[act-ma] Climate Change, Despair & Empowerment with John Seed

Vivienne Simon vivsimon at earthlink.net
Thu Apr 26 09:01:28 PDT 2007


The reality of climate change can make us feel overwhelmed and can fill 
us with fear or despair.   This road show with Australian deep 
ecologist international rainforest activist John Seed aims to catalyze, 
invigorate, and support grassroots climate study/action groups across 
North America.

This roadshow will assume that most people attending have seen An 
Inconvenient Truth, are aware of current news and are  concerned about 
the issue. It will address the hopeless despair that many of us feel 
and provide tools to transform despair into empowerment and effective 
action.  This will be based on the Despair & Empowerment work of Joanna 
Macy and the "Climate Change, Despair and Empowerment" talk which John 
Seed gave in Massachusetts last year with Pullitzer Prize winning 
journalist Ross Gelbspan.

*  There will be a discussion on the role of the denial of feelings of 
helplessness and despair in making us feel helpless, hopeless, 
paralysed, what can one person do anyway, its too late etc etc. This 
addresses Gore's insight that many people move straight from denial to 
hopeless despair about this issue without leaving any space in between 
for effective action. (see 
www.rainforestinfo.org.au/deep-eco/cabmourn.htm for a more general 
version of this argument).

*  Where no climate study/action group currently exists, the group will 
be invited to form one there and then. If one already exists, 
representatives from the group will be invited to give an update on 
their group's direction, meetings etc. We will discuss the importance 
of direct democracy and grassroots and that each of us now needs to 
awaken those around us to the urgency of understanding and action. US 
Supreme Court Justice Brandeis, 1930: "The most important office of 
government is citizen."

* Open a discussion on local initatives and local directions

* Invite people to host "house parties", invite their friends to watch 
DVDs, build the network, discuss solutions and spread word of the 
climate study/action groups. Two DVDs are being offered for free to 
anybody who wishes to host these events: 1) Boiling Point by Ross 
Gelbspan - Pulitzer prize winning journalist Gelbspan makes a 
compelling presentation on global warmiing and some broad sweeping 
solutions; 2) Climate Change Despair & Empowerment with Ross Gelbspan 
and John Seed - recorded in Massachusetts, Gelbspan speaking on climate 
change and John Seed speaking on despair & empowerment followed by 
questions and answers.

* an invitation to the upcoming "Climate Change, Despair and 
Empowerment" 1-day workshops May 12 & 13

May 9 "Climate Change, Despair & Empowerment" presentation 7pm, 2nd 
Congregational Church, Greenfield MA  - contact 
deborahandrew at earthlink.net
May 10 "Climate Change, Despair & Empowerment" presentation lunchtime, 
UMass, Amherst - contact jchenell at student.umass.edu

May 10 "Climate Change, Despair & Empowerment" presentation 7 pm, First 
Parish Church, Cambridge MA -  contact randers at cambridgema.gov
May 11 "Climate Change, Despair & Empowerment" presentation Amesbury MA 
-  contact CDATHOME at aol.com

May 13 Climate Change, Despair & Empowerment" presentation 7 p.m., 
Unitarian Universalist Society, Northampton MA -  contact  
tclarke at cleanwater.org

May 9 @ 7pm, 2nd Congregational Church, Greenfield MA

May 10 @ 12-2:00 pm, Student Union building room 168C on the basement 
level contact

May 10 @ 7:00 pm, First Parish Church, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA

May 11 @ 6 pm, Unity on the River, Amesbury MA

May 13 @ 7 pm,  Friends Meeting, 43 Center Street, Northampton MA

Petersham,  MA
contact frankdeitle at earthlands.org

These workshops will be offering experiential processes that generate 
empowerment as follows:

Day 1: In "Climate Change, Despair & Empowerment"

Saturday, May 12

Through Joanna Macy's body of work known as "despair and empowerment" 
(see her book "Coming Back to Life", http://www.joannamacy.net and 
http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/deep-eco/cabmourn.htm ) we allow 
ourselves to recognise our feelings about what is happening to our 
world. By acknowledging this level of our being rather than just our 
thoughts on the subject, people around the world have found that 
feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, "what can one person do 
anyway?", "It's all to late" etc are transformed into inspired and 
empowered positive action.

Day 2: "The Timeline of Light"

Sunday, May 13

Through processes which nourish our vast ecological identity, we expand 
from the narrow confines of our social identity to experience our 
ancient ecological heritage, that every cell in our body is descended 
in an unbroken chain from the first cell of life. Then our kinship with 
all of life shines through the fog of civilisation and rooted in the 
history of Earth and in the living Earth itself, we seek wisdom and 
clear thinking on our role as we and our fellow beings face the crisis 
of global warming.

*Workshop Pre-registration Required: lucindaramsey at earthlands.org  

John Seed is an internationally known rainforest activist who founded 
the Rainforest Information Centre in Australia. Since 1979 he has been 
involved in the direct actions which have resulted in the protection of 
the rainforests worldwide. He has written and lectured extensively on 
deep ecology and has been conducting Councils of All Beings and other 
re-Earth ing workshops all over the world. With Joanna Macy, Pat 
Fleming and Professor Arne Naess, he wrote "Thinking Like a Mountain - 
Towards a Council of All Beings" (New Society Publishers) which has now 
been translated into 10 languages. He is an accomplished bard and 
songwriter and since 1981 has produced 5 albums of environmental songs. 
John is a Fellow of the Findhorn Foundation and occasional 
Scholar-in-Residence at the Esalen Institute.
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