Friday, December 18, 2009


Greetings on this last day of the Copenhagen "negotiations." We are at a pivotal point in human history. We have actually reached a precipice of fundamental social change largely due to unjust global economic practices that have been escalating since the industrial revolution. What I am speaking of in the simplest of terms is a fundamental characteristic of human nature, albeit in varying degrees from person to person. That quality is Greed.

I speak boldly today because this is a moment of chairos in each of our lives. Climate change is the global ecological outcome of social injustice. Social injustice is inherently ecological because the earth is the source of our resources. Don't misunderstand me, I am not blaming or suggesting maliciousness by any given society. I am speaking of something insidious we will all need to join together as a human people to remedy. We shall see by tomorrow morning, but citizens may need to take the lead.

Regardless, of what world leaders do or do not do, lifestyles, as we have known them will be transformed. Those of us in nations that have over-consumed resources, needed to sustain life on our planet, will begin to notice droughts, floods, severe storms and mass migrations like we have not known before. Many nations of the global South already do experience those daily. The way we produce food and what many of us eat will eventually change.

Leaders of the global South are telling us that bribery and the failed debt programs of the past (IMF) will not work this time. The global South is already feeling the outcomes of a warming earth and will continue to feel them more severely at first. Scientist tell us that they will reach the North. (the Union of Concerned Scientist and the IPCC report of 2007 are excellent resources).

What else am I talking about though? I am really joining in the discussion regarding cultural transformation. The best part of this transformation is that it will actually make us in the more “developed” nations healthier, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Recently I was speaking with a female friend from the Middle East, who has lived in the states for sometime, and we agreed that all cultures have illness. Cultural sickness is generally symptomatic through various forms of oppression. In the United States we are oppressed by corporate socialism (not true capitalism) and his little sister consumerism. We are socialized to believe that we need more stuff and that our value as people is measured by the amount of stuff we can accumulate. Our culture tells us that without the accumulation of luxury and things (and yes cheap food) then we cannot be happy. But what is the more difficult challenge is that our infrastructure makes it difficult to survive without burning fossil fuels.

Humans want their basic needs met and they want community, family and to contribute to their tribe creatively. People want to be accepted by those they love. They want to be appreciated and encouraged. These are the “things” that actually give us a sense of well-being.

Some of you know I am studying counseling to specialize in eco-therapy, but also because I believe as we see more disasters, crisis counselors will be greatly needed. I only hope I can finish fast enough!

Bottomline: We are going to have to reduce our emissions, which will take lifestyle change. Will our local, state and especially federal government help us by creating the green economy and infrastructure we really need? We can only keep telling them to do just that. In the meantime, we can start to revolutionize our own lives and help each other do it. I know I need a lot of help! Making these changes isn’t easy and we all start at varying baselines.

The G-77 (I prefer to think of them as the lower emitters per capita and there are actually 134 of them) is asking the global North leaders to reduce our emissions by 45-60% so that they can go on living. The G-77 comprises 80% of the world population according to Ambassador Lumumba Stanislaus D-Aping. He also reminds us that we are ultimately one human family. See:

Ironically I feel the need to quote John Locke today. “All mankind…being all equal and independent no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.” Well, that is precisely what NAFTA and CAFTA have done. Now the global South is calling us on our “Climate Debt.” Climate debt is what many of the global South believe we owe them for our disproportionate release of green house gas emissions that is wreaking ecological havoc on them already. They don't want our money. They want us to live in respect of their rights and the planet we all share.

Greed does not just harm those it directly denies. Greed hurts us all.

Can you feel it? The tide is turning.

I hope you will join us at the CCTF meeting on Sunday (December 20th) from 1pm-3pm at the new OMNI house 3274 Lee Street in Fayetteville. Dr. Nick Brown with the Clean Energy Works campaign will join us to give us an update on the 25x25 meeting that occurred in Little Rock this week. He will also bring suggestions of how we can more effectively work together to mitigate climate change.

Other topics we will cover:
· After Copenhagen, Where do WE go from here?
· Why organic farming matters.
· Lifestyle changes we are making and more that can be made to improve quality of life and reduce emissions.
· Preparation for the inevitable impacts of a world with already 390 parts per million.
· Progress of current, awareness raising projects: The book forum, counter tea-bagging literature.

Joining together and doing what we can no matter how big or how small is good for our health. Life is short. We improve the quality of our lives by helping one another wrestle with the anxieties these overwhelming social and ecological realities can give us. We would love for you to come talk with us.

Do NOT miss the interview Amy Goodman gives us with the Bolivian president, Evo Morales. (

I have watched several world leaders speaking on these issues online and in my opinion no one captures these broad, sweeping human realities better than President Evo Morales. In general eye-opening footage of COP-15 at

If you have time let me know if you can attend our meeting. Thanks so much and I do hope you enjoy your winter solstice. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you.


Joanna Pollock
Climate Change Task Force Facilitator, OMNI
Climate Precinct Captain, 1sky

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