We know it in our bones, as well as our brains – the enormity of the times we live in, the cultural and environmental challenges, the opportunity to re-vision a human culture living in harmony with our planet.
Animals can be superb teachers for humans preparing for the future. Carefully observing their capacity for being present in their bodies and therefore living in the moment is critical. Studying an animal’s instinct for survival and self-protection can enhance our own resilience. What is more, I have experienced that animals are extraordinary teachers, not only in life, but in death as well. Every animal with whom I have had to part has profoundly opened my heart and impacted me in ways I could not have imagined. Allow yourself to give your heart to an animal companion, and when you must part with it, allow yourself to grieve your loss thoroughly. You may be surprised at the parts of yourself that will be revealed.
A paradigm shift is desperately needed. And it will not come from those who have created the crisis and who are looking for new ways to extend the life of the greed economy by commodifying and privatising all life on earth. They will come to Rio+20 to paint the “greed economy” green, and call it the “green economy”. And they will have powerful governments on their side. Movements for ecological sustainability, social justice and deep democracy will come to Rio+20 with another paradigm — one centred on the rights of mother earth, the rights of future generations, of women, indigenous communities and farmers
Despite the fact that we have clearly entered uncharted territory in relation to the effects of industrial civilisation on the fate of the earth and her creatures, big government of all persuasions seems intent on relentlessly pursuing economic growth, environmental plunder and social and political control at every level.
Humans cannot live on this planet in perpetuity unless they live in balance with the biological world .
It’s no secret that for most people, getting outdoors and spending some time in nature is a soothing experience. In fact, research has shown that brief exposure to green outdoor spaces, or even photos of such settings, can improve concentration and impulse control in children and adults without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Any serious oil spill in the ice of the Arctic, the “new frontier” for oil exploration, is likely to be an uncontrollable environmental disaster despoiling vast areas of the world’s most untouched ecosystem, one of the world’s leading polar scientists has told The Independent.
“Is the world a better place because you were born?” asks author Derrick Jensen. He contrasts sustainable indigenous cultures who enrich their habitat with the current “dominant culture destroying everything.” He explores how industrial civilization is inherently violent, turning people into objects and the earth into stuff. His books include A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, What We Leave Behind and Endgame.
You Can't Kill A Planet And Live On It Too: An Interview With Derrick Jensen By Frank Joseph Smecker
Let’s expose the structure of violence that keeps the world economy running. With an entire planet being slaughtered before our eyes, it’s terrifying to watch the very culture responsible for this – the culture of industrial civilization, fueled by a finite source of fossil fuels, primarily a dwindling supply of oil – thrust forward wantonly to fuel its insatiable appetite for “growth.”
According to Thomas Berry, we are presently hovering on the edge of an immense cultural and existential abyss. He is of the view that only a change of epic dimensions will enable us to successfully navigate our way through the accumulated detritus of a dying industrial civilisation. He proposes that this can only be accomplished by consciously envisioning the task ahead, a task which he refers to as The Great Work . The changes to be made are not so much in our methods, but in our minds and more particularly, in our relationship with the earth’s living systems. The rest will then follow.