The historic and inspiring Global Climate Action Summit 2018 closed yesterday with a strong Call to Action to "step up ambition", chart a clear path towards a zero-carbon future and to empower grassroots climate action. So let’s work together to amplify this call. We can do this.
"The Great Work before us, the task of moving the modern industrial civilization from its present devastating influence on the Earth to a more benign mode of presence, is not a role we have chosen. It is a role given to us, beyond any consultation with ourselves. We did not choose. We were chosen by some power beyond ourselves for this historical task. Yet we must believe that those powers that assign our role must in that same act bestow upon us the ability to fulfill this role. We must believe that we are cared for and guided by these same powers that bring us into being."
- Thomas Berry, The Great Work
So I've taken the plunge into Blogging.... my attempt to maintain sanity in an insane world. One small candle this dark night... one candle in a world gone stark raving mad.
A year ago February, I joined with a dozen or so folks in a vigil. On that night, the eve of the Iraq war, we joined thousands, maybe millions in a candlelight prayer vigil for peace. I held my candle aloft into the dark night sky. How could my one candle stop this senseless war? I held it as a prayer, in fervent hope that seemed so utterly hopeless. The forces were building, a whole people would soon feel our shock and awe... and my weapon of defiance and hope? A candle.
The act seemed so futile.
I read today that the Eskimos are concerned about the arctic Caribou and seal as the glaciers shrink. Yesterday, I sat next to gentleman on the airplane who was playing an Army-produced desert storm wargame on his Dell Latitude. He carried AK47 and hand grenades, drove tanks and ATVs. He shot at anything that moved. The screen was littered with bodies... but the bodies melted quickly into clean desert landscape so as to not clutter the game with their mess. The lady across the aisle thumbs through Skymall magazine. She can dial 1-800-skymall to have closet organizers delivered directly to her door.
At this writing, 1002 Americans and thousands of Iraqies have died in a war that has cost our country over $200 billion. Teachers in California can no longer receive a tax credit for buying school supplies for their classrooms. The state says there is No Money.
Yesterday was a "Spare the Air" day in the SF Bay Area. Smoke from a 10,000+ acre fire in the wine country north of Sonoma fills the air. The sun rose into an orange haze.
We are alive at an amazing time. No human generation has lived in a time such as this: where Earth herself shudders to the end of a a geo-biological age. Earth has not seen the extinction of life this great for 65 million years. Why aren't our pundits and megaphones crying and screaming over THAT? Our people rush about, checking wristwatches, buying plastic patio furniture while a whole age of diveristy and life and amazing creation is coming to and end. What worse, we are causing this in some mindless denial. We cannot save something we do not love.
We feel this change in our bones. The animals retreat from our roads and mall parking lots-- it seems as if the bulldozers are the primary weapon in this "War on Terra". The diversity of life on Earth, this amazing, fascinating part of our soul, is in trouble and we so long for this connection that we buy our own ATVs to simulate the thrill of connection.
The election looms like a dark storm cloud in the distance. How do we maintain hope in these times? I feel as if we are all hurtling toward destruction, on autopilot.
Our candles are so small.
I imagine a day when thousands of candles light the night, when we collectively awaken from our insane binge to fully engage our most talented in the work of renewal and resurrection and reconstruction and justice for human and non-human life. This is the only work that matters in these times.
Even a small candle can light a room.
Denise Rushing is the Founder of New Story Center, dedicated to re-enchanting Planet Earth with a New Story. She lives, works, and creates at Dancing TreePeople Farm in Upper Lake, California. Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.