The Environment Is Also "Targeted for Destruction"

I have been thoroughly delighted with the discussion about "people targeted for destruction by the society" and the encouragement to go after every single human being. This discussion has spurred me on to offer what I hope are useful proposals in another area.

Several years ago, the threat posed by nuclear weapons was so acute that we prioritized it for work in the RC Communities (via the Guidelines), on the basis that, unless this threat was addressed, other issues might quickly become moot. That threat has, thankfully, abated somewhat, allowing us a bit more room to move.

From where I stand, the key issue on the planet today is finding ways to ensure that our baseline physical survivalñwater, air, land, resources for housing and fuel, trees, ozone layer, plants, other creatures, and so onñis protected and restored to adequate functioning. The scientific data about everything from toxins in the food and water to the possibility of the next generation being born with compromised immune systems is absolutely overwhelming in pointing to the need for taking action to make changes immediately.

It seems to me that protecting/restoring the earth's ecological systems is a key issue, since if we don't turn things around in the near future, other human issues may become overwhelmed by the strain on our basic physical systems, particularly for the next generation. In order to restore a healthy relationship with the earth (or, maybe more accurately, to restore a healthy relationship with ourselves in relation to the physical world), we are challenged to re-think and transform every aspect of the way society is organized under capitalism. This includes the way we think about work and business, human relationships, and what really matters, as well as patterns of greed, hierarchy, disconnection, etc. We have to go after total economic transformation, since business in its current forms (the multi-national corporate form especially) is the source of most environmental degradation. Simply recycling ain't gonna do it!

I have observed that when people discharge in this area, they reclaim enormous amounts of power, connectedness, and clarity about key aspects of our collective life on this planet.

I would very much like to see the world benefit from the riches of RC theory and practice as we attempt to meet this challenge before the opportunity is lost.

To that end I propose that we:

  1. Initiate an Community-wide ongoing discussion in Present Time modeled along the lines of the one taking place about "people targeted for destruction by society" on the subject of what we are going to do to reverse the tide of environmental destruction and move swiftly towards a world of environmental health.
  2. Strongly encourage people to discharge and think about related issues by placing this subject in a high visibility/high priority position at gatherings such as the World Conference and other teachers'/leaders' meetings.
  3. Begin a listserv discussion on this topic (or devote a portion of an existing listserv to this topic), for sharing ideas about what does and does not work in moving people forward (both in and outside of RC) in this area.
  4. Appoint an International Reference Person for Environmental Protection and Restoration (or some such title)ñnot just for self-defined environmental activists but for everyone, since so few people consider themselves activists, and, in my experience, virtually everyone wants to do something about the environmental situation.*
  5. Work towards holding a conference in the future (on an international level) for the purpose of discharging on and clarifying a policy statement about the environment (modeled along the lines of the International Women's Conference in The Netherlands twelve years ago, which resulted in the publication of the women's pamphlet).
  6. Without being heavy-handed about it, encourage leaders, teachers, and workshop organizers to factor environmental awareness into our planning for gatherings (many already do) in the same way that we strongly encourage people to make gatherings/classes representative of our communities in terms of class, ethnicity, age, etc.

I would love to hear people's thinking about the most effective and strategic ways to use RC tools to help people take powerful action in this area, both within RC and in the wider world. I know others would love to hear it, too.

What do you think about these proposals?

Libby Roderick
Anchorage, Alaska, USA

 *See "Important Job Open," by Julian Weissglass

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00