global warming

Care doesn’t come cheap.

In 1972 the study Limits to Growth was published. It was an overview of several so called future scenarios. It sometimes is said that the study didn’t predict the future correctly, because it didn’t predict climate change. But that was not the theme of the study. The study showed that unlimited growth in a finite ecosystem (planet earth) is not possible. Either one has to limit growth by deliberately changing some of the input variables of the system or the system will collapse spontaneously. And because we didn’t fundamentally change our goal (unlimited growth), now we can see the beginning of the collapse. So the study is more up-to-date than ever.

The other day I saw an interview with Dennis Meadows, one of the authors of the study (see: https://www.facebook.com/pg/WeLoveEarth.org/videos/?ref=page_internal , a must see). Among other things two comments stood out for me. One, he confirmed that in 1972 climate change was not a matter of much attention. The general message of the study in 1972 was, as  I said above, that unlimited growth in a closed system is impossible. If, by any miracle, global warming suddenly would come to an end, then the present earth system would collapse in another way: by pollution, collapse of ecosystems, extinction of species, water shortage, shortage of resources, epidemics, or whatever. (By the way, climate change was mentioned in the upgrades of the study: eight times in 1994 and 24 times in 2004).

His other message was that nowadays the scientific knowledge about the effects of unlimited growth is spreading. But this strangely enough didn’t result in a change of worldwide policies. We still aim at unlimited growth. He then realized that a deliberate change in the system only could happen when two conditions are fulfilled: scientific knowledge and care. One has to know what is going on in order to change ones goals or behavior, but that condition is not sufficient. One has to care for the system as well. It’s also the other way around: care alone is not sufficient. The Dalai Lama and the pope are examples of persons, whose care has no effect on our behavior concerning global warming.

Meadows himself as far as I can see is an example of a person who does have the scientific knowledge about the system and also cares for the earth. He knows a drastic change of the system is unavoidable and that this will include misery and pain. But he still is hoping that this can happen in a relative peaceful and non-violent way by human intervention. This only can take place if we care enough for each other and the earth. But he doesn’t see how one can promote care in people. Voters, for example, base their choices upon a short time span: two or three years, so that they don’t have to care for the far away future. Politicians do the same – their main concern seems to be: shall I be reelected? (a time span of four years or less).

Basically the capacity to care is present in all of us. It is a manifestation of our ability to love. But the problem is: care does not come without commitment, or even sacrifices. It may disturb our peace of mind. But what do we really choose? Staying in our comfort zone, which, if we come to think about it, is not that comfortable at all? Or do we want to make a difference?

 

Disclaimer: I apologize for mistakes in my English. Blogs are cursory – not stuff for correction by a native speaker.

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Preparing for the second coming.

Too bad! Humanity on their own will not succeed in confining global warming to 2 degrees centigrade. If the Paris agreement om Climate Change will be carried out completely, global warming shall be 3 degrees, experts are telling us. But, as we all can see, the Paris agreement will not be executed completely. Moreover, many of the agreements within the overall agreement are merely suggestions or well meant intentions, no deals with sanctions if not performed. James Hansen, a world-famous  climate expert called te Paris agreement ‘bullshit’. Very strange that here in Europe almost all politicians still are going by the assumption that 2 degrees is still feasible. I call this mystification. But that is not as bad as what the Trump administration is doing: denying that the climate problem exists. I call that a serious crime.

Already a global warming of two degrees will cause disasters, the beginning of which we already can see today (one degree temperature rise): draughts, floods, melting of icecaps and glaciers, sea level rise, dead of vital ecosystems (f.i. the Great Barrier Rif), etc. Let alone the effects of three or more degrees – these are unimaginable and a serious threat to the survival of mankind.

So mankind is not going to make it. Unless we get help form ‘above’, the subtle world, the unseen realms. For many of us this is pure phantasy, wishful thinking, daydreaming, but in fact there are already many examples of extraterrestrial help. One of the best documented examples is the decennia old practice of the Findhorn community (see https://www.findhorn.org).

