of the status of inferiority imposed on them. So, too, Mother Earth. Our planet’s extremes of weather protest the exploitative bullying she’s experienced even as new mean policies take aim at her ecoregions. What’s going on?

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Words for OneEarth Radicals

A small group of us met to talk about our yearnings to cut to the heart of today’s crises. To be radicals in that sense. We yearn to radicalize our thinking and acting. We yearn to hone our radical skills because we know we don’t have much time to reverse ecological crises before Earth becomes uninhabitable. We yearn to converse and plan with allies who do not fear talking about apocalyptic darkness. We yearn for those allies to be bold to imagine and act on the breakthroughs that happen in the midst of apocalyptic breakdown—breakthrough alternatives that create a strong culture of life. While we talked, we collected key words and phrases to summarize our 90 minute conversation. Here they are with my edits.

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Are Our Reforms Radical Enough to Keep Earth Livable?

On Nov. 3 and 4, Ulrich Duchrow gave three presentations in the San Diego region that spoke to the nature of the radical reforms needed today. He was sponsored by Jubilee USA and OneEarth Jubilee Economics.

Fifteen or so years ago, I first met Ulrich Duchrow. Ulrich is from Heidelberg, Germany, and is in the generation there that grew to adulthood following World War II asking, “How could the Nazis’ takeover have happened here?” Out of that question, he came to understand the difference between the civilization leading to death and the culture that pursues life. During the years I’ve known him, beginning around the year 2000, I’ve benefited enormously from his training and experiences in theology, economics, and ecology.

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