Our hope was that we could inspire him (Obama) to keep those promises. Even then, there were plenty of cynics who said Obama and his insiders were too closely tied to the fossil-fuel industry to take climate change seriously. But in the two years since, it’s looked more and more like they were right – that in our hope for action we were willing ourselves to overlook the black-and-white proof of how he really feels.
If you want to understand how people will remember the Obama climate legacy, a few facts tell the tale: By the time Obama leaves office, the U.S. will pass Saudi Arabia as the planet’s biggest oil producer and Russia as the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas combined. In the same years, even as we’ve begun to burn less coal at home, our coal exports have climbed to record highs. We are, despite slight declines in our domestic emissions, a global-warming machine: At the moment when physics tell us we should be jamming on the carbon brakes, America is revving the engine. – Bill McKibben
“Our media’s fixation on whether Kim Kardashian is married this week to the exclusion of the destruction of our planet is shameful,” Buck argues. I understand her frustration. As a women in media who writes about the destruction of our planet for a living, I work every day to try to get people to pay more attention to this very pressing issue. I often encounter apathy — or worse, vitriol from climate deniers. […]” – Lindsay Abrams
See also: Lindsay Abrams
“We are called at certain moments to comfort people who are enduring some trauma. Many of us don’t know how to react in such situations, but others do. In the first place, they just show up. They provide a ministry of presence. Next, they don’t compare. The sensitive person understands that each person’s ordeal is unique and should not be compared to anyone else’s. Next, they do the practical things–making lunch, dusting the room, washing the towels. Finally, they don’t try to minimize what is going on. They don’t attempt to reassure with false, saccharine sentiments. They don’t say that the pain is all for the best. They don’t search for silver linings. They do what wise souls do in the presence of tragedy and trauma. They practice a passive activism. They don’t bustle about trying to solve something that cannot be solved. The sensitive person grants the sufferer the dignity of her own process. She lets the sufferer define the meaning of what is going on. She just sits simply through the nights of pain and darkness, being practical, human, simple, and direct.” – David Brooks
“Global society today faces myriad interlocking crises. These include the issues of war, environmental degradation, the North-South development gap and divisions among people based on differences of ethnicity, religion or language. The list is long and familiar, and the road to solutions may seem all too distant and daunting. It is my view, however, that the root of all these problems is our collective failure to make the human being–human happiness–the consistent focus and goal in all fields of endeavor.” – Daisaku Ikeda
Media politics are growing stronger and stronger, locally and internationally. Politicians are aware of media attention and often attempt to manage the flow of information to their own advantage. The amount of information available to all of us increases in leaps and bounds, but as the volume grows, so does the amount of false and potentially domineering information. To cope with this situation, we must inculcate media literacy in children from a very early age.
We must also consider whether the evolution of media can make us happy. Evolution typified by things like satellite broadcasting and the Internet presents two future images of globalization: the positive image points to strengthened international connections that aid the growth of global democracy, however, the darker the second image suggests a surveillance society of the kind depicted by George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty Four.
We should strive to realize the first image. Doing so requires us to organize information and understand it correctly. We must also realize that knowledge alone does not lead to happiness; to be happy, human beings must have the wisdom to make good use of their knowledge. Two increasingly important ways to acquire such wisdom are stimulating dialogue and reading with the aim of learning from our intellectual heritage. – Daisaku Ikeda
Source: A Dialogue Between East and West, Looking to a Human Revolution. A Dialogue between Ricardo Diez-Hochleitner and Daisaku Ikeda, pg. 81
“An unfettered pursuit of money rules. The service of the common good is left behind. Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home.” – Pope Francis
Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all. – Ban Ki-moon
Ninety–eight percent of the population will do nothing unless they are led, cajoled, or forced. If the structural determinants are in place for them to live their lives without doing damage—like if they’re hunter–gatherers with respected elders—then that’s what happens. If, on the other hand, the built environment has been arranged for cars, industrial schooling is mandatory, resisting war taxes will land you in jail, food is only available through giant corporate enterprises selling giant corporate degradation, and misogynist pornography is only a click away 24/7, well, welcome to the nightmare. This culture is basically conducting a huge Milgram experiment with us, only the electric shocks aren’t fake— they’re killing off the planet, species by species. – Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith and Aric McBay, Excerpt from Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet, entire article here.