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Here’s a page from a climate change handbook, Earth Calling:
Rather than looking at the crises we face as issues on a to-do list, we need to see beneath the words to the real messages trying to get through to us. We as a culture are unmatched at assembling facts and events into a mosaic of a condition-at-large and taking it on with hard work and a can-do attitude. We have giant hearts and giving and compassionate natures. Why isn’t this enough to motivate us to look more deeply, to make sense of this, and to demand change of our leaders and ourselves?
To begin to answer this, we need to understand how different this challenge is from anything we have ever faced before. We need to see this as a call to our spirits to awaken and look at the earth and our relationship to her differently. And we need to understand where things have come apart, where we are broken, and why and how we can fix ourselves, each other, and the conditions that are harming our planet.
We can all take a leaf out of Ellen Gunter and Ted Carter’s Earth Calling: A Climate Change Handbook—to see the interconnectedness of all things, understand the deeper truths about climate change and discover a roadmap for finding our own call to action.
Gunter, climate activist, journalist and spiritual director, talks with the Green Divas about finding her own calling and how people can make a difference on an individual basis.
A presenter with the Climate Reality Project, Gunter has often heard “Well what should I do?” While acknowledging that not all activists are willing to get arrested, she highlights the fact that we all have something that’s speaking to us, that each of us can be proactive in unique ways.
Described as the Silent Spring for the twenty-first century, Earth Calling is a handbook for action that invites us to reestablish our connection with nature while repairing our damaged environment. In other words, it is "an examination of what is happening in our world and how we can fix it, collectively and individually, by reconnecting with the earth that nurtures us on a spiritual—not just a physical—level."
We can make the connection between spirit, nature and Earth. Each one of us has an Earth calling. What’s yours?
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Tracy L. Barnett
Sources reviewed this article for accuracy.
For Sicangu Lakota water protector Cheryl Angel, Standing Rock helped her define what she stands against: an economy rooted in extraction of resources and exploitation of people and planet. It wasn't until she'd had some distance that the vision of what she stands for came into focus.
Last week, the Peruvian Palm Oil Producers' Association (JUNPALMA) promised to enter into an agreement for sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil production. The promise was secured by the U.S. based National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in collaboration with the local government, growers and the independent conservation organization Sociedad Peruana de Ecodesarrollo.
The rallying cry to build it again and to build it better than before is inspiring after a natural disaster, but it may not be the best course of action, according to new research published in the journal Science.
"Faced with global warming, rising sea levels, and the climate-related extremes they intensify, the question is no longer whether some communities will retreat—moving people and assets out of harm's way—but why, where, when, and how they will retreat," the study begins.
The researchers suggest that it is time to rethink retreat, which is often seen as a last resort and a sign of weakness. Instead, it should be seen as the smart option and an opportunity to build new communities.
"We propose a reconceptualization of retreat as a suite of adaptation options that are both strategic and managed," the paper states. "Strategy integrates retreat into long-term development goals and identifies why retreat should occur and, in doing so, influences where and when."
The billions of dollars spent to rebuild the Jersey Shore and to create dunes to protect from future storms after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 may be a waste if sea level rise inundates the entire coastline.
"There's a definite rhetoric of, 'We're going to build it back better. We're going to win. We're going to beat this. Something technological is going to come and it's going to save us,'" said A.R. Siders, an assistant professor with the disaster research center at the University of Delaware and lead author of the paper, to the New York Times. "It's like, let's step back and think for a minute. You're in a fight with the ocean. You're fighting to hold the ocean in place. Maybe that's not the battle we want to pick."
Rethinking retreat could make it a strategic, efficient, and equitable way to adapt to the climate crisis, the study says.
Dr. Siders pointed out that it has happened before. She noted that in the 1970s, the small town of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin moved itself out of the flood plain after one too many floods. The community found and reoriented the business district to take advantage of highway traffic and powered it entirely with solar energy, as the New York Times reported.
That's an important lesson now that rising sea levels pose a catastrophic risk around the world. Nearly 75 percent of the world's cities are along shorelines. In the U.S. alone coastline communities make up nearly 40 percent of the population— more than 123 million people, which is why Siders and her research team are so forthright about the urgency and the complexities of their findings, according to Harvard Magazine.
Some of those complexities include, coordinating moves across city, state or even international lines; cultural and social considerations like the importance of burial grounds or ancestral lands; reparations for losses or damage to historic practices; long-term social and psychological consequences; financial incentives that often contradict environmental imperatives; and the critical importance of managing retreat in a way that protects vulnerable and poor populations and that doesn't exacerbate past injustices, as Harvard Magazine reported.
If communities could practice strategic retreats, the study says, doing so would not only reduce the need for people to choose among bad options, but also improve their circumstances.
"It's a lot to think about," said Siders to Harvard Magazine. "And there are going to be hard choices. It will hurt—I mean, we have to get from here to some new future state, and that transition is going to be hard.…But the longer we put off making these decisions, the worse it will get, and the harder the decisions will become."
To help the transition, the paper recommends improved access to climate-hazard maps so communities can make informed choices about risk. And, the maps need to be improved and updated regularly, the paper said as the New York Times reported.
"It's not that everywhere should retreat," said Dr. Siders to the New York Times. "It's that retreat should be an option. It should be a real viable option on the table that some places will need to use."
Leaked documents show that Jair Bolsonaro's government intends to use the Brazilian president's hate speech to isolate minorities living in the Amazon region. The PowerPoint slides, which democraciaAbierta has seen, also reveal plans to implement predatory projects that could have a devastating environmental impact.