A Workshop on the Climate Emergency

In January I led my RC Community class on the idea that we are now in a “climate emergency situation.” I noticed that with this framing, the demonstrations seemed more “alive” and that people were working more “fully” than they had in previous classes. I continued with this work at my Open Regional Workshop, again with good results. Here is some of what happened at the workshop:

I talked about the reality of human beings—how loving and cooperative we are in our natural state. I asked people to imagine a world in which a hundred generations of children had grown up without distress.

There was a visual presentation of the current state of the Earth’s climate system that made clear how dangerous the situation is. I asked people to face the danger, to keep their minds on it, and not try to think of reasons why “everything was going to be okay.” Many of us carry deep fears that have not been challenged, that have kept us from facing the full reality of the situation. But if we don’t face the full reality, then we cannot respond accurately to that reality. Instead we might not respond at all, or respond only to the limited “safer” version of reality that we can face (for example, we might think about recycling or buying an electric car).

I did long counselling demonstrations. They were all powerful (I was crying along with the client in many of them). Topics included joining environmental groups; “what challenges me about the climate emergency”; stepping out of the victim role; feeling “numb” and becoming “un-numb”; and feelings about other activists.

I did classes on relationships. I think that ninety-nine percent of everything we need to do to address the emergency situation will be about relationships. This includes communicating about our common interests as human beings across lines of oppression and division, and dismantling oppression and building trust between individuals and between groups. I think that most of the feelings of powerlessness we carry are about our relationships with people.

I requested that all the topic groups relate to the theme of the climate emergency.

 Karl Lam

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England

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Last modified: 2019-05-13 15:12:23+00