As the climate Summit Opens--personal Reflections

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Pakistan floods: Children playing in a relief camp

Image by Oxfam International via Flickr

It is a cold morning, the sun rising into a bank of cloud.The Homeless Shelter is crowded. By four  in the afternoon yesterday, a knot of people were standing in the cold, to wait an hour until the shelter opened. Family in the British Isles contend with snow, ice and cold. Villagers in Pakistan face a winter under canvas, short of food and blankets, their plight unseen and unheard, victims of climate change that they did little to cause.

In Brazil, drought dries up the Amazon rainforest. "These are the times spoken of in prophecy," says an indigenous farmer. "The sun is changing and the forest dying."

In Cancun, Mexico, the Climate Summit opens. CO2 emissions continue to rise even as weather catastrophes escalate. As I study prehistory and our Paleolithic journey, I see today's crisis inherent in the first microlith--the newest, coolest stone tool. Our fascination with technology and our urge to expand and people the earth has been with us from the beginning. We survived the Ice Age because of our longevity, which allowed for the support and guidance of elders. Today, we have more elders than at any point in history or pre-history, a potential pool of wisdom and experience typically warehoused away from contact with younger decision makers and leaders.

Our children face an uncertain future. Can the elders awaken? Can we make our voices heard? Can we meet each other with patience and compassion, free from judgment and hostility? Beneath the attempts to shore up the status quo, is another reality being born?

O God, lead us from death to life,
from falsehood to truth.
Lead us from despair to hope,
from fear to trust.
Lead us from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe.
 World Prayer for Peace, Satish Kumar

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    This page contains a single entry by Alakananda Ma published on November 29, 2010 7:30 AM.

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