Climate Activists and Extinction Rebellion are refusing to be part of a system that is anti-life. In the words of Charles Eisenstein: “The climate emergency (Climate Change) gives form to an intuitive, inarticulate alienation from the project of civilization. It offers a focal point to identify the source of wrongness. It channels onto one thing the revolutionary aspiration to change everything.” In his long but articulate essay Eisenstein unpacks the reasons for and risks of the high profile focus on Climate Change as the predominant vehicle for a transformation to a better society.
Read his essay at: https://charleseisenstein.org/essays/extinction-and-the-revolution-of-love/
The text below is an attempt to capture some key points but you would be missing out if you did not follow the discussion in Eisenstein’s own words at the link above.
Project Civilization requires more than the substitution of renewable energy for fossil fuel. It requires a complete overhaul of business as usual. While situation normal can accommodate small achievable demands, it is naïve to think that politicians and business leaders have the power to timeously stop the freight train of the fossil fuel based industrial economy. “The demand to get off fossil fuels is a demand to change everything, from medicine to agriculture to transport, manufacturing, and housing.“
While most members of society are not ready for the scale of change, it is a change that our future depends on. To change needs a new approach. By demanding that it be driven by politicians and business leaders, we reinforce their power but limit what can be achieved to what they can realistically grant. When, inevitably they fail to make fundamental changes, we set them up as enemies and the resulting polarization slows the shift.
Eisenstein also challenges us to answer the question: Has the focus on ‘carbon accountancy’ oversimplified `green living’? Exchanging fossil fuels for renewables without changing our foundational story of the separation between humans and nature as well as the associated value systems, simply results in switching one set of environmental problems for others. Look no further than the impacts of mining for rare metals required for renewable energy systems. Lithium, cobalt, silver etc. are the triggers for new resource wars as ecosystems and the livelihoods of subsistence communities are destroyed while corrupt political interference flourishes.
The reLOVEution to fuel real change
The Earth’s biota including humanity, the water, soil and air are all vital organs essential to the wellbeing of the whole. Significant change will start when we truly understand that the destruction of any one is a weakening of the whole. This destruction includes the incremental demise of the physical and spiritual wellbeing of humanity. To argue that if humans become extinct the Earth will fare better, is to dismiss the purpose of humanity as the most conscious form of life to date. Yet, in spite of our consciousness, our dominant socio-economic system does not see the interdependent links that are the sustaining web of life. Rather, we treat each Earth organ as discreet, expendable and replaceable. Eisenstein argues for a “move from a society of domination to one of participation, from conquest to co-creation, from extraction to regeneration, from harm to healing, and from separation to love. And we want to enact this transition in all our relations: ecological, economic, political, and personal.” This is the reLOVEution that can fuel real change. It is the longer, harder journey but the one with the best chance of a transition to a better world.
“Authentic hope is not a distraction from reality, it is the premonition of a possibility.”
Kim Kruyshaar 18 February 2020
Climate — Inside and Out is a filmed series that takes you on an intentional tour through the main concepts of Charles Eisenstein’s book, Climate — A New Story. Accompanied by his essays on ecology and earth healing. It portrays the ecological crisis as a consequence of civilization’s defining narratives, which undergird our politics, our policies, our hope and our despair. It describes and seeks to accelerate a change in those narratives that calls us into a new-and-ancient relationship to our home.