Latest Event Updates

WELCOME

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We are pleased and excited to announce a very special conference about living and thriving in the aftermath of climate change. Climate Change & Consciousness: Our Legacy for the Earth will be held at the Findhorn Foundation, North Scotland, April 20-26, 2019. The event will feature some of the clearest and most passionate voices for the Earth ever gathered together in one place, including:

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Please go to the About and Presenters pages for more information about the event.

Over the next two years as we countdown to the conference, we will post here informative and inspiring articles and videos featuring the work of our presenters and other climate change activists around the world. Please do join and support us by following our posts and updates, which you can do by email. (See ‘Follow Us via Email’ above right). Please comment on them and/or offer your own links; all feedback and input is welcome.

Sponsors & Supporters

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LEGALLY BLIND

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LEGALLY BLIND: How the Law Interferes with Consciousness

By conference convener, Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.

“Law frustrates the process of transformation by becoming an end in itself. It inoculates us from the real thing, which is always relationship.” Richard Rohr

For most people the Law exists somewhere in an unconscious realm along with God and Queen, enshrined and untouchable. Or else we choose not to think on it at all. In almost every country however, the Law shapes its people emotionally and biologically, usually unbeknown to them. More often than not, the Law creates and maintains an unnatural separation between people. It disrespects the natural world by violating our relationship with it through objectification. The so-called ‘Law of the land’ is an oxymoron; it distorts our perception of, and connection with, the land by classifying it as a commodity.

I have lived for a long time with an environmental attorney who is a lover of, and advocate for, Mother Nature. And yet, until I had talked to Mumta Ito about her organization Nature’s Rights, I hadn’t realized how I had unconsciously allowed the Law to hijack my perception of Nature. She was quick to show me with her fiery love, how I projected onto Nature what I needed it to be, seeking to make it serve my needs, rather than deeply listening to her own true voice.

The shift that is occurring in me as a result, is taking me to another level of perception. Some might call this development ‘shamanic.’ I feel that Nature is communicating with me; I am no longer interpreting Nature. Words do easily convey this experience, but I know it to be a profound shift in consciousness, one for which I am extremely grateful. I want to share the opportunity to cultivate intimacy with Nature with everyone who attends the Climate Change & Consciousness conference. That is why we have invited Mumta to lead a workshop there. And it’s why we are determined to find sponsorship for indigenous environmental leaders from around the world, particularly those from places already impacted by climate change. Their wisdom will bring forth the resilience and intelligence required to face what is truly an existential crisis. Nature herself can guide us if we can hear her speak.

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Watch the video below about Nature’s Rights and open yourself to a refreshing, consciousness shifting relationship with Nature herself. Even if you already consider yourself an environmentalist, conservationist or outdoorsy person, open yourself to the surprise that can occur in really listening to Nature, rather than experience separation from her due to your preconceptions.

Mumta Ito is a lawyer and Founder of the young international NGO Nature’s Rights. She
sees law as a vehicle for social transformation in a paradigm of restoration, reparation and healing. One of Europe’s leading advocates for rights of nature and earth jurisprudence, she is also European facilitator of the UN Harmony with Nature expert dialogues and initiator of a European Citizens Initiative to propose nature’s rights to the EU legislative agenda.

About Nature’s Rights: Nature’s Rights (previously Rights of Nature Europe) is a young international non-profit organization committed to establishing rights of nature in law and policy in Europe and around the world. Among its innovations is a Draft EU Directive to codify nature’s rights into European law.

