Climate change is happening now – here’s eight things we can do to adapt to it
by Missy Stults (Guardian correspondent)
Donald Trump has rejected global leadership on the issue, so now it’s down to us as individuals to plan, and push through new policies change where we can. Here are eight initial actions that individuals, as well as governments, could take immediately to prepare:
1) Make a plan; build a kit.
2) Get to know your neighbours.
3) Reduce your carbon footprint.
4) Call your legislators today, and every day.
5) Integrate climate change into policies, programmes, and processes.
6) Invest in climate science.
7) Embrace green infrastructure.
8) Embrace climate action
Summon Your Essence – Energy Medicine and Climate Change
By conference convener, Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.
Part One in a Series on Health, Resilience and Climate Change
In the Spring of 2013, two sisters aged 14 and 16 from the small town of Lebanon, Oregon, were released from school unusually early. As they strolled onto their rural property they were met with a horrific sight; their father was pinned under a 13 ton tractor. The girls rushed over and somehow managed to lift the tractor off their father. One stayed with him while the other raced to find a neighbor.
The story was reported in the NY Daily News on April 13, 2013 and broadcast by ABC News. YouTube interviews with the girls are available online. What I want to examine is how it was possible for these girls to lift such a heavy weight.
We humans are capable of re-engineering our capacities and shifting the boundaries of who we are when extreme circumstances require, e.g. when those we care for are in dire need or when there is no other choice in the face of an overwhelming challenge or threat. These young women acted out of love for their father and their instinctual commitment to him. They didn’t think about whether they could meet the challenge; they simply met it.
Climate change poses the same kind of threat to every one of us. We and our loved ones are at great risk and that risk is mounting moment by moment. We need to find the courage of these youth in order to meet the crisis.
The health consequences of climate change are comprehensive. Most threatened are the very young, the elderly, and the impoverished; those who have had little or nothing to do with creating climate change. These health consequences threaten to trap us, to pin us down, as the father in this story was pinned under his tractor. Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the US, have already calculated these health impacts. They include: increased cardiovascular disease caused by rising air temperatures and accumulated pollutants; widespread allergic reactions resulting from increased frequency of high pollen levels; weather disasters that cause injury, displacement and loss; poor nourishment due to soil degradation; an increase in infectious disease; the contamination of food; and a proliferation of vector and water borne infections. And this is just the short list.
As someone who diligently studies the effects and treatment of overwhelm on the human nervous system, I argue that the level of stress caused by climate change will be the greatest burden on the human nervous system that our species has ever known. However, as a student of the human response to shock and trauma, I can also say that every one of us has the capacity to find what that those teenagers found within themselves when they saw their father trapped. I believe that climate change will result in an evolutionary upgrade, which I am determined to espouse and promote.
Among its many purposes, the Climate Change & Consciousness conference (CCC) will offer antidotes for the health impacts predicted to arise from climate change, which have already begun to impact the world. Researchers, including those at the National Institute of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, suggest that we will need multiple strategies: mitigation, adaptation, networking and preparedness. We will explore and experience these responses at our CCC gathering.
These same esteemed agencies are largely unaware of alternative therapies such as subtle touch, energetic healing, craniosacral therapy etc. and their proven ability to increase neuroplasticity and promote neurogenesis sufficiently for humanity to meet this most profound test of our nervous system and its resilience. Without ignoring the physiology of how neuroendocrine systems must be strengthened, along with nutritional alternatives and even technological innovations for protection, Climate Change & Consciousness will offer workshops and presentations about the science of energy medicine as a means to strengthen our ability to adapt and transcend overwhelming conditions. I will be one of those workshop presenters because I am blessed to be the recipient of an ancient system of energy medicine that stimulates a profound and innate energetic vibrancy.
This is the first in a series of articles designed to address the likely health consequences of climate change and what we can do about them. I wanted to begin, however, with an introduction to energy medicine as a resource. During the conference and the period leading up to it, we will espouse as thoroughly as possible, routes to mitigation and adaptation so that we can be prepared for what climate change will deliver, including and perhaps even especially, in the field of healthcare.
It is daunting to look squarely at climate change and recognize that humanity is facing an existential crisis. Energy medicine strengthens the fortitude to not turn away from this reality, but to rise up and meet it with faith and love, intelligence and creativity. Climate Change & Consciousness is the place where Our Legacy for the Earth will be forged using the greatest energy medicine that exists: our human connection; our human community.
We must come home to our oneness, as the central stance in acknowledging and meeting this crisis. Even if you are privileged enough to not experience the climate crisis at the moment, somewhere in the world others are doing so. And the current acceleration of global warming means that the impacts by 2019 will be felt even by you. Comment on this website, participate, engage, join us at Climate Change & Consciousness and/or sponsor others to do the same. Be part of a new revolution in sustainable humanity. Be a member of our mutual reinvention that is our only hope. Awake. Celebrate. Act!
At the end of last year, Christiana Figueres, who will be one of the keynote speakers at Climate Change & Consciousness, visited the ethical bank, Triodos, to share some wisdom and inspiration on how to ‘be (a leader of) the change you want to see’. Tridodos happens to be the bank used by the Findhorn Foundation.
Christiana’s sage and quite radical advice boiled down to the following:
1. Develop a clear vision deeply rooted in morality and values.
2. Employ a breadth and diversity of decision-makers.
3. Connect the dots to achieve radical collaboration.
4. Build trust by “embracing the distrust and giving it space”.
5. Exercise stubborn optimism.
6. Call forth our inner wisdom into our decision making.
In relation to the progress of climate action, Figueres points out that the next 5 years are critical. ‘They will determine,’ she says, ‘the quality of life for people on planet earth for the next 300 years.’