How will this support from the unseen world manifest? It will manifest through us. The entities (deva’s, angels, spirits) in the subtle realms only very rarely intervene directly in the material world, but they can guide us and tell us what to do, and in that way collaborate with us. Then we can create miracles: events that transcend the physical laws. In this way we cannot solve the global warming problem, but maybe we can limit its consequences.

This won’t happen automatically. We have to prepare for this in two ways: developing the belief that this is possible (faith), and at the same time knowing we do not deserve this support, becoming meek and still expectant (like children). “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matth:5:6) . Then we are ready for prayer: “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Needless to say that it is not necessary to practice this in an orthodox christian way.  If you want to approach this attitude from a Christian viewpoint you should rather think of gnosis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosis). Although in the Findhorn community, as far as I know, this term is not in use, this is what they are practicing there. However, it can be done out of any spiritual practice (Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, whatever) and also without any religious background.

So this is our assignment for the immediate future: preparing for the second coming of the Christ energy. A hugh task, but very rewarding. Blessed be you all!

 

Disclaimer: I apologize for mistakes in my English. Blogs are cursory – not stuff for correction by a native speaker.

 

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To make a difference (Dutch and English texts).

DUTCH TEXT, ENGLISH BELOW.

Nu het wel duidelijk is dat de Aarde zal opwarmen met minstens drie graden, met alle desastreuze gevolgen van dien, lopen we het gevaar uit onmacht weg te kijken en onverschillig te worden. Maar dat is toch niet nodig – want we kunnen leren hoe we op een menswaardige en creatieve wijze met deze dreiging kunnen omgaan. In 2008 schreven Jan Paul van Soest, Judy McAllister en ikzelf in ‘De Aarde heeft koorts’ (2008) hierover een passage die nog niets aan actualiteit heeft ingeboet. Hier volgt deze passage:

Blijven kijken houdt ook in dat we openstaan voor onorthodoxe ideeën en mogelijkheden, voor wat schijnbaar onmogelijk is.

We willen je nu even meenemen in een van die mogelijkheden, en nodigen je uit eens even te denken in termen van ‘Wat als…?’ Wat als er een intelligent, creatief bewustzijn zou bestaan dat die andere levensvormen van informatie voorziet? Een bewustzijn waarmee we ons zouden kunnen verbinden? Wat als er behalve ons nog een andere scheppende kracht zou bestaan, niet-fysiek, waartoe we ons op creatieve wijze zouden kunnen verhouden en die als het ware een verbond van bondgenoten vertegenwoordigt die met ons willen samenwerken bij de uitdaging die voor ons ligt. Dit soort vragen komt op als we kennis nemen van wat er in Findhorn gebeurd is in de zestiger jaren. (zie: https://www.findhorn.org/aboutus/vision/history/ – .VgT7nekmVb4) *)

Samenvattend: we staan dus voor een keuze. Of we zien de realiteit onder ogen, of we sluiten de ogen daarvoor. Ook als we blijven kijken zullen we af en toe de tirannen van ontkenning en positiviteit**) ontmoeten, maar dan kunnen we ze laten voor wat ze zijn. We kunnen onze veerkracht ontwikkelen, en er voor kiezen moedig te leven. Dan kunnen we op zoek gaan naar bondgenoten zowel binnen als buiten de fysieke werkelijkheid.

Maar er is geen garantie dat we deze crisis zonder kleerscheuren te boven zullen komen. Aan de andere kant, als we niet kijken en niet moedig zijn, dan loopt het zeker op een ramp uit.

Stel je bent van nature cynisch. Dan vragen we je er eens even op deze manier tegenaan te kijken. Stel dat jouw hart of verstand nu juist de cruciale druppel kan leveren die maakt dat het vat van de collectieve wil laat overstromen. Dat jij degene bent die het verschil maakt tussen een toekomst waarin het verhaal verteld wordt van hoe, op de valreep, nog heel grote veranderingen plaatsvonden, of een toekomst waarover gezegd kan worden: ‘ze hadden het bijna gered.’

*) Een interessante spirituele vraag is of dit bewustzijn los van de mensheid bestaat, of dat het collectieve bewustzijn van de mensheid hier deel van uitmaakt.

**) Bedoeld wordt het ten onrechte stellen dat het allemaal zo’n vaart niet zal lopen, en dat we het wel eenvoudig zullen oplossen.

