Climate and health are part of Be The Change’s brief to evolve a society that cares for people and the planet. We have common cause with organizations such as Psychologists for a Safe Climate.
Perhaps you have seen some version of this sign:
Ah, but what is ‘systems change’? I think it about changing all the major drivers that make climate change and other environmental trends worse.
That’s quite a bit to get our head around.
But we can boil it down to a few major factors. These are all the factors that tend to increase industrial production and consumption. They include advertising at one level, and retail therapy at another.
If we expand our vision, we see that the international trade agreements play a role; that’s their purpose. And in Australia there has been massive corporate influence on governments to keep the emphasis on coal, gas and oil, even though renewable energy is gaining ground anyway.
Expanding our vision even further, we see that devotion to economic growth is a massive driver. The policies of all the major developed countries, including Australia, are devoted to increasing economic growth. We hear ‘jobs and growth’ during political campaigns. News commentators regard it as good news when the stock market goes up.
Supporting economic growth is understandable. The problem is, economic growth drives environmental destruction. This cartoon tells the story:
Copyright © Tony Biddle, PerfectWorldDesign.ca
We have an industrial-economic system that is devouring the world!
Civilizations rise and fall. When they overshoot their resource base, they decline. Although few people have come to terms with what this means, we are in a decline phase.
Decline phases are traumatic. As the Roman Empire unravelled – which took more than four centuries – the population of Rome itself dropped from perhaps 450,000 at the time of Julius Caesar (44 BCE) to perhaps 50,000 CE. Famine and war took their toll.
Unlike previous generations, we can understand the pattern of descent, and see where we are in it. We have entered an age of diminishing resources. For example, most of the easy-to-get oil has already been pumped. Despite the hype and hope (some call it ‘hopium’), renewable energy is unlikely to be able to take up the slack.
However, with foresight and public will we can make the transition less traumatic, and the future more optimistic.
I have set up our Inspiring Transition program is to inspire thoughtful mainstream commitment to doing everything required to pull out of our ecological nosedive, and transition to a life-affirming culture.
‘A life-affirming culture’ is simply a shorter way of stating Be The Change’s brief to bring ‘forth an ecologically sustainable, socially just, spiritually fulfilling human presence on this planet’.
Our model for reaching the mainstream is to inspire the members of established groups to act as citizen-educators. The ideas is for folks to talk with their friends, neighbours and business colleagues about the systemic changes necessary to stop destroying our environment, and successfully transition to a life-affirming culture. Kitchen Table Conversations is our primary communication tool.
Catalysing mass commitment to transformational change gives more detail. We have an international network, including climate scientist Michael Mann.
I would be pleased you would consider joining us in this. I host an open conversation Tuesday mornings at 9 AM Sydney time. It is a chance for us to get acquainted. The Zoom link is:
It would be great to talk with you!
The bottom line is this:
Greta Thunberg will have reason to hope when she sees that mainstream society is committed to turning things around.