URGENT ALERT – climate-wrecking at Bali

I just signed an emergency petition trying to help save the climate talks going on right now, and it would be great if you could join me. The most important global warming meeting since Kyoto is happening right now in Bali. 192 countries are meeting to discuss what comes next – but they’re in crisis.

Negotiators were nearing agreement on cuts by 2020–a step which the scientists say is needed to avert the worst ravages of global warming, and which will help to bring China and the developing world onboard. But then the news broke: the US, Canada and Japan rejected any mention of such cuts.

We can’t let three governments hold the world to ransom, by vetoing a real solution to the climate crisis. Bali is the opportunity we’ve been waiting for to start working toward real climate action, and we can’t let it pass by.

The campaign will be delivered direct to summit delegates, through stunts and in media advertisements, so our voices will actually be heard. But we need a lot of us, fast, to join in if we’re going to make a difference. Just click on the link to add your own name now:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/bali_emergency/

Thanks!

PS Avaaz, the organisation hosting the petition, are very serious — they host the Fossil Awards held by hundreds of NGOs at the summit

Advertisements

Blue Man Group – Earth To Humanity

Can you hear?

Kappen met Kolen (Dutch)

Interessant mailtje in m’n inbox gekregen van Niels:

Beste mensen,Belachelijk dat we in Nederland waar veelal vooruitdenkende mensen wonen, 5 kolencentrales erbij krijgen!

Van deze 5 centrales zal evenveel emissie vrijkomen als van alle auto’s in Nederland samen! De opgewekte energie is alleen om te exporteren. Je vraagt je sterk af waarom we ons niet sec focussen op duurzame energie. Ik verbaas me over de kortzichtigheid van politici en ga aan hun verstand twijfelen (zo ik dat niet al op veel punten deed).

Kappen met kolen

Saving the Shroom

So it appears that they set up a way to protest the Dutch government’s decision to ban ‘magic mushrooms’. On RedDePaddo.nl there is an email you can sign which is automatically sent to the parliament and ministers. Apparently Monday afternoon, 10,000 people had signed it already… Tuesday morning, this was 20,000!

They’re taking more initiatives than just that, so be sure to check out their website. At least SEND AN EMAIL! They also give a bunch of great reasons why these mushrooms should not be banned:

Continue reading

Taking Action Against Climate Change, the best choice

In the whole climate change debate (it’s ridiculous it has to be a debate), I decided that the possible cost of NOT taking action, would FAR outweigh the cost of taking action NOW. Actually, what would be so bad about preventing climate change? Living in a cleaner, healthier world? The cities wouldn’t be so filled with smog, there would be less polution, no more oil wars… Sounds a lot better.

Anyway, the following video argues the same thing, but in a way that’s a bit more digestible than my elaborate theories.

A Manifesto For A New Environmentalism

By way of the Survival Acres Blog:

“Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, like Silent Spring, was considered powerful because it marshaled the facts into an effective (read: apocalyptic) story. But, ironically, for more than seven years, research that environmentalists have privately conducted on attitudes toward global warming has found the opposite: Cautionary tales and narratives of eco-apocalypse tend to provoke fatalism, conservatism, and survivalism among voters–not the rational embrace of environmental policies. This research is consistent with extensive social-science research that strongly correlates fear, rising insecurity, and pessimism about the future with resistance to change.

In promoting the inconvenient truth that humans must limit their consumption and sacrifice their way of life to prevent the world from ending, environmentalists are not only promoting a solution that won’t work, they’ve discouraged Americans from seeing the big solutions at all. For Americans to be future-oriented, generous, and expansive in their thinking, they must feel secure, wealthy, and strong.” Continue reading

Babel

small_su_logo.pngWe are all familiar with the biblical story of the Tower of Babel. As I was walking the street, I suddenly realized that the interpretation of the metaphor, as it has been explained to me, is still too simplistic. For the people who are not very familiar with the story, I’ll give a short recap. The purpose of this recap is also to help you understand my thoughts, because I’m not very sure I know the Babel story perfectly.

So basically, once upon a time in the old world, all people speak the same language. This makes it easy to cooperate. So they decide to build a tower into the skies and go have a cup of tea with God. After a while (they get pretty high, I guess) God decides he prefers the dead to the living and will have none of these people in his kingdom. So what does he do? He magically makes people speak in different languages (that’s right, languages haven’t evolved over thousands of years either, God made them). So now, these people can’t cooperate anymore and they abandon the tower and spread throughout the world. That’s the story.

I believe this is a spiritual warning. We must not try to ‘be’ with God through material pursuit. This is exactly what we are doing; we’re creating a new Babel. The biggest group of people who speak English live in… China. We’re all adapting to the Latin alphabet and the English language and are cooperating to redesign the world to make it fit our needs. For me, the metaphor of ‘God’ means the sum of everything, all life, nature, matter, energy, ecologies et cetera. So we use our intelligence and capacities to act out of harmony with ‘God’ which I interpret as the all-encompassing ecology. The more we act out of harmony, the harder it will strike back. Maybe next time ‘God’ won’t divide us, but destroy us. The warning is there in the story of the Tower of Babel.

So how do we avoid this destruction? Simple. Get down from the fucking tower and let’s stop acting like Gods. Some people say that we can rape this planet, because “God created man in his own image”, unlike animals or other life. So we get to make the decisions about other life, like God does. Well, let’s turn this one around now and get more philosophical. I hate antitheism, because I dislike angry, arrogant atheists, they are just as bad as any other fundamentalists – because that’s what they are; fundamentalist atheists. However, I believe that “man created God in his own image”, because we have very limited minds, we cannot understand infinity. We don’t know what it’s like to be more intelligent than we are, because you’d have to be more intelligent to understand this in the first place. So God’s depicted as human, because that’s what WE are. We think we are gods, because we depict God as a man.

Let’s make a list of the elements I know from the story of the Tower of Babel and compare them to current society.

Babel

Modern day society

One language

Moving towards one language (English / Chinese)

The Tower

Our quest to create our own world

Splitting up in different languages

Ecological disaster, scarcity, famine, war (sorry)

Motivators: greed, vanity, dissatisfaction with what we are given.

Greed, vanity, dissatisfaction with what we are given.

Mass cooperation

Globalism


I bet there’s a lot more. I think I’ll read the story, because biblical stories or fairy tales are good vehicles for philosophy. Have a look at the work of Daniel Quinn for instance, he writes stories to educate about ecology.

The art depicting this story always shows that they got pretty far with building the tower, so either God is slow and didn’t understand what was going on until they got pretty close, or he’s a sadist. Or maybe God’s not a man… Maybe God is the force of the universe, or the force of nature to be more context-specific. If we pollute, there is no immediate repercussion. However, the more we pollute and the more ‘advanced’ (in our eyes) we become, the harder nature will strike back in the future. I think this is what the tower symbolizes. It shows what happens if we live in disharmony with all that around us, because of vain and greedy mindlessness.

I don’t propose to tear this tower down right now. That would be crazy. We have a long way down first, so let’s start walking. Downstairs we can live in peace, together, in one united world.

Check out all the other religious traditions with the same metaphor.