 

ENGLISH TEXT.

Now that it is clear that the Earth will warm up until at least 3 degrees centigrade with all its disastrous consequences, we run the risk, out of impotence, to look away and become indifferent.  However, that is not necessary because we can learn how to be able to deal with this treat in a human and creative way. In 2008 Judy McAllister, Jan Paul van Soest and I wrote about this in ‘Earth Fever ‘ (American Edition: 2009). This passage is still up-to-date. Quote:

Sustaining our gaze also entails being willing to be open to unorthodox ideas and possibilities, staying open to the seemingly impossible. While acknowledging the time spent, individually and/or collectively, caught up in the pastime of ‘if only’ I would like to invite you to enter into a few moments of ‘what if’.

What if there is an intelligent, creative consciousness informing those forms with which we can engage?  What if there is another constituency, a non-physical, non-human constituency with which we can creatively engage and which represents a league of allies unlike any previously called into the challenge that lies before us. These are questions that follow on naturally if we learn to know about what happened in Findhorn in the sixties.[1]

In summary: it’s our choice.  We can sustain our gaze, adding our voice and energy to the process or we can choose to inhabit a favourite abyss, be it panic, paralysis, denial or despair. Those who choose to cultivate resilience, to live courageously, to sustain their gaze, will inevitably visit the abyss that is the abode of the tyrants. *) It is our capacity to visit them, to experience them as fully as the moment requires, and then to leave them. We can choose to develop our resilience and living courageously. Then we can search and find allies, in this and the other reality.

There are no guarantees that the movement towards a simpler, healthier world system will triumph. On the other hand, if we don’t look and dare, then a disaster will be certain.

And if you are of the cynical inclination – we would ask you to consider this.  What if it’s your heart/mind that’s the final drop needed to allow the vessel of collective will to reach overflow point?  What if you are the one who makes the difference between a future where the story that is told is one of where and how the radical changes actually happened just in time, or a story of how ‘they’ almost made it?



[1] In Findhorn at that time a community grew, based on cooperation with those allies. This community still exists, and developed into a successful living and working community, an international educational centre, an eco-village and a network of small, commercial sustainable businesses. See https://www.findhorn.org/aboutus/vision/history/ – .VgT7nekmVb4). It is an interesting question if the mentioned constituency is non-human after all, or if the human collective consciousness is part of it.

*) The  tyrants of denial or false optimism.

 

 

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False promise of 2 degrees global warming prevents effective action

In 2008 Jan Paul van Soest and I published a book (Earth Fever, for Dutch Readers: De Aarde heeft koorts) in which we sketched a scenario in which a limitation of global warming to 2 degrees centigrade wasn’t feasible anymore. We estimated the probability of that scenario as high. At the time  we were criticized and put away as negative pessimists who were blowing up the problem way out of proportion. Unfortunately however, nowadays we appear to have been right. A two degrees scenario is no longer achievable.  Maybe technically and theoretically it still is, but politically and socially it isn’t. A three degree global warming is the best we can hope for, even now, when some shift in the American public opinion concerning global warming seems to happen and, at last, America in the person of Obama, is moving in the right direction. But this is still too little and too late. This conclusion is substantiated by an article of Jan Paul in one of the Dutch papers: Trouw (July 30), and, for those who can read Dutch, online: http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/13110/Klimaatverandering/article/detail/4110481/2015/07/30/Wees-eerlijk-twee-graden-opwarming-is-een-illusie.dhtml

Although I like to be right, I’d rather should have been wrong.flooded_ny_0

The results of a three degree global warming are unheard of. Very extreme climate changes (hurricanes, draughts), extreme sea level rise, loss of agricultural land, hunger etc. Maybe it also creates unprecedented opportunities.

The reactions  to the article of Jan Paul again are predictable: ridicule, denial, refutation, etc. But there are also encouraging and consenting responses. Some think that by identifying  reality all willingness to act will dwindle. Others however, as we ourselves,  are thinking just the opposite. Never a problem is efficiently dealt with by negating it. Looking at reality as it is and having the courage to stay with it, together with others, will release an unknown creativity. In this case we hope that attention will shift from reacting to creating: thinking about how can we  deal with the upcoming world. As Krishnamurti said already ages ago: seeing is acting. So I invite you to join the seeers. Maybe you have to go through some  despair first, but in the end it will make you happier, believe it or not.

