Saturday, November 21, 2015

Peace Talks

Peace Talks

It is the season of peace talks..
Remembering the calm and silence
at the origins of  beliefs widely held..
Wishes are expressed to return to that
distant notion of peace..
Might we seed that local vision
in that small insignificant town
to a non-local vision of 
as the name of our true Self..
And then turning once again
to our threatened Earth
to be astonished:
 It lives within and is made
of That which is our
new and expanded Self..

Excerpts from Rev. Peter Sawmill's Eco-Justice Notes

for the entire Notes)

Two days ago, the New Yorker published an excellent article by Jason Box and Naomi Klein, Why a Climate Deal Is the Best Hope for Peace. I encourage you to read it, because it provides the sort of broader perspective that we need to bear in mind in the coming weeks and years. They connect the dots between climate chaos and political chaos. They also acknowledge that when terrorism breaks into the news, "climate reliably falls off the political map."

Box and Klein write, "A climate summit taking place against the backdrop of climate-fuelled violence and migration can only be relevant if its central goal is the creation of conditions for lasting peace." They quote energy expert Michael T. Klare (from before the violence in Paris), that the UN negotiations "should be considered not just a climate summit but a peace conference -- perhaps the most significant peace convocation in history."

We are not trying simply to solve a big engineering problem. We are trying to sustain a viable planet. We are trying to stave off a near-term future where the Middle East can expect "temperature levels that are intolerable to humans." We are trying to prevent devastation and disruption that will lead to hundreds of millions of climate refugees.

Box and Klein make a persuasive case for re-framing the upcoming UN negotiations as peace talks. If we do not reduce emissions, if we do not mitigate damage, if we do not bring justice to climate victims, then our future will hold ever more violence and conflict, more famine and trauma, more suffering and pain.

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