The Earth Talks Back. Thinking Tank 21.01.2010

We structured our debate a little differently this time, asking participants to have a conversation with Planet Earth. This approach gave a different flavour to the debate – making it a bit more immediate and touching.

Here is some of what was said:

Q: Please share your reasons for joining today’s debate

  • I am here because I have a sense that COP really repeates the ways of working that are not working anyway. I feel that what it suggests is that the moral right to act lies outside the structures we have created. maybe its lies with each of us as individuals.
  • Nothing has been happening since COP either

Q: EARTH: I was interested to see what happened in Copenhagen. How do you think I should be feeling now. Please explain your answer.

  • I sense some of the groups (350 for example) are re-grouping.
  • Something has changed, but I don’t know what yet
  • Maybe it’s up to us then if they (the foremost leaders) are not up for / up to the job

Q: EARTH: Despite the big talks, I believe there are some things that are hopeful on a more human scale. Can you tell me any good news from your point of view?

  • I see more & more people interested in community
  • Regardless of the debates on climate change being “true” or not, we are abusing the earth and could do with a rethink
  • I feel that we are beginning to accept that its up to us, and just to us, not institutions, not someone else, just me & you
  • I feel more optimistic whenever I hear of people believing in the future and working for it, instead of shrugging and looking the other way
  • I do not think this is about big action only… it is about us 7 bln people doing all some small different things… the multiplier effect is real big
  • There is a movement called ARK (acts of random kindness) in Ireland – its a business as well. It have 3000+ fans on Facebook & it talks about giving profits to good causes, fans are asked to ‘do acts of random kindness’

Q: EARTH: Where do YOU fit in all this? Are you one of the good guys or one of the bad guys?

  • When living in Western Europe, it is difficult not to feel as a bad guy, unless you go and live in a hut in the forest
  • I do believe we are responsible and that we can solve this. But I don’t devote everything to saving you Earth
  • I feel different just for declaring that I’m a “bad guy”. Maybe that is the beginning of me changing my mind

Q: EARTH: If I’m to get through the next 100 years in one piece, what are the most important things that need to happen?

  • Education – changing education
  • Reconnecting – people with people, people with nature, insides with outsides
  • Accepting that enough is plenty, letting go of ‘endless growth as a model’, coming to realise what living on a planet means & that as humans we are part of, rather than masters of, a living system
  • Tell the pope that the pill is a good idea
  • different growth .. if we start valuing more the capacity to have time then eg then pure consumption..the whole economy will be triggered differently.. a different kind of clean currency?
  • different growth or way of looking at progress.. more about efficiency with respect to resources, more about rewarding and striving for values which are less money but more related to human values, beauty etc
  • The Green Schools movement is really encouraging – maybe we need a new model

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