The Kosmos Climate, Consciousness, and Community Summit last month was extraordinary, a moving, inspirational, and motivational experience. As Convener Rhonda Fabian, of Kosmos Journal, summarized:
“We arrived as champions of our individual organizations and causes. What emerged was a vision of unity, positive possible futures, and resolve to reach that distant shore together. Attendees loved our small thriving Transition Town, Media, PA, a living laboratory for building resilient, diverse communities. Our presenters, panelists and facilitators offered compassionate, actionable insights, and the stream of wisdom we received from Findhorn brought inspiration and clarity.”
The Summit consisted of several parts. One part was listening to streamed keynote talks from the Findhorn Community’s CCC19 Conference, taking place concurrently in Scotland. We also heard from many powerful local voices – Judy Wicks, local activist Valerie Brown, Buddhist/Quaker Facilitator, Meenal Raval, solar activist and local government gadfly, Mark Wallace, Swarthmore College professor, and Martin Pepper, TTM Board member. There were also workshops, panels, and presentations by pipeline activists, TTM movers and shakers, local student environmentalists, and presenters from Pachamama Alliance, Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects, Paul Hawken’s Drawdown, and many more. Here are some of the highlights from 3 of the keynotes and 4 of the in-person talks:
Vandana Shiva, food sovereignty activist and scientist: The industrial food system is based on 200 years of wrong action – displacing farmers, humans for higher ‘productivity’. A farmer who can’t farm is not being productive. 80% of our waste is discarded food. In nature, there is no waste – everything is food for something else.
Charles Eisenstein, philosopher and author: Climate Change is just a symptom of our de-sacralization of Mother Earth. The revolution of our time is not fighting climate change, it’s reconnecting to our love of Mother Earth. Here are the 4 steps he advocates for saving the planet. 1st: Protect every ecosystem that’s still intact. 2nd: Regenerate, repair and heal what’s damaged. 3rd: Stop poisoning the earth. 4th: Reduce greenhouse gases. Unless we take the first 3 steps first, the 4th one won’t help.
Bill McKibben, activist and founder of 350.org: We don’t have time any more to argue about whether climate change is real. Time is short. We need to take action, divest from fossil fuels, disrupt ‘business as usual’.
Judy Wicks, local economy pioneer and environmental activist: Judy spoke about some of the many things she’s active in, including her newest project: Proud Pennsylvania, “A Campaign for Energy Leadership, Community Prosperity and Democratic Governance”, building regional alliances to create local resilience and self-reliance. One example she mentioned was having each municipality handle their own waste rather than shipping it to China or burning it in a poor neighborhood – what an awesome idea!
The Pipeline Panel: Eve Miari described the Middletown Coalition for Community Safety’s evolution from just fighting the Mariner East 2 pipeline to giving voice to and empowering citizens about their rights and the rights of nature, about protecting what we love – our children, our community, our environment. Malinda Clatterbuck spoke about her work with Lancaster Against Pipelines, a movement “built on love, not anger”.
The Transition Town Media Panel: Leading off with a presentation by Martin Pepper on personal resilience and preparedness, TTM members spoke about initiatives we’re currently working on: Media Eats Local, the Circle of Aunts & Uncles, the Media FreeStore, and Inner Resilience, joined by Laura Philon of Wilmington in Transition, who spoke about regional and national Transition movement activities.
The Closing Ceremony led by .O, a North Philadelphia spiritual activist and community builder, was especially moving. She evoked the transformational essence of the Summit in a powerful closing circle. Thanks to Pendle Hill for bringing .O to us.
There was so much more to the Summit that it is hard to choose what to include. In summary, though, here are what I consider to be the main take-aways from the Summit:
✦ Protect what you love, remembering how much you love the Earth and everyone and everything on it.
✦ Build alliances with all like-minded folks; together we can do anything.
✦ Take bold action, we are the leaders we’ve been waiting for.
There is so much at risk. I hope you’ll join us in doing whatever it takes to preserve our planet and help all living systems on it thrive.