Paul R. Ehrlich | October 8, 2015

In Feeding people on our stressed planet will require a “revolution” John Harte and I argued that:

feeding the planet goes way beyond food. Revolutionary political, economic and social shifts are necessary to avoid unprecedented chaos.”

The MAHB’s mission is to inspire a global dialogue on the interconnected nature of sustainability issues, with the intention to shift the culture so that we actually become ecologically sustainable. The MAHB provides a platform for progressive civil society to actually change mainstream norms –the most fundamental step in shifting to a life-sustaining society.

One MAHB Node, Andrew Gaines in Australia, has created an approach that I strongly support. It is the Inspiring Transition initiative.

Stimulated by Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest, Gaines notes that today there is a vast movement for healthy change, with millions of groups working on various aspects of

Geoff Mosley
Australian Director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.

A steady state economy is an economy with a relatively stable, mildly fluctuating product of population and per capita growth (see www.steadystate.org).

Obstacles

The major obstacles to those working for a transition to a Steady State Economy are:

a) The present Endless Economic Growth (EEG) system is totally dominant and major changes to it would be fiercely resisted by those who benefit most from it;

b) At this stage, relatively few people are aware of the Steady State Economy (SSE) and its benefits and it is not part of mainstream political dialogue;

There was a discussion on the Australian Facilitators Network about mindfulness. Here is my contribution.

I delight in this Buddhist prayer:

May you be free of suffering
May you know the joy of your own true nature
May you be happy
May you be at peace.

To me the essence of mindfulness is activating our Witness or Observer Self. This is the part of us can see exactly what we do without judgement. It is right next door to the Critic, which can see the same thing and sometimes give us holy hell for it!

Simply introducing the contrast between the Witness and the Critic can be a door opener for people. Being alert, we can sometimes catch when our emotional stuff is being reactivated. And, being alert we can sometimes catch exceptionally good states of consciousness... and even return to them.

I have a concept that I call ‘Workshops on the fly’. For example, while people could learn about the Witness in a

GetUp has an email campaign to politicians about the Trans Pacific Partnership. While there are a massive number of things wrong with the TPP, perhaps the worst (as with WTO) is the abrogation of democracy itself. A life-sustaining society must allow for community self-regulation.

Here is the email I sent to our local Liberal member:

Dear Louise,

Some things go beyond partisan politics. One of them is the preservation of democracy as a means of community self-regulation for community well-being. The proposed Trans Pacific Partnership abrogates democracy by allowing foreign corporations to sue Australia if we pass laws that are not consistent with their commercial interest.

Surely this is absurd in its own right as well?

The Trans Pacific Partnership also abrogates democracy by being negotiated in secret. Surely this is not consistent with traditional Liberal values?

Yours,

 Andrew Gaines

 

Snowflakes melt, but snowmen grow.

It seems to me that usually when people attend workshops, panel discussions, lectures and the like, while they may gain some knowledge or brief inspiration, the long-term effects are modest. Inspiration is valuable, but to be most effective it needs to coalesce into something larger. It’s like the difference between snow melting on the ground and snow being packed together to build a snowman. There is no ‘stickiness’: accumulated mass or momentum.

What I would like to see