Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Climate Change: Losing the Ineffable


Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:


via guerrilla mama on 1/27/10

Climate Change: Losing the Ineffable:

If we understand what the problem truly is, only then can we find solutions. Copenhagen failed, most especially it failed the people in this article. What now? How is climate change a spiritual problem and what can we do? Derrick Jensen offers two crucial differences between indigenous cultures that survived for thousands of years and Western culture: "If we want to stop this culture from killing the planet, we might instead try asking how so many indigenous cultures lived in place for so long without destroying their landbases…the indigenous had and have serious long-term relationships with the plants and animals with whom they share their landscape…'using methods that would be sustainable over centuries and even millennia. They did not alter their environment beyond what could sustain them indefinitely. They did not farm, but they managed the environment. But it was different from the way that people try to manage it now, because they stayed in relationship with it.' The other difference I want to mention…is that even the most open Westerners view listening to the natural world as a metaphor, as opposed to something real. I asked American Indian writer Vine Deloria about this, and he said, "I think the primary thing is that Indians experience and relate to a living universe, whereas Western people, especially science, reduce things to objects, whether they're living or not. The implications of this are immense. If you see the world around you as made up of objects for you to manipulate and exploit, not only is it inevitable that you will destroy the world by attempting to control it, but perceiving the world as lifeless robs you of the richness, beauty, and wisdom of participating in the larger pattern of life." (12) We can think of "…climate change as a crisis of meaning, purpose, and vocation of life. It is a deeper spiritual problem integrally connected with our relationship with the Divine, the human community, and the wider community of creation. Stated differently, climate change is the consequence of a faith which absolutize the neo-liberal market mechanisms as realized eschatology, propagates an anthropology that understands fulfillment of self-interest as human flourishing, approaches nature as a bounty given to the human kind to grab and to control, and believes in a God who sanctions the sacrifice of human and other lives for the prosperity and well being of a few chosen ones. This is the spiritual crisis that we face in our context, and we turn to the subaltern communities for new resources that can enable us in our search for spiritualities that inspire and empower us to decolonize our minds, our faiths, our communities, and our planet….Real solutions to the climate crisis are being built by those who have always protected the Earth and by those who fight every day to defend their environment and living conditions. We need to globalize these solutions. For us, the struggles for climate justice and social justice are one and the same. It is the struggle for territories, land, forests and water, for agrarian and urban reform, food and energy sovereignty, for women's and worker's rights. It is the fight for equality and justice for indigenous peoples, for peoples of the global South, for the redistribution of wealth and for the recognition of the historical ecological debt owed by the North. Against the disembodied, market-driven interests of the global elite and the dominant development model based on never-ending growth and consumption, the climate justice movement will reclaim the commons, and put social and economic realities at the heart of our struggle against climate change."


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