Welcome. It’s a pleasure for me to begin to blog on this new website and hope that it not only stimulates your curiosity but and challenges you to become more engaged.
One of my expectations is that this endeavor serves our community and democracy in practical ways. In short, it must be more than an information portal and a resource for conversation only. The Internet has the potential to give all of us what [George Monbiot->http://monbiot.com] calls “the false sense of empowerment” by creating an artificial impression of action. But the world is demanding that we must actually leave our seats and our computer screens if we want to change the world. Sustainable WNC will be effective only if it encourages us to become actively engaged as social change agents.
I have quoted the N.C. Constitution many times in the last few years. Section 2 reads “all political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.”
There are two ideas in this section that are fundament for a vision of a sustainable earth community and earth democracy. “Government of right originates from the people” and “the good of the whole” are fundamental imperatives, action imperatives towards the fulfillment of a sustainable earth community.
We as a nation have become too fat, both metaphorically and literally, and we have learned to blame our leaders. We blame corporate CEO’s and elected officials at all levels of government for our problems. We take the benefits of our historically given privilege, live in denial of our complicity in the current state of affairs, and them blame “daddy” for our troubles. In fact most of us are not oppressed and are just behaving as spoiled children. We will never get out of our ecological and social predicaments unless we become mature responsible citizens.
Orin Lyons, an elder Faithkeeper in the Onondaga Nation, said it beautifully in the December issue of [Orion->http://orionmagazine.org/]
…And now we have corporate states, corporations that have the status of states – independent and sovereign, and fealty to no one, no moral law at all. President Bush has said, “Let the market dictate our direction.” Now isn’t that as stupid as you can get. What he said was, let the greed of the people dictate the direction of the Earth. If that’s the basis of a country, then its really lost what you call a primary direction for survival.
This is really the danger today – this empty, senseless lack of leadership. But it doesn’t mean that responsibility isn’t in the hands of the people. To come down to the nut of the whole thing, it’s the people’s responsibility to do something about it. Leadership was never meant to take care of anybody…
…It’s the abdication of responsibility by the people. What was it they said? Of, by, and for the people…
So now let us all get to work for the common good. We will need to examine all the elements of our so called private lives, lives as citizens of WNC, and earth citizens through the lens of sustainability. We will need many technological fixes, but the primary fix will have to come through our hearts and souls. Fundamentally it means that we have to transform our thinking and acting that primarily enhances our individual rights and goals and commits our work to the good of the whole, both human and other than human, earth community.
The effects of climate change, ecological destruction, overpopulation, and peak oil will not be solved by business as usual. We are in the interlude between the greatest comforts that the human species has ever experienced and social and ecological collapse. The next decade or so will be pivotal for our survival.
I hope the ideas that I and the other bloggers present convince you (if you need convincing) of the critical moment in human evolution that we occupy, and the wonderful opportunities available to us. Many great practical ideas will be put forward in these columns. The home page will present events in which you can participate, volunteer opportunities that will become available, and actions that you can take. My personal wish is to challenge your moral imagination and inspire you to become fully committed, so that we can quickly move towards a sustainable earth community.
And like my friend Ned Doyle points out in his first blog, this can be fun. Working together with like minded people creates community, inspires us to our highest potential, and gives our lives meaning – all of which are the foundations of true happiness.