The current Republican leadership in Washington, D.C., is pulling the nation out of essential and responsible agreements on the global climate whose changes are destabalizing shores, weather, and food supplies. The folly of it has foreign governments immediately stepping into the vaccuum of leadership the U.S. withdrawal is creating. Multiple countries are gaining economic advantage and showing themselves to be reliable friends even as the U.S. loses both.
But that’s at the national and global level. Paradoxically, what we hear from D.C. acts like a finger on the trigger to fire off new state, city, and local actions. It is, afterall, the local level where people feel the hurt of climate adversity, and bear the brunt of the consequences when bad governance rolls back agreements based in Earth science, sane international relations, and life-sustaining economics.
Locally, there are the businesses with green products and ideas that continue; many of them growing. In addition, thousands of local groups continue to organize and educate around local, ecological improvements. That’s where I primarily get involved. In the month of April—hey! It’s Earth Day month (April 22)—I’ll be presenting on ecology, economics, and spirituality at three different venues in San Diego, Berkeley, and San Francisco.
I’ll start on Sunday, April 23, and continue throught that week. On the 23rd, the day San Diego celebrates Earth Day in Balboa Park with vendors, merchants, artists, performers, and tablers galore, I’ll start the day at 9am, with the people attending the Adult Forum, St. Paul’s Cathedral. Here are my topics for the week.
1. Our Heroic Journey to Keep Earth Livable
Frodo Baggins went on a heroic journey to keep Middle Earth livable. The dark forces eager to crush him and his colleagues had overwhelming advantage. Yet, the goal was achieved. This session provides a map for our heroic journey on planet Earth as civilizational and ecological crises build toward apocalyptic breakdowns. We’ll identify key change points on the journey, important guides, and transforming processes. Leaving the MultiEarth thinking and living that has created our crises, we’ll walk the trail to the utterly different OneEarth thinking and living.
2. Re-Training Ourselves for One-Planet Living
On Wednesday, April 26, I’ll be at the University of San Francisco, sharing lunch and conversation with a group of students. I’ll begin by talking about the stiff learning curve to re-train ourselves for OneEarth or one planet living. We need re-training, because we’ve been trained by a civilization that has encouraged ecological footprints using the resources of 2,3,4—even 5 planets. I’ll refer to my recent book where I describe our movement out of MultiEarth living to OneEarth living as a heroic journey. The book follows the storyline of what Joseph Campbell taught us to recognize as the classical “hero’s journey.” I look forward to this conversation with young adults on a topic that will be ever so present throughout their lives.
3. Spiritualities for Earth-size Economics: Healing Wounds of Disconnection
Finally, on Friday, April 28, I’ll be part of a new course being piloted this year by the Chaplaincy Institute for Interfaith Ministries, Berkeley, on eco-spirituality and eco-ministry. This cutting edge course is training for accompaniment and healing of Earth and her inhabitants. A half dozen people will be presenting different segments of this 4.5 day training. My title is “Spiritualities for Earth-size Economics: Healing Wounds of Disconnection.”
Consider that chaplaincy most commonly focuses on accompanying people; eco-chaplaincy expands that focus to include Earth and all her inhabitants. At the core of today’s global economics is that growth is good. Yet, Earth and her inhabitants cry in pain because of this growth requirement of both capitalist and socialist economics. Accordingly, the need for eco-chaplaincy is peaking in this century. What is the spirituality that eco-ministry can use to accompany people who know they must move away from capitalism, socialism, or any model of economics that relies on growth to show that it is strong? The economics in sacred texts and of the Spirit are commonly not capitalist or socialist. This gives us many touch-points between eco-ministry and both the destructive and creative powers of economics. What are some of them?
My point in this blog is that these educational events, along with innumerable public actions and business activities, are increasing, and that Republican actions part of the reason. Educational events bring necessary information to the actions and business activities. In turn, actions and business activities push educational events to be real in terms of practice and new, relevant thinking.
Every week I ride the roller coaster, feeling dismayed by much that comes from the Republican actions; but then I experience what’s happening locally, and I go into exhilaration. It’s not only the energetic show of resistance. It’s the equally energetic pursuit of thinking and acting that binds us to life on our planet.