Email: contact@naturesrights.org   Twitter: @NaturesRights

A POWERFUL ADDITION TO THE PROGRAMME

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The organisers of CCC19 (Climate Change & Consciousness, the week-long conference at Findhorn in April, 2019) are filled with gratitude for the momentum the event is gathering. We are constantly being approached by preeminent climate change activists keen to be involved. Most recently, environmentalist author, philosopher and poet, Kathleen Dean Moore, has spontaneously and generously offered to perform at the conference and facilitate workshops. Kathleen will be joined by piano virtuoso Rachelle McCabe whose accompanimentpiano4 (2)t to Kathleen’s spoken word makes even more palpable her passionate expression of love for the Earth and all of Nature. If you come to CCC19 for their performance alone, you’ll not be disappointed; your spirit will be uplifted and you will be forever changed. Go to A CALL TO LIFE: Variations on a Theme of Extinction to experience the power and beauty of their collaboration.  Here is a brief description of the piece, A CALL TO LIFE, provided by Kathleen:

“Words alone cannot express the moral urgency of action,” says Kathleen Dean Moore, “and so we turned to music.” In a unique creative collaboration, classical pianist Rachelle McCabe and Moore, a philosopher and writer, have created a music/spoken-word performance piece, A CALL TO LIFE. In the program, McCabe plays a breathtaking interpretation of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Variations on a Theme of Corelli.”  Moore weaves words between the variations, creating a call to action to save the planet’s lives from the dual threats of climate change and ocean acidification.  “We are using a formidable piece of music to address a formidable global crisis,” McCabe says. McCabe and Moore have performed for audiences all over the United States. “It is at once devastating and inspiring, despairing and hopeful,” wrote ocean conservationist Mark Hixon, who heard the performance in Hawaii. The synergy of words and music creates what one audience member called “as powerful a message as one could imagine.”

A longer blog post about the work of Moore and McCabe is available here.

XIUHTEZCATL MARTINEZ JOINS CCC19

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A key tenet of the vision for the Climate Change & Consciousness conference is that the voice of youth be heard, loud and clear. That aspect of the vision is now being realised with Xiuhtezcatl Martinez joining the CCC19 programme. Xiuhtezcatl (pronounced Shoe-Tex-Caht) is the indigenous hip-hop artist who is taking on climate change with passion and power. He’s one of the 31 youth suing the US government for not safeguarding their future. Xiuhtezcatl is the Youth Director of Earth Guardians (www.earthguardians.org), a worldwide conservation organisation. His infectious spirit of artistry and daring “just do it” attitude resonates with every phase of the CCC19 programme’s tripartite structure: AWAKE, CELEBRATE, ACT. You can see it all in this video.

WHY CONSCIOUSNESS?

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By conference convener, Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.

Ever since we first publicized the conference, Climate Change & Consciousness (CCC19), we have fielded questions like, “Why consciousness?” and “What’s the connection between climate change and consciousness?” This post offers a partial response to such questions.

When humans are confronted with an overwhelming threat, the dominant outcome is activation of an adrenally driven survival response. Dr. Peter Levine was one of the first to document this primitive brain behavior in his best-selling book, Waking the Tiger.  Following extensive research into the human stress response, Dr. Bruce McEwen coined the term, “allostatic load,” to describe how the neuroendocrine system becomes destabilized when threat appears.

Climate change is undoubtedly going to present the most serious allostatic load that most humans will ever face.

I have been tracking the pathways of shock and trauma through the human nervous system for forty years. The subtitle of my book, We Are All in Shock: How Overwhelming Experience Shatters Us and What We Can Do about It, summarizes my trajectory. I believe that responses to the shock of climate change will not necessarily follow the accepted norm of simply triggering human survival responses. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that, on the contrary, climate change can catalyze an expansion of consciousness.

Yudith Nieto, for example, lives in the shadow of an oil refinery in Texas and she and her entire community suffer the consequences of toxic exposure. She uses her impassioned voice to tell the world that we must refuse to tolerate the excesses and abuses of the oil industry. Yudith is not only speaking out for herself and her family, she fights for the rights of all marginalized peoples. “I stand with other…communities impacted by the fossil fuel industry,” she says. Yudith is not ordering from the old menu of flight or freeze. Instead, she elects strategic, purposeful action to empower people who have been victimized by corporations that ravage land and life. She joined 350.org and organized her community to participate in the People’s Climate March in the US on April 29, 2017.