“Climate change is multifactorial; it cannot be addressed by linear strategies alone.
The problem lies in our relationship with each other and the Earth.
Climate change is a symptom of these relationships.” Karina Gonzalez, Student Leader at Fossil Free North Arizona University
CLIMATE CHANGE & CONSCIOUSNESS: OUR LEGACY FOR THE EARTH is not just a conference. It is where a model for a sustainable, dynamic and respectful society will be envisioned and enacted. I was guided to convene it for my children, grandchildren, all the children I know and even those I don’t know. Every child and young person I see on the street, in cafes or at the cinema, on hiking trails or in the supermarket, I view in the context of climate change. I wonder, ‘What kind of world will they inherit?’ ‘Do they know that the water, the food, the very air they breathe, is under threat?’ ‘How will they get the resources they need to survive in an environment that will soon and very suddenly become unfamiliar?’ And most importantly, ‘How do we form relationships and communities that will hold and support us during the turbulent times to come?’
CLIMATE CHANGE & CONSCIOUSNESS is where these concerns will be met. So the voices of young people must not only be heard there, they must in fact be the centerpiece, the reference point and the anchor for everything else. We intend to build spaces for youth to explore what they know and what they don’t know about climate change. I’m not speaking merely of data. I’m also speaking of the feelings, the undercurrent of emotions that are inevitable when life is radically altered, whether we are conscious of them or not. And I want to ensure that adults listen carefully to our youth.
I am committed to empowering youth leaders in a movement for deeper climate change consciousness. As Karina Gonzalez points out, climate change is about our relationships with each other and with the Earth. These leaders of tomorrow will step forward at this conference. It will be our joy and privilege to witness them rise up. This, I believe, is a key aspect of what, Charles Eisenstein calls the Most Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible.
You can help us manifest this vision by being a supportive sponsor for young people who want to attend but do not have the funds to do so. Become a vital contributor to the future of humanity by gifting them, and all of us, in this way. Please contact us if you wish to donate.
As I watched the US election returns late into the night of November 8, 2016 I was riveted by a certainty and clarity of direction. I knew without a sliver of doubt that there was one issue that I was to focus on now: climate change. I also knew, in what felt like a head-to-toe sweep of guidance, that I was to convene a major conference to develop resilient, sustainable communities and that it was to be at the Findhorn Foundation.
In retrospect, I would call this experience a quickening. Quickening is the moment during pregnancy when fetal movements are first perceived by the mother. It is a numinous experience. My heart was stilled as a mother who first feels the beckoning of new life. And whilst this appeared sudden, I can see now that it was an evolution. This moment had a history and that history was mine.
I was conceived in a situation of violence and born into trauma both in my familial surroundings and in the world around me, which was at war. Stress and violence shaped every moment of my formative life and was unrelenting throughout my childhood. It is not surprising that as I matured I became interested in trauma resolution, which ultimately led me into neuroscience and psychology. I devoted myself to the comprehensive healing of trauma and the empowerment of traumatized people.
I did not study the environment or climate. Yet when this purposeful directive arrived in my body on the night of November 8th I stepped in one bound out of the realm of personal healing into that of collective awakening and environmental science. I knew with absolute certainty that the greatest trauma the world faces or will face is due to climate change. I also knew that it was my job to stand up to be a steward of the land and Her creatures, for my children and for all the children of the future. This was my unquestionable assignment.
With this precise orientation came another irrefutable knowing; that I could not do this alone. All my life I have been a stubborn independent. I preferred to be alone with my creativity and free from interference or interruption. Yet in this rush of understanding that seemed to descend upon me I relinquished that preference and embraced community; I reached for it and felt its comfort immediately as though I had already received it.
I grew up surrounded by danger. I thought my goal in life was to find safety and comfort. I thought a good marriage, having children and a home and getting a professional degree like a doctorate would make me safe. That illusion evaporated as I realized that there is no safety possible in a world where climate change is accelerating and yet still being denied by a small but powerful minority. It is the clarion call for humanity to wake up and celebrate its love of the Earth by returning to the simplicity of an intimate relationship with Her. If unheeded, climate change will overtake us just as addiction swallows the beauty of an individual. We will have destroyed ourselves.
This quickening sparked the birth of the conference, CLIMATE CHANGE & CONSCIOUSNESS: Our Legacy for the Earth. Join me at Findhorn in an awakening and celebration of our capacity to act in the name of Our Mother. A ten-year-old girl named Aika Tsubota said “I think of the Earth as a gentle cradle that watches over all of the lives in it.” The time has come to cherish this cradle of life with unremitting passion so that it continues to be the cradle of humanity for generations to come.
This is the first in a series of blog posts by conference convener, Stephanie Mines. Future posts will address: why the Findhorn Foundation is the site for the conference; the role of children and youth in our gathering; and how neuroscience demonstrates why you are the very ones who can save humanity through your love affair with the Earth.
Stephanie is the founder of The TARA Approach for the resolution of shock and trauma. For more information about Dr. Mines and her work go to www.Tara-Approach.orgor contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stephanie will be teaching a series of courses at the Findhorn Foundation called Essence and Empowerment beginning in September 2017.
We are pleased 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:
Please go to the Aboutand Presenterspages 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.