As you know, on Saturdays and Sundays, I offer the words and visions of others. Today I give you Part One of a very important essay by Starhawk. As you consider the upcoming elections (including the Congressional ones), I hope you’ll consider carefully your priorities. We know this may be the most important election of our lifetime. Here is one of the overlooked but perhaps most important reason why. Tomorrow, I’ll post Part Two.
Copyright (2008) by Starhawk. All rights reserved.
None of the presidential debates have addressed the central question of our time: can we transform our energy, our economy, our food systems and our culture rapidly enough to forestall complete global meltdown?
The present economic woes are frightening, but the environmental crisis is truly terrifying. With all the furor about falling markets and frozen credit, nothing real has changed in the economy. Granted, the repercussions will be that many of us have less money in our pockets and fewer opportunities. But we still have the natural resources we had a month ago. We still have our skills, our knowledge, and our productive capacity. What we’ve lost is a towering edifice of icing with no cake underneath.
Seabrook Island, TX after Ike
But environmental meltdown means we lose the real basis of economy and survival. We will see more and more devastation like we’ve seen in the Gulf Coast. We’ll see droughts, floods, lowered food supplies, huge losses in biodiversity and ecological resilience, rising seas that will take out major cities around the world, and all the associated problems of poverty, starvation, refugees and resource wars. Time is not running out—it’s out! What we do now and in the next ten years is absolutely crucial.
The good news is, we don’t have to take the path to disaster. We have the knowledge and technology we need to make the change. But our politicians, even the best of them, won’t do it unless we make it a top priority.
To do that, it helps to know what the solutions are. In November, I’ll be presenting at an interfaith conference on climate change called by the archbishop of Sweden. In preparation, I started writing a Climate Change Primer, trying to briefly list the most important technologies and approaches. It kept growing, and eventually became too big to send out as an email. But go to this link and you can read it or download it as a PDF.
If you want to better understand the issue and the spectrum of solutions we need to put into place, it’s a good introduction. If you are a policy maker or an activist who likes to hound and harass policy makers to do the right thing, it’s a good guide. And if you’re thinking about how to invest your own time and energy and/or such dwindling funds as you might have, it will suggest fruitful avenues and new approaches. And here’s the link.
Part Two, tomorrow.