A massive forest fire in Montana and then Hurricane Katrina similarly transformed Jay Toups from a 9-to-5 information technology executive into an environmental activist. “Everyone has to have their own carbon epiphany to decide, once and for all, not to be victims of this oil addiction death sentence,” he says. Jay managed to survive Katrina within an inch of his life. The day after he made it out, he quit his corporate job. He observes, “I use my own grief as fuel…as the world churns and burns, I get stronger.” Jay Toups harnessed his creativity to build an alternative fuel company, Bioroot Energy. He devotes himself to educating people about clean fuel sources. “Every issue that is presenting itself on the planet right now is carbon related. The most profound shift in our time is a shift in our understanding and use of energy.”

These examples illustrate how ‘I’ can become ‘We’ in response to the threat of climate change, challenging all of the research about trauma and shock. An entirely new story is being written for the human nervous system.

Shock and trauma have historically caused painful isolation. Victims are often excluded from social interaction due to stigma. They tend to bond with the shame that is projected onto them and either hold back from society or become marginalized outcasts. With climate change however, people who have been silenced by racism, abuse and poverty are pushing back alongside farmers, scientists, attorneys, physicians and parents. These compassionate unions have rarely been forged previously, because never before has a threat been so global and formidable, yet so personal.

Climate change is an ecumenical cry from the Earth, being heard wherever people are listening. It is Nature’s way of advocating for all Her creatures. And it is wedded to the ascent of human collective consciousness. As a victim of toxic algae growth and choking water supply caused by pollution in the Florida Everglades has said, “I want to reweave the tattered web of life for all creatures on this planet.” This kind of compassionate human response is what we mean by the subtitle of CCC19, ‘Our Legacy for the Earth.’

The conference, Climate Change & Consciousness, will amplify this trend toward increased human creativity and resilience. Instead of responding from our animal brains that get mired in memories of previous threat and habituated to the past, we will collectively revitalize our cortical (executive) and neo-cortical (visionary) capacities and infect one another with transformed consciousness.

Join us in Findhorn, Easter, 2019!

 

Note: If you would like to start now to cultivate your creativity and resilience join CCC19 convener Dr. Stephanie Mines in the workshop, Essence and Empowerment, at the Findhorn Foundation, beginning September 2, 2017.

CCC19 CONFERENCE UPDATE

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CCC19 Conference Update: Welcome Vandana Shiva and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

By conference convener, Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.

“The future of humanity depends on our advocacy for diversity, culture, freedom and joyful living.” Vandana Shiva

This week, from my perspective as the vision-holder for CCC19, we passed a milestone; Vandana Shiva and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez committed to joining us. Vandana Shiva epitomizes the vibrant elder-mentor who speaks for and with the Earth. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a young climate activist and hip hop artist who, along with other youth, is suing the US government for its failure to protect the environment for future generation. The participation of these two passionate activists fulfils crucial aspects of my vision for the event and helps me to feel that it is fully seeded and securely anchored.

There is not enough space here to properly tell you about Vandana Shiva and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez; their energies are almost mythic. Vandana Shiva has taken on what is likely one of the greatest challenges of climate change – feeding a growing population without further harming the Earth. She assures us that the anticipated 10 million inhabitants we will see by the end of the century can be fed “if seeds are in the hands of the farmers and the gardeners as well as the land.” Vandana has authored 20 books and been the recipient of numerous awards including the Right Livelihood Award in 1993.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez launched his first environmental campaign at the age of six. With beauty, flare, and music he has, since then, taken on fracking, developed a climate recovery plan, and spoken at the Rio + 20 Summit and the UN. His mission, he says, is to reach out to youth and invite them to be advocates for the Earth. He received the Peace First Prize in 2015 and the Children’s Climate Prize in Sweden in 2016. He is now the Youth Director of the international organization Earth Guardians. And because, as he says, “movements need songs,” he has released one album and is working on another with his equally inspired younger brother and sister.

We are truly honored and blessed that these two people, one a wise elder and the other a young, talented rapper, will be with us at CCC19, to inspire and guide us along with our other eminent presenters.