 

(I apologize for mistakes in my English. Blogs are cursory – not stuff for correction by a native speaker).

Next week I am in a retreat, so no blog that week.

Datum Door erik.van.praag 1 Reactie

Do we have to stay in the shade, hidden and secure? Conclusion.

I started this little weblog series with the question that is in the heading of this blog. I asked myself this question due to the New Story Summit in Findhorn, organized with the purpose of finding guidelines for the future. At a certain moment the participants seemed to have arrived at an impasse in which they didn’t dare to stay as long as was needed. Instead they cheered themselves up with reassuring and comforting talk. But the I Tjing gave a different answer – see the first blog in this series  (October 3). In short: it said to do nothing. Quote: The accepted date has gone by. Let it go. It said more, but in order to fully experience the depth of the reading I advise you to read the original text again in the mentioned blog.

This caused in me a complete trend of thoughts and contemplations about which I testified in the last few blogs. I now am reaching a preliminary conclusion. Here it is.

The first thing we could do is is, indeed, do nothing. Standing still,  so that  our soul can catch up with us. Being as aware as we possibly can be. Being conscious of what is going on inside and outside. Reading books about it. Being aware not only  of what is going wrong, but also of the beauty that is always present inside and around us. And, very important: developing an image of the world we long for. This is completely in line with the I Tjing reading.

The second thing we could do is change our lifestyle. We can try to diminish our ecological footprint. We can choose our food more consciously and responsibly (hardly any meat, food from the neighborhood and of the season, and so on). We can diminish flying and car driving, and going by foot, bicycle or train instead.  We can save energy by house isolation, turning the heating lower and buying led lamps and energy saving devices. In one of the earlier blogs I said that these life style changes will not make a big difference in the outside world, but it will influence our attitude.

Three: we should protest to everything that is harmful in this world. We can do this in several ways. In our consumer behavior: refusing to buy things that are produced in a socially or ecologically  damaging way, and , in general, restricting the amount of things we buy. In our political behavior: voting for or joining or being active in the party that most endorse our ideals. Joining protest groups or NGO’s that resist irresponsible policies, like for instance Greenpeace or Avaaz. Participating in demonstrations for world peace or a global climate policy, or against irresponsible profit making on a global or on a local scale (mining in a vulnerable nature area, shale gas extraction, destroying the rain forest, whatever). The  least we can do is raising our voice in speaking and writing and signing petitions. We have to stir the soup, all, together.

Four, we should create beauty. Being active in the world to give what it is we have to give, with love. The world then will become dear to us, and that will lead to more creativity. This is a constructive force opposing the destructive forces.

Five, we should pray. We cannot solve the enormous problems that lay ahead of us alone. We need help form the subtle world. And we certainly will get that, if we are willing to listen and be open and flexible, and prepared for change

None of these ‘actions’ will solve the climate problem That cannot be solved anymore, therefore it is too late. But we can move to a future in which we not only can survive, but have a more dignified world than the one we have now. However we are not perfect (yet) and thus we shall live by compromise. That is OK, as long as we are aware of that.

Let me end this blog with a quote for one of the participants in the Findhorn New Story Summit.

Travelling home through the rolling hills and magnificent skies of Northern Scotland, I wonder at our dilemma. We need to go beyond ourselves, and yet we behave as if we have only ourselves with which to get there. It was good to gather on this summit, to know ourselves and know our limits. Perhaps we were reminded of our smallness and our tendency to subtle forms of hubris. And some of us at least, were driven – in the face of paradox and few other options – back to the simple practice of prayer and remembrance – of turning to something bigger than we are and confessing, “We don’t know”. (Justine Huxley’s blog)

And finally: about myself. For me, in this phase of my ilife, my emphasis is upon the items one and five. If  that leads to further action in the other realms remains to be seen. I’ll go with the flow and bless you all with courage, resilience and joy. So be it.

