Winter without Snow

May 9th, 2014

We live in the outback country of Eastern Oregon, just up from the California and Nevada borders. In 2014, that means that our area is part of the extreme drought that is likely to be more prolonged due to climate change. We have just seen another winter with hardly any snow. Our mountains have no snow caps, and our reservoirs are drying up.

I recently taught a college writing class using The Global Warming Reader, an anthology edited by Bill McKibben. I knew that global warming had a long history, but I had no idea that the scientific study of the effect of carbon emissions went back over a hundred years. The monthly tracking of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere began in the 1950s, resulting in the Keeling curve which shows rising CO2 levels now over 400ppm. Scientists tell us that anything over 350ppm puts civilization as we know it at risk. You would think it would be in our best interest to listen to the scientists.

The National Climate Assessment shows us that climate change is already happening, primarily due to human-caused global warming. In other words, we have done this to ourselves. We must get over our addiction to fossil fuels. We must begin by acknowledging that our lives have become unmanageable due to our addiction. As individuals, we have become addicts to a petroleum-based economy that fuels our homes, cars, and devices, makes the synthetics for fabrics and plastics, and creates the chemicals for corporate agriculture. How have we come to this sorry state? As part of the recovery process, we need to acknowledge where we went wrong, hurting others and ourselves, so we can begin to make amends.

As oil addicts, we have created an economy powered by fossil fuels with huge profits for the energy companies, our dealers, and all the costs passed on to taxpayers as we struggle to recover from one climate disaster after another. If the energy companies had to pay the cost of these climate disasters, it would not take long to slow global warming and mitigate climate change. As consumers and investors in fossil fuels through retirement plans and other investments, we are all implicated in global warming. It is time to divest from fossil fuels in whatever ways you can.

Knowing that we can mitigate the effects of climate change is a stunning prospect. We literally have the power to change our world, to reduce carbon emissions, and to lessen global warming. We can save ourselves from the worst effects of climate change, but we have to act quickly to shift not only our own lifestyles but our entire economy. The CLEU is here to help you mobilize and support your spiritual community in this effort. You are the clue to our shared future. Let’s work together on behalf of our planet home.

Getting a Clue about Climate Change

July 24th, 2013

Climate change is happening. Despite the efforts of think tanks funded by the fossil fuel industry to debunk climate science, there is clear scientific consensus that the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is caused primarily by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Our atmosphere contained about 275 parts per million of carbon dioxide from the beginning of human civilization up to about 200 years ago. With the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, the CO2 levels began to rise. The carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has now hit 400ppm with CO2 increasing about 2ppm per year. The world’s leading climate scientists warn that exceeding the level of 350ppm of CO2 puts human civilization itself at risk. The organization 350.org, founded by Bill McKibben, promotes 350 events around the world to raise awareness in the struggle to fight fossil fuels and find a new way forward with renewable energy. McKibben calls 350 “the most important number on the planet.”

Global warming makes heat waves, droughts, floods, and superstorms more likely, making all extreme weather events more intense and less predictable. Climate change affects all of our Big Four values: Air, Water, Food, and Energy. Carbon emissions pollute the Air we breathe while adding to the greenhouse effect that causes global warming. Fresh Water supplies are threatened by higher average temperatures and extreme drought conditions while melting ice caps and glaciers lead to sea-level rise, warming and acidifying oceans with dying coral reefs, and storms cause more devastating floods and deluges. Our Food supplies are at risk due to the increased likelihood of more extreme droughts, flooding, and spreading desertification. The Energy we choose for warmth, manufacturing, transportation, productivity, and communication, should be contributing to our sustainable future, not to the collapse of civilization.

What should people with a clue do? Whatever path you choose, take a stand on the right side of history. Take part in climate actions to protect the Air, Water, Food, and Energy where you live. Nonviolent protests raise Consciousness about the devastating consequences inflicted by multinational energy corporations on local communities and the entire world. Global warming affects everyone. Resistance is not futile! Be an engaged citizen. Develop your spiritual community so that you can support each other. Promote respect for science and common sense. There is no arguing with faith, but we must stand against fossil-fuel-funded propaganda that discounts physics and chemistry.

We need to stop taking carbon out of the ground and putting it in the Air. We need to preserve our forests and grasslands so that they can help sequester carbon from the atmosphere. We should support the research and development of renewable energy sources that use sun, wind, and water (including ocean power and geothermal). We must quit coal, stop fracking and tarsands oil production, and abandon nuclear power with its horrific dangers. We must say NO to coal exports. Do your best to wake up the people around you to the amazing potential of renewable energy to revitalize our economy and slow down global warming before we break the planet. Divest from fossil fuels. Be the clue!

