By guest blogger, James R Flynn, Professor FRSNZ *
As Ben Strauss (Director of Climate Control) says “the 22nd century will become the century from hell.”
Until very recently, scientific opinion included some who predicted only a very gradual rise in sea level over the remainder of this century: most of them less than a meter. This was because sea level rise up to now has been caused mainly by thermal expansion. As oceans get warmer the water expands but not too alarmingly. The best science is now predicting a huge rise by the year 2100. This is because of the fragility of the Polar Ice Caps. It sets into motion a feedback mechanism that takes global warming out of human control. The Polar Ice acts as a gigantic set of mirrors that reflect heat back into space. As they decline that raises the earth’s temperature, which melts more Polar Ice, which raises temperature further, and so we go. The carbon emissions we send into the atmosphere become a junior player in global warming to the extent that after 2050, our efforts to cut them become swamped by the Polar Ice factor. It is much easier to keep a glacier from decline than to restore it once it fragments, if only because that in itself creates temperatures that are too hot.
Polar Ice is not is not like a solid ice cube that comes out of your fridge and slowly melts on your bench. As DeContro and Pollard (2016) point out, in their article in Nature, when a glacier is near the sea, melting ice on top of it fractures it into a series of ‘cliffs’. The ice between them falls into the sea leaving sheer cliffs behind. These cannot support their weight, and suffer from ‘cliff collapse’ that sends them into the sea as well. Moreover, some ice is strategically placed to keep other ice from sliding into the sea. In the West Antarctic, the Thwaites Glacier acts like a cork that holds back other glaciers that rest on a seabed that slopes toward the sea. It is melting fast and when it goes the others will follow it into the ocean. In the Arctic, sea ice plays this role and as it melts, the land ice it encircles will no longer be impeded from drifting toward the ocean.
I have focused on Polar land ice but note that we must take into account the polar ice that presently rests on the sea. It may seem less significant because when it melts, it does not directly raise sea levels (it is already displacing its volume in the sea). But when it is gone that is another huge mirror gone. Notz and Stove (2016) predict that all Arctic sea ice (not land ice) will disappear by the year 2050.
James Hansen and his team have integrated the effect of glacier ice loss into a new and more comprehensive model of sea level rise. It gives estimates with a median of 3.5 meters (scenarios range from 2 to 5) by the year 2100. As Ben Strauss (Director of Climate Control) says, even a low estimate promises that the 22nd century will become the century from hell. If sea level is rising exponentially, then after 2100 the rise will be huge for each decade – somewhere between 0.80 and 2.73 meters between 2100 and 2110 alone and nightmarish after that. Planning to move inland will become a panic unless cities are put on roller skates.
To illustrate what sea-level rise implies, a rise of even 2.6 meters would put large percentages of American cities under water: New Orleans 93, Galveston 82, Atlantic City 80, Miami 46, Norfolk 43, St. Petersburg 40, Jersey City 33, Charleston 30, Savannah 24. New York City would lose ‘only’ 15 per cent, so only about 1.26 million people would be directly affected (really more with population growth).
In sum, unless we abolish coal today, oil in ten years, and national gas in 20, the race to avoid unacceptable temperature and sea level rise has been lost. The only solution is to use a benign form of climate engineering to hold temperatures at their present level and give us 50 years to eliminate emissions. I will explore alternatives in my next posting.
* James R. Flynn is Emeritus Professor of Political Studies in New Zealand and author of 16 books including a series on the problems of the modern world, among which he considers climate change to be the most important. His book, No Place To Hide, attracted the following praise:
‘A broad-ranging view of the critical issues facing our planet written in an easy to understand non-technical manner’ — Jay Zwally, Maryland Earth Sciences and NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre.
‘A great read. A massive amount of information well organized and expressed’ — Sir Alan Mark, FRSNZ, Knight of the N. Z. Order of Merit.
‘Wonderful, for the first time I have read an unbiased overview of the science behind global warming’ — Rolf Dobelli, Author of The Art of Thinking Clearly.
All things are born of woman – Climate Change and Feminine Leadership (Part 2)
By guest blogger, Joey Walters
“And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom…” Anais Nin
Blossoming requires us to open. It’s an act of courage to open to feeling our vulnerability, to receiving, to re-Sourcing and to flourishing in our potential.
