Sunday, December 13, 2015

Paris and Beyond: The Red Line and the Green Flame

Nike of Samothrace. Louvre Museum. Paris.

In a literally world-changing deal that was almost unthinkable just a year ago, some two hundred leading nations unanimously embraced a plan that will leave most of the world’s fossil fuels unburned. As part of a concerted effort to avoid catastrophic climate change, the world unanimously committed to an ongoing effort of increasingly deeper emissions reductions aimed at keeping total warming “to well below 2°C [3.6°F] above preindustrial levels.” The full text of this Paris Agreement goes even further, with the parties agreeing “to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” Already, global coal use appears to be plateauing, and global oil use will likely follow suit in the next decade as countries ratchet up their CO2 targets. To get an idea of how challenging these negotiations have been, imagine trying to get a substantive agreement on any major topic in the U.S. Senate if the requirement for success were unanimity! Tragically, conservatives in Congress are doing everything that they can to undermine this deal, which is humanity’s best chance to avoid decades if not centuries of needless suffering for billions of people. -- Joseph Romm, In Historic Paris Climate Deal, World Unanimously Agrees To Not Burn Most Fossil Fuels,Climate Progress, 12/12/15

Paris and Beyond: We are the Red Line and the Green Flame

Much of my energy and focus since the signing of the Kyoto Accords in 1997 has been to raise awareness of the Climate Crisis and encourage meaningful action to mitigate its extinction-level impact. From the promise of Kyoto through bitter betrayal in Copenhagen to the end-game in Paris.

And how did the Paris talks (i.e., COP21) play out? As George Monbiot said, “By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster” (Guardian, 12/12/15) And while I agree with the heroic James Hansen that COP21 is a “fraud” (Guardian, 12/12/15), I also stand with Lord Nicholas Stern in the “hope” that “historians will see this as a turning point” (Democracy Now, 12/11/15).

(Yes, we must embrace paradox to remain grounded in reality.)

Savor this moment, but do not abandon the barricades. The uprising must continue.

As Naomi Klein said in Paris, “We have run out of time. This is our historical moment. Let us not disappoint. The stakes are simply too high. Now is not the time for small steps. Now is the time for boldness. Now is the time to leap.” -- Naomi Klein, We Are Out of Time... We Need to Leap
Common Dreams, 12/11/15

There is a red line.

"People from around the world on Friday stretched a large 'red line' through the COP21 summit to register their outrage at politicians' failure to strike an ambitious draft climate deal—and to call for social movements in Paris and internationally to continue to take to the streets." -- Sarah Lazare, Decrying Draft Deal that 'Fails Humanity,' COP21 Protesters Draw Red Line, Common Dreams, 12/11/15

And there is a green flame.

 "I flame above the beauty of the fields; I shine in the waters; in the sun, the moon and the stars, I burn. And by means of the airy wind, I stir everything into quickness with a certain invisible life which sustains all. For the air lives in its green power and its blossoming. . . ." -- Hildegard of Bingen, Mystical Writings

We are the red line and the green flame. There is no choice.

Of course, our greatest ally is Gaia, the all-powerful life of the planet itself. She will keep pressing us harder and harder to come back into balance. And if we do not respond, she will simply eliminate us by means of our own follies. This is an extinction-level threat.

Do not let the fascists (i.e., corporatists) distract you with their endless war IN, OF and FOR terror. Do not let them poison you with hateful, fearful nonsense about race and religion. The fascists and the jihadists nourish each other. Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD) is the gravest threat, and the defining issue of the millennia.

I have more to say about Paris in my new book, Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Politics and the Way of the Ancient Future, which I will release on the Northern Hemisphere's Winter Solstice (12/21/15).

Courage! Lean forward. Yes, we are out of time. But we have gotten this far.

The great shift is already underway. We are the turning of the wheel.

"Ours is not a caravan of despair."

 -- Richard Power

See Also

Vital Insights into the Friday the 13th Attack on Paris

Yes, POTUS has Smashed the Keystone XL Pipeline. This is a Victory for All Who Resisted The Madness. Now on to Paris! On to the Barricades!

Today Darfur, Tomorrow Kansas?

POTUS and the Chinese Successfully Conclude a Secret Nine Month Negotiation & Announce a Vital Deal on the Climate Crisis

I Stand with Madonna Thunder Hawk and Vandana Shiva - People's Climate March, New York City, 9-21-14
NOTE: All four volumes of my Primal Reality quadrilogy (listed here in reverse chronological order) are available from in both soft cover and Kindle editions: