Shaping a Community Response to Climate Change: Gleanings from the June 25, 2015 Gathering

Participants: Daksha, Martha, Carl, Dennis, Rick, John, Ralph, Beverly, Nicky, Lila Roo, Carol G., Dick G., Gary, Anne, Tony (and thanks to the 10 other interested folk who wanted to be with us but were committed elsewhere)

Opening ritual:
 

It’s 3:23 in the morning – Drew Dellinger (spoken word poet)

It’s 3:23 in the morning, and I’m awake

because my great, great, grandchildren won’t let me sleep.

My great, great, grandchildren ask me in dreams

what did you do, while the planet was plundered?

what did you do, when the earth was unraveling?

Surely you did something when the seasons started failing

as the mammals, reptiles, and birds were all dying?

Did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen?

What did you do

once

you

knew?
 

After introductions, Tony gave a brief overview of the information on the handout, Shaping a Community Response to Climate Change (which has been previously sent to all interested parties). It stresses the importance of such psychological factors as feeling powerless in the face of the enormity of the Climate Change threat, as well as what can be done to rid ourselves of the paralysis it induces. It was proposed that COMMUNITY was the antidote to this situation and the road to empowering ourselves. Remember, there is an 'apparent validity' to the idea that, if we humans are causing the problem – that is, driving Climate Change, we can stop doing it!

NB The following is not minutes or a summary of the discussion. Rather, it is an attempt to report some of the ways that were suggested at the gathering to go forward. The plan is to post these alternatives (events and actions) on our website and allow individuals to comment, communicate with each other, plan activities, or, more generally, organize around various topics. The hope is that interest/implementation groups would form. Similarly, posting agendas before meetings and 'minutes' after meetings would allow persons who like 'doing ' rather than 'talking' to be part of the group, as well as interested parties not able to attend, and have their input integrated into proceedings. The creation of this larger, virtual group, would also allow more interaction and cooperation with other CC community groups. The activities discussed at the meeting are listed below.

  • Planning a major, non-traditional event(s) appealing to the broader community of all ages: ritual, ceremony, music, art, staging a play, puppet show for children….an outdoor familty festival to educate about CC and foster engagement of the problem. (A goodly number of folks championed this action.)

  • Approaching our towns to get on-board with “Greening”: wind and solar development

  • Invit individuals to take (or share) lead in important areas; for example, energy, sustainability, town government, and outreach. Beverly Kelly has volunteered for the area of Health Impacts of CC and Ralph Chapman will be keeping us apprised of CC-related legislation and recommend actions. Tony Ferrara has been involved in outreach to like-minded organizations for awhile. The Gregors are trying to create a partnering relationship with the Halcyon Grange.

  • Convening a series of educational/scientific/spiritual presentations, to include the 2016 Lenten Series

  • Developing a world view in which the human and earth enter into a mutually enhancing relationship, drawing from Native-American perspectives (Braiding Sweetgrass) in order to become planetary citizens or ' Native Earthians.' Process could involve outdoor events and ceremonial activities to include being baptised into this new identity.

  • Establishing an Energy Group to explore programs like 100% Leadership Fund and Mark Ruffalo's work to create Green Energy in Brooksville and beyond.

  • Learning and using effective community leadership in dealing with elected officials. The people must lead; from the people comes legitimate power. Food Soverignty advocates from Penobscot are excellent leadership models.

  • WindowDressers and the Greenhouse Project were mentioned several times as being reflective of the concrete, hands-on type of efforts which are valuable. The successful performance of our WD Community Build and its ability to draw different individuals into our CC effort was emphasized. Let's all work to make it a success.

  • Marketing. The importance of devising an effective outreach program which encourages people to participate in our events and efforts should be a focus.

  • A series of environmentally-linked contemplation/meditation sessions was proposed, and the importance of the interior journey as part of the process was emphasized.

CLOSING NOTE: If you managed to read this far....congratulations! Four more notes:

  1. Since the meeting, I have heard feedback that bringing this CC conversation into the broader community can be an interesting and energizing experience. We should all feel empowered by being part of the RFS to encourage this community dialogue.
  2. It will take our Webmaster a while to create the interactive system described above. So, for the present, we will make do with e-mail and centralized website posts (such as this one). To participate just send your ideas, reactions, plan, etc. via email to “reply to all.” The “all” will include those at this meeting, the first meeting, and those sending regrets.
  3. Carl Karush's thoughtful feedback is attached. It's a good beginning to a conversation.
  4. R. Shettery recommends Bill McKibben's article on energy, “Power to the People.”