Wednesday, April 11, 2007

More Evidence of a Major Cultural Shift on Climate Change

Just another sign that we have passed the tipping point on public attitudes towards climate change. Here are some excerpts from a recent debate between John Kerry and Newt Gingrich. It was advertised as a "smack-down and a prizefight" over climate change, but it turned out to be something quite different. Gingrich's words carefully and slowely. We really are winning.

[Kerry to Gingrich ] "what would you say to Senator [Jim] Inhofe [R-Okla.] and to others in the Senate who are resisting even the science?"

Gingrich didn't hesitate. "My message," he said, "is that the evidence is sufficient that we should move towards the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon loading of the atmosphere." The pro-Kerry crowd applauded.

"And do it urgently?" the senator pressed.

"And do it urgently, yeah," the former speaker replied. "I think there has to be, if you will, a green conservatism," he added.

Kerry didn't know quite what to do with his agreeable opponent.....

Full article is here

Monday, April 2, 2007

The Great Turning Conference

I just returned from a wonderful three day “leadership conference” about “Navigating the Great Turning” in Columbus Ohio ( ). The conference featured David Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and David Cobb, the 2004 presidential candidate of the Green Party of the United States.

Many of the themes in the conference were based on Korten’s book The Great Turning, which made a big impression on my when I read it several months ago (for more information see ). In the book, Korten promotes the theme that the paradigm of Empire, which has dominated much of the world’s stage for 5,000+ years is no longer sustainable (if it ever was) and is collapsing. With some effort, it is being replaced by a paradigm of increased partnership relations in what Kortin refers to as the Earth Community. However, it is also possible that the collapsing Empire could be replaced by an increasingly brutal fight for dominance over other groups and access to the remaining resources. It was the goal of the conference to promote the vision of Earth Community partnerships as the alternative to the vision of Empire, and to help give people the tools and encouragement to work towards this more optimistic partnership vision of the future.

Many of these themes are contained in my presentation linked to on the right hand column of this blog (see Sustainability or Apocalypse). This analysis of events and vision of the future resonated with me personally, and with many of the religious groups represented at the conference. I would like to note that Unitarian Universalists dominated the religious representation there, in large part because they were co-sponsors of the conference. I will post more thoughts and insights from the discussions at the conference later. In the mean time, I added a link to the “Great Turning” web site to the list of links on the right column of this blog.