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There is a buzz in international politics about the price tap for the currently proposed climate deal  at the Copenhagen conference. It is in the trillions of dollars and sounds huge!  On a global scale, however, it is actually a very small sum or a fraction of the total economic output over the next 20 years. Keep in mind there are  countless benefits to the proposed expenditures. These include new jobs and more secure living environments for all (or much lessened danger of global climate catastrophes – floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, and earthquakes).

For years, I personally have been tracking climatic changes and their global effects for over 30 years. Such stats are routinely published in the annual reports of World Watch (”State of the World“). Charts like the above from World Watch Magazine tell the true story, namely that climatic crises have really been steeply rising for the past few decades. This includes severe droughts, floods, earthquakes and tornadoes. One article in World Watch Magazine quotes Franklin Nutter, President of the Reinsurance Association of America, as saying “The insurance business is first in line to be affected by climate change…[It] could bankrupt the industry.”

Entertain whatever neat theory you have of the causes, or whether global warming is real or not, but the facts of such rising disasters stand. The effects have left tens of millions of people homeless, more than on average in the past, and have especially harmed millions of farmers and their acres of crop lands.  The recent flooding of New Orleans is but a single example of hundred of such events recently around the globe.

This has also raised the rate of extinctions for animals and plants. Many cannot quickly adapt to the rapid climate changes. Think of what will happen to polar bears when their surrounding ice world melts forever.  Since tracking trends, I  have long predicted this would happen.

What’s causing all of this? Is it more smokestacks, carbon emissions, etc. I have always, and instead, pointed to a root inner cause! For me such global climate crises are part of  what I call the last major wave of direct impacts of a failing, internally-generated 17th century vision of nature. It is that vision which still guides us to create the world around us, for better or worse. This refers to the mechanical view of Galileo, Descartes and Newton which also guided us to develop Industrial Revolution that now produces the smoke stacks, carbon emissions. and much more.

The earliest negative impacts of the 17th century’s vision were very slow in coming. It was not until 200 years later, in  the 19th century, that chiefly social negatives were observed by the likes of  Marx and Engels. The new factories obviously exploited workers. Attempts were made in the following 20th century to fix that problem. We got unemployment insurance and social security. Some countries went the socialist route.  However, the root vision that created the Industrial Revolution was never really challenged either by capitalists or socialists. the issue was only one of who ran the show, the government, the people or the capital owners. Both camps wanted to move forward with the same underlying vision in just different ways.  It is through our understanding of raw-wisdom that we do not keep that vision.

Next in the 20th century the impacts of the Industrial Revolution and its underlying vision started to have a far wider as well as deeper impact. It was no longer just us human beings that were affected. This major observation was first noted in a powerfully poetic way and popularized by Rachel Carson in her Silent Spring. Now in our present twenty-first century, the environmental impacts have grown and increasingly become global. Ultimately they can threaten the ecology of our whole planet. I will discuss more of this in my upcoming book on “Seven Waves of Healing” – essentially retracing and reversing  the impact of what the 17th century core vision set in motion. This, for me, is the overall and bigger of  picture of what is and can happen to our world.

In this overall light, the New York Times quoted Kevin Parker, a head of Deutsche Bank Asset Management as saying “the cost of inaction…is the extinction of the human race.“  Maybe that dire statement is too dramatic. The  intermediate fate is really bad  enough.  I prefer to put a positive spin on this to say that this is a huge learning opportunity. It is similar to the opportunity of a cancer patient who can either just have his or her tumor cut out, poisoned or irradiated or can learn another way of living. The patient now is the planet as a whole.

The GREAT news is that this opportunity is beginning to be taken seriously. The present tide is turning in favor of holistic action. It may be 15 years late but it is definitely coming.  Thanks to Al Gore, Obama and others it is finally happening.

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