(I apologize for mistakes in my English. Blogs are cursory – not stuff for correction by a native speaker).

 

 

 

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Do we have to stay in the shade, hidden and secure? Part IV

While I am wrestling with what I should do or not do with regard to global warming,  the world goes on revolving. Some remarkable things happened.

Our so called ‘objective’ Centraal Plan Bureau (CPB: our government  Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis) published a report in which it is said that the development of wind energy will cost the Dutch  society 5 billion more than it will bring. This  analysis however is based on completely out of date arguments and assumptions. This brought Jan Paul van Soest (a renowned consultant in Holland) to the following remarks: “The CPB in this case is engaging in politics. Economists especially are good at disguising normative statements about the world as objective statements. Maybe they don’t even realize that they in this case are doing just that.”  (Groene Amsterdammer, 16/10). As far as I am concerned they may choose, either they are stupid or they act in bad faith. I suspect the latter.

Another so called ‘objective’ gorvernmental institution, the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) decided to investigate if our shrimp fisherman have made illegal agreements. The fishermen decided to limit their sailing frequency, to prevent the emptying of the sea. But this is against the free market principle. That principle is of course more important than ecological considerations.

The European Union in the mean time reached a climate agreement that is a weak decoction of the proposal of the Committee of January 2014, that already was characterized as too late and too little. Actually this agreement can be considered as business as usual: let’s heat the world up. This decision was supported by the Dutch parliament, especially by the liberal member Leegte (This means Emptiness in English. What’s in a name?)

So far the actions of our government institutions and our politicians. For their work I pay taxes. I WANT MY MONEY BACK! But I don’t know how to accomplish that. Anyway, these events are all good illustrations of what Naomi Klein is describing in her new book: This changes everything.

These things make me angry, but still I don’t know how to respond. My investigation continues!

 

(I apologize for mistakes in my English. Blogs are cursory – not stuff for correction by a native speaker).

 

 

 

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Do we have to stay in the shade, hidden and secure? Part II

In her new book (This changes everything) Naomi Klein convincingly argues that we are rapidly moving towards a global warming of 4 degrees centigrade or more. Read her book if you want to know what this means (or our book Earth Fever, 2009, page 53, except that in the mean time the process that is described there seems to have accelerated). Our governments and the corporate world are doing virtually nothing about it. For instance: In january 2014 the European Commission proposed to reduce the ambition to bring down the CO2 emissions (an ambition that was already too little and too late) , and our (Dutch) government is supporting this proposal. In our parliament a resolution from the opposition to oppose this proposal of the Commision was rejected, because our Labour Party, being part of the government, voted with the majority  and thus renounced her own principles (this fact was not reported in the media, as far as I know. Clearly this fact was not considered relevant).

The case of our Labour Party is an interesting one. Their leader, Diederik Samson, once was an activist in Greenpeace, and in their election program the party emphasized ecological targets . But in their coalition with the liberals they had to let go of most of their ambition. Nevertheless, under their influence the government stimulated a so called energy-agreement between most involved organizations,  that according to experts is insufficient to contribute drastically to our own emission targets. Even so, the targets of the agreement will probably not be met. To save their image the Labour Party now demands drastic measures to bend this process. My prediction is that nothing will happen, only minor changes maybe, so that the Labour Party can save her face. Poor labour party, low as they are standing in the polls, nothing on the short term can save them. If they really are going for a drastic climate policy, they will cause the fall of the government, and lose in the elections. If they back down, they will lose in the elections too.

The above cases can effortlessly be supplemented with other cases in our own country, in Europe or in other countries. I invite you to find them for yourselves. It all underlines my proposition that our leaders will not solve our climate problems. To be honest, it is indeed very difficult for them to do something essential, because our complete economical system is obstructing any climate policy. The WTO (world trade agreement), the free market ideology, the financial system and the globalization make any drastic measure against global warming nearly impossible. (Again: read Naomi Klein, to learn why this is so)

So what to do? I am in the process of finding out. I will share this process with you in the coming blogs (maybe now and then interrupted by other themes). To be continued.

 

(I apologize for mistakes in my English. Blogs are cursory – not stuff for correction by a native speaker).

 

 

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