This End is a new Beginning

December 21st, 2012

As darkness becomes dawn, the longest night gives way to longer days in the return of the light. According to the ancient Mayan calendar and other prophecies, the 2012 winter solstice marks a transition, the end of a cycle, a paradigm shift from the old to the new. We are called to witness the birth of a new world.

We have come a long way, baby. We have freed ourselves from tradition and defined ourselves as individuals. The capitalist culture treats us as consumers, marketing desire and greed, spreading a mass media version of reality, a zombie shopocaplyspe. We live in a world of human-caused wonders and disasters. Global consciousness is awakening. We know that we have changed the climate, collapsing the stable conditions that have supported both civilization and biodiversity for thousands of years. The planet is warming, bees are dying, great cities are flooding, and a young man shoots down children in a massacre-suicide. We are stunned, but we must confront our shadows. We must act on behalf of our existence as a conscious species on a living planet.

Now is the time to reflect on your vision of a world you choose to live in. How will you claim your spiritual identity and live by your values? Remember that you are greater together. Look for people who have a clue. Keep in mind that everyone has a clue, but not everyone wants to know. Find people who are clue-seekers and human rites guides. Get a space where you can gather in circle weekly. Take time to celebrate and grieve, share and serve. Practice our human rites of music, art, drum, dance, song, story, and circle. Build up your community infrastructure so that you can meet the new paradigm with open arms.

Let us join together to preserve Life and affirm Consciousness on the Earth. It’s up to you, fantastic speck of stardust that you are!

You are the Cleu.

Hurricane Sandy speaks

October 29th, 2012

Hurricane Sandy speaks to us as Earth– as wind, rain, and surging ocean. Superstorm Sandy warns us that more global warming means more disasters. Will we listen?

Hurricane Sandy was nicknamed the “Frankenstorm” for being a strange mixture of natural and unnatural parts, creating a terrifying sum. Unprecedented megastorms are increasingly the new normal of living on a warming planet. Bill McKibben says we need to do the math, to stop driving the climate to a future of environmental disaster on what he calls a new kind of planet: “Eaarth.”

As the spokesperson for 350.org, McKibben reminds us that 350ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere is the upper limit for a healthy climate, one capable of sustaining civilization as we know it. Now that we have hit 392ppm, extreme weather events have multiplied all over the planet, from wildfires and droughts, to hurricanes and floods. Warmer air holds more water, and warmer oceans give storms more energy. Physics and chemistry dictate the cost of human greed for cheap energy and great profits. As people with a clue, we respect the scientific consensus on the human causes of global warming, and we commit to creating a more sustainable future.

Despite the human suffering caused by extreme weather events, we can all appreciate how community comes together in emergencies. Witness the depth of altruism that exists among human beings. We truly love each other despite our differences. People who go through hard times find all kinds of ways to help each other. The spirit of giving renews our faith in Consciousness. We are the Cleu!
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Want to change the world?

September 10th, 2012

We’ve just returned from our annual pilgrimage to BurningMan where we gave away over 1100 Cleus to dusty pilgrims who used only word-of-mouth or the Cleu labyrinth to find their way to Cleu camp, located way out on the edge of Black Rock City. Meeting people from all over this fantastic city gave me a vision of circles connecting with circles. Intertwining circles made for magical synchronicities and spontaneous creativity every day on the empty canvas of the playa. My own Cleu reminds me daily of the power of the circle.

Want to change the world? Meet regularly in circle. Start with 2-3 people who either have a clue or are looking for one. Remember: everyone has a clue, but not everyone wants to know about it, and some people deny or reject their clue. Look for people who are open to the mystic truth of At-Onement and the miracles of Consciousness, Life, Earth, Universe. Take a look at the Cleu Book to see more about our vision as well as our human rites and spiritual practices. Get together every week. Make that your first intention. Commit to meeting together in circle as indigenous people have done for millenia. Everything else will follow.
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Happy Cleu Year!

December 31st, 2011

Congratulations on making 2011 one of the most inspiring years ever, and now get ready for 2012! You’ve made it this far on the strength of your convictions, your willingness to show up, and the power of creative memes spreading a message of compassion and a cry for justice far and wide. Even when facing arrest or state violence, people of all ages continue to dedicate themselves to making a difference. Global consciousness is awakening, thanks to the power of choosing to occupy a common space. People are speaking with one voice on behalf of humanity, Life, and the Earth. The technology of social media helps to facilitate global connections and resource sharing, but the real power is in meeting face-to-face on a regular basis. Now is the time to develop local, sustainable networks. As we move into the winter of our occupation, we need more than political organizations because at its heart, this is truly a spiritual movement. In the coming year, let’s get together even more!