A New Goal on the Climate to Help Us Move Forward Rapidly

This is the year of the World Conference of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities—a time when we think about the Goals for the RC Community. We can keep the following in mind as we consider our Goals:

In the distant past, we had many Goals. They were great statements about what needed to be done to create a rational society. However, because there were so many, we couldn’t make steady progress in accomplishing any of them. 

In 2001 Tim Jackins (as International Reference Person for the RC Communities) proposed that we choose a few Goals and try to make steady progress on them. They might be big Goals that would take a long time to achieve, but we could work on them steadily, step by step. As a result, in 2001 we adopted just three Goals: on racism, on young people, and on the environment. 

Since then we have added three more Goals—on Indigenous people, on classism, and on growth. You can see our existing Goals here: <www.rc.org/goals>. We have made good progress on some of them; not so much on others. We have increased how much we’re discharging on some of them; not so much on others (which impacts our ability to take steps and reach them). 

Leading up to this year’s World Conference, we have completed (as of this writing) nine Pre-World Conferences and received a lot of input on the Goals. I’m writing this now in the middle of the last Pre-World.

As the International Commonality Reference Person for Care of the Environment, I (and my team) read through all the input, from the first nine Pre-Worlds, on the Climate Initiative (proposed to replace the 2017 Goal on Care of the Environment). Tim [Jackins] and I talked about the input and what our Goal on the climate crisis needed to say to be effective in moving us all toward ending and reversing the climate crisis. Then I drafted something, and he drafted something. 

Yesterday we went over his proposal—to shape it as finely as we could in the time we had. We decided it should go to this last Pre-World to replace the Climate Initiative as the proposal the Goal groups there would consider. We sent it out two hours before the start of the Pre-World! It was a bit rough, but we thought it would move people’s thinking forward. 

Our proposed “Unified Goal on Climate” contains a stronger acknowledgment that we must act in a very short time to “keep the Earth livable for most life forms, including ourselves.” And that to do this we must end the “destructive and irrational policies being carried out by our governments, institutions, and businesses” as well as “the irrational patterns of personal use and consumption our societies encourage.”

Our proposed Goal also calls for more unified action. It states, “This means that a solution to our current circumstances can be found only by simultaneously [with working on the climate] working to end the operation of the oppressions our societies use to maintain themselves. This will include backing [supporting] Indigenous and Global Majority leadership and working together with individuals and organizations to build a united force to end the climate emergency.” The Goal will also include continuing our work to end racism, classism, sexism, the policies of destruction of Indigenous peoples, the mistreatment and disempowerment of young people, and all the other well-established mistreatments of groups of people in our societies.

I like that the Pre-Worlds and all their input have already led to a stronger proposal that directly interfaces with our other Goals. I don’t know how it will develop in the next two months, with input from this last Pre-World and from the group of people working on the Goals between now and the World Conference. But I’m confident that it will move us toward being an effective force to end the climate emergency. 

Diane Shisk

Alternate International Reference Person for the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities and International Commonality Reference Person 
for Care of the Environment

Shoreline, Washington, USA

(Present Time 208, July 2022)

Last modified: 2024-02-13 19:59:18+00