I have come to see from my own experience and that of the many women I’ve had the privilege to mentor, that our capacity to ‘hold space’ for ourselves; to allow ourselves to fully sense and feel what’s present, is one of the primary ways our feminine power has been suppressed. It shows up as dissociation from our bodies, as a sense of disconnection from nature and ultimately in the mistrust of our intuitive guidance and wisdom. Perhaps the greatest irony for us as women, is that we have learned to override our own needs for well-being and lost touch with our essential feminine capacity to receive the deep re-Sourcing we need to sustain ourselves, as we continue to birth and sustain life around us.
I believe that true healing of this ‘wounding of the feminine’ (I.e. a sense of disconnection from the Earth and from the Source of life itself) is where our power to create real change lies
What’s in the way, is the way. We need to ‘hold space’ for the Great Inner Turning.
Our ‘wounding’ is not a problem in itself; it’s a doorway to our power. When we learn how to reclaim our innate capacity to feel and witness our pain with love, we can begin to see and relate, with greater empathy, to what is happening in the world around us. This is one of the greatest leverage points we have in responding wisely to our challenged, climate changing world. It’s the shift from reactivity which repeats the past, to response-ability, which generates a new future.
One of the most significant, yet unseen challenges we face in society as a whole, is that we have become entrenched in a cultural malaise of ‘resistance’ to feeling and witnessing what is truly present ~ within and without. We’ve become addicted to whatever helps us to avoid what we don’t want to acknowledge. Though this apparent denial or ‘numbing’ of difficult emotions is at one level personal, we can also see it through a cultural lens, as a collective suppression of the fear, rage, shame and grief we have been carrying for generations. We tend to either avoid feeling these ‘difficult’ emotions or become overwhelmed and victimised by them, projecting blame (and consequently our power) onto others. We hold some feelings acceptable and reject others as shameful. We have forgotten how to hold witnessing, honouring, unconditional space for all our emotions ~ for the totality of our human experience.
We know that, at some point, this ‘dissociation’ and splitting from our wholeness, was an intelligent survival response to trauma that the nervous system couldn’t handle. However, continuing to skip over this pain, is a flawed long term strategy as it also keeps us from accessing our joy, our inspired creative guidance, our love and our ability to attune to one another – all the essential ingredients needed to co-create the future we want for our Grandchildren.
Many women are feeling a powerful awakening out of this collective trance. It often begins as a deep yearning to contribute our feminine wisdom and gifts ~ a call to feminine leadership. Yet as we open to feel and act on our heart’s desire, the unresolved personal and intergenerational trauma that has been handed down, perhaps, through many generations, naturally begins to surface for healing.
Our conditioned response to this emotional turbulence is to treat it as resistance that we must push past or get rid of; a strategy that continues to exile the very parts of us that need to be loved and included, keeping us enslaved to repeating cycles of reactivity. However, if we embrace the principle ‘what’s in the way is the way’, we’re given permission to meet our difficult emotions and their narratives with awareness and care, so they can be safely felt, acknowledged and integrated. In doing so, we’re not just healing ourselves and our past, we’re restoring the natural flow of love and wisdom from our ancestors, which is our birthright. We’re restoring our capacity to respond whole-heartedly to our environment with integrity, love and inspired decision making about our future.
Climate change needs culture change. Culture change starts from within.
This rigorous inner training to ‘hold ourselves with love’, is a necessary feature of the beautiful Great Turning we are in – a critical moment in history where the collective bud of humanity is awakening to the choice we have to blossom together.
Holding a loving, respectful and accepting space for ourselves is the birthplace of culture change. It’s the essential foundation needed if we are to foster an intelligent culture of compassion and respect for humanity and for the Earth.
Holding ourselves this way, gives us access to a deeper field of wisdom and love that enables us to hold a generative space for others to discover their wholeness. Imagine what it would be like if we created a ‘field of relationship’ in which we could all express our authentic voices and be shamelessly present with our vulnerability (and therefore our power) as a natural part of our culture? What might we be able to co-create in that environment?
The Two Sacred Laws,* ‘All things are born of women’ and ‘No law shall be passed that will harm the children’, remind us of this innate quality of feminine presence; our capacity to hold the sacred birthing space in which life within us and around us can truly blossom.
It’s taken me years to learn how to welcome my darker moments with love; how to be present with and accept the messiness of being human. I’ve needed courage to see the ways that I have devalued and suppressed my power as a woman, and to hold space for the fear, rage and grief of the unspoken feminine in me.
