Climate Change and RC

Dear keepers of the environment,

Bill McKibben has written an important new article: “Recalculating the Climate Math” (New Republic, September 22, 2016). It says that to have a fifty-fifty chance of keeping the global temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees (the target set at COP21, the United Nations climate talks in Paris, France, last year), we can release only about 353 gigatons more CO2 into the atmosphere.

The coal mines and oil and gas wells currently operating worldwide contain 942 gigatons of CO2. This means that to have a break-even chance of meeting the 1.5-degree goal set in Paris, we’ll need to close all of the coal mines and some of the oil and gas fields long before they’re exhausted. The “keep it in the ground” slogan of the climate movement is more important than ever. (This information comes from a report by Oil Change International, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., USA, which used data from the Norwegian energy consultants Rystad.)

“Keeping it in the ground” does not mean we have to instantly stop all production of fossil fuels. Stephen Kretzmann, OCI’s executive director, says, “If you let current fields begin their natural decline, you’ll be using fifty percent less oil by 2033.” That gives us seventeen years to replace all that oil with renewable energy, and to retrain workers.

We all need to stay up-to-date with the rapidly accumulating information about climate change and what we can do about it. Please have sessions on this information and bring people in your RC Communities together to discharge.

In 2013 the RC Community adopted the goal printed below. It is as relevant today as it was then. What work have you done to make the goal your own?

We in the RC Community have the chance to face the information about climate change without fear. We have the chance to play a significant role in “turning the tide.” But this will require us to discharge, to organize ourselves and the world around us to tackle climate change and oppression, and to let what we learn from each action we take inform our next steps. It is important that we discharge, think, and act, and that we do it soon.

The RC goal for care of the environment adopted at the 2013 World Conference of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities:

That members of the RC Community work to become fully aware of the rapid and unceasing destruction of the living environment of the Earth. That we discharge on any distress that inhibits our becoming fully aware of this situation and taking all necessary actions to restore and preserve our environment.

Distresses have driven people to use oppression against each other and carry out destructive policies against all of the world. A full solution will require the ending of divisions between people and therefore the ending of all oppressions.

The restoration and preservation of the environment must take precedence over any group of humans having material advantage over others. We can and must recover from any distress that drives us to destroy the environment in our attempts to escape from never-ending feelings of needing more resource.

Diane Shisk

Seattle, Washington, USA

(Present Time 186, January 2017)

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