Finally, on April 20th 2017, at 8 PM BST and Noon PST, we will be exactly two years from the moment that CCC19 opens in Findhorn. Please join us in being still at that time to invoke the highest and the best for our gathering. We will connect with each other, with Nature, the Ancestors and the future ones for twenty minutes of attunement. Let’s evoke, through meditation and attunement, the unseen guardians for our conference and the Earth!

LISTENING TO YOUTH

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By conference convener, Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.

In March 2017 the Washington Post reported that a group of high school students in Kansas, working on an article for their campus newspaper, discovered that their newly hired principal was misrepresenting her credentials. While some were initially incredulous, the voices of the young journalists ultimately prevailed and the woman resigned. The Post’s renowned Spotlight team, known for their daring and incisive research, applauded the youth. Their courage and determination won the day. It is exactly these qualities in our youth that will characterize and perhaps define the Climate Change & Consciousness conference in April, 2019 (CCC19).

CCC19 seeks and welcomes the curiosity and passion of young people. We are actively engaged in finding ways to bring young people from all over the world to the gathering. We are calling in youth to help uncover the kind of indefatigable creativity that we need to meet the greatest existential challenge we have ever faced together. We will ensure that their voices are heard and their ideas, acted upon. After all, isn’t it for them that we are called to steward?

Climate change is forcing a shift in consciousness that includes how we prioritize the voices of our youth. The coming together of elders and other mentors with youth will spark emergent and compelling conversations that will occur everywhere, formally and informally, deliberately and serendipitously, during the conference. The minds, hearts, songs, dances, ideas, and brilliance of youth absolutely must be present for this seeding.

Be an actor in the manifestation of the global family that is CCC19 by helping us bring youth there from all over the word. Representative youth can only attend with your support. Give yourself, give them, give us all the gift of their presence. Offer a donation of an amount you can afford by contacting us here. You can specify that you want your sponsorship to go specifically to youth. You can also choose to support a particular young person to attend by registering them for the event here.

Activate your stewardship; help build our global family. We are all in this together. No one can survive climate change alone. Ignite the inclusivity that lives in your heart by reaching out to the youth of the world and telling them, with your sponsorship, that you are ready to listen, ready to hear their voice. Let the child who lives within you, who perhaps was not heard as a youth, feel welcomed into the human family as you welcome a young man or young woman into CCC19.

CLIMATE CHANGE: ITS IMPACT ON MENTAL HEALTH

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By conference convener, Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.

Research into the psychological effects of war (see my book, They Were Families: How War Comes Home (New Forums, 2015)) has identified secondary traumatization as the fallout from an atmosphere of trauma, just as secondary smoke infects non-smokers. It occurs when an enormous threat prevails in the ambience of a home, a community or a country. The fallout lands invisibly on the people there, even when the threat is not much palpable. In Western psychology, this is called vicarious retraumatization. When it happens to healthcare providers it is called burnout. Both are responses to shock on a subtle level.

Climate change will wreak the same kind of havoc i.e. unprecedented mental health and nervous system challenges on a pandemic scale. If we are lucky, its treatment will come from the widespread application of integrative medicine. As someone who has developed a paradigm dedicated to integrative medicine, I can vouch for its effectiveness in resolving shock. Western medicine can help us identify the symptoms, as the following article shows, so that we can treat these destabilizing influences on our nervous systems.

Energy medicine (such as trauma-informed touch, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Repatterning), TRE (Trauma Release Exercises), Art Therapy and Movement Therapy) gracefully leads the nervous system back home to its innate symmetry, frequently making pharmaceuticals unnecessary. This is integrative medicine at its best. We will be considering these kinds of health impacts and their treatment when we come together in Findhorn for CLIMATE CHANGE & CONSCIOUSNESS. This article summarizes what we now know about the mental health impacts of climate change in places where it is already doing damage. The good news is that we can prepare ourselves and be ready to come to the aid of those effected. Western science has been consistent in singing the praises of early intervention. I am grateful to be one of early intervention’s team leaders.

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