My journey has taught me that feminine leadership is as much about tending to the courageous inner journey of our blossoming as it is the action we take to make a difference. The two cannot be separated. Each time I take a step in my leadership which requires me to be more visible, I find myself being stalled by a younger, more vulnerable part of me that doesn’t feel safe being seen.
This isn’t just my story. It’s the collective story of woman ~ our challenge to be seen in our vulnerability; to speak up about something we care deeply about; to hold firm boundaries; to share our anger and shame; to lovingly challenge behaviour that’s out of integrity ~ these are all ways of being authentically visible that can be terrifying if we haven’t learned to embrace the part of us that’s carrying fear from the past.
We don’t have to learn to do this alone. In fact, we can’t.
None of us can blossom alone. We need a c ircle of midwives, like our ancestors had…
In the last 15 years, I’ve learned how essential it is for women to share their experience together. Knowing we are not alone gives us the strength and courage to keep moving forward. But more importantly, my experience over many years that I’ve been holding Women’s Circles, has lead me to a deeper understanding of the power of being seen in a safe, sacred container.
In these circles, we are recreating an affirming culture of love and respect in which women can show up in their authentic power, which necessarily includes vulnerability. Being seen, witnessed and welcomed in this way is profoundly healing, imprinting a new experience of being received, just as we are, with love and non-judgement. This ‘holding field’ of the feminine, was likely missing from our early experiences, as it has been eroded and devalued in our culture over many generations. Bringing that archetypal Mother energy into the Circle creates a warm incubator for the emerging Feminine Leader in each of us; for the bud that needs tender nurturing and resourcing as it opens and births itself into life. It teaches us how to re-create that incubator within ourselves.
The truth is that none of us can heal our wounds of separation alone. In this time of The Great Turning, we need one another to hold, witness and validate both the pain and the beauty we are experiencing. We need a circle of ‘midwives’ to help us to trust our feminine wisdom and find the courage to express it though our leadership. Perhaps this is the wisdom of interdependence that our ancestors have been whispering to us in our dreams.
Earth Wisdom Teacher, Ohki SImine Forest said: In re-creating the women’s clans, the mother’s clans, we’ll be able to stand for what is right, not isolated as we have been for thousands of years. In solidarity to one another, this journey will be less painful. For it’s together, in our women circles, that we’ll find the way to lead powerfully along side with men.’
If can we receive this message from our Grandmothers to re-create our Women’s Circles, we can learn how to hold this nourishing, birthing space for ourselves and for one another. We can re-member, together, the Sacred container that each one of us carries and bring the power of our womanhood not just back into our own lives but back into our lineage and forward into our future.
As we hear the Earth’s call for balance and envision the future ‘climate’ we want to create for our Grandchildren, perhaps, our primary role as Feminine Leaders is to weave our deepest respect for the Sacredness of all life back into our culture. If we can become midwives for The Great Inner Turning of consciousness taking place perhaps, hand in hand with our brothers, we can hold the Sacred space needed for us to move through the pain of this great birthing of interdependence, with love and trust.
Now is ‘The time of the Grandmothers’. For the sake of our grandchildren and our beautiful planet, let’s embrace it together.
* The Two Sacred Laws were held by a lineage of indigenous Earth Wisdom Teachings (originating in Mexico and then spreading through North America) known as ‘The Origin Teachings of the Delicate Lodge.’
Joey Walters is the Founder of Awakening Feminine Leaders (http://awakeningfeminineleaders.com/). Her work brings nature~based wisdom teachings to contemporary leadership creating a soulful, authentic pathway that allows Feminine Leadership to emerge. She is a gifted mentor and Circle Teacher, fostering women’s Wisdom Circles that awaken personal and collective transformation. Joey is completing her first book based on her successful international series “A Call to Stand.” She will lead a circle at CCC19 to explore the leadership role of women in response to climate change.
Joey, Deborah Jay-Lewin, Margaret Elphinstone and Stephanie Mines, all of whom are involved in CCC19 will speak at a TEDx Findhorn event in the Universal Hall, Findhorn on October 5th, 2017 (See http://tedxfindhorn.com/ for more details).
Joey is also hosting The Women’s Council (http://awakeningfeminineleaders.com/council/), a retreat to be held at Newbold House, near Findhorn, on October 6th-8th, 2017, as a forum for women to draw on their collective feminine wisdom and re-Source their leadership at this challenging time of The Great Turning.
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!