State of the World Forum and Climate
2010 Open Letter from Jim Garrison
I want to inform you that we have decided to postpone indefinitely the Washington conference Feb. 28 – Mar. 3. There is simply not a critical mass of receptivity at this time for the kind of “Climate Summit” we have designed, which has emphasized an integral approach to climate change and the need for an “urgency coalition” to come together to take immediate and decisive action to resolve the climate crisis
As disappointed as we are that the conference will not take place, the considered opinion of all our conference partners has been that this is simply not the right time to convene a major conference of this kind in the nation’s capitol. It would have virtually no impact on either the thinking or the agenda with which the U.S. Congress and the president are now engaged, such is the paralysis to which Washington has succumbed with regard to any action on global warming. In due course, this situation will no doubt change, probably induced by a sufficiently strong climate related catastrophe, but this is the stark reality we face at the moment. As a result, raising funds and registering sufficient numbers have been extremely challenging.
State of the World Forum will in time convene a Climate Summit in Washington but that time is not now. We need to put our energy elsewhere. While a single conference has been postponed, the over-all strategy of the 2020 Climate Leadership Campaign will continue to unfold. We believe that the process in which we engaged, the dialogue that transpired, and the contacts and partnerships that we developed around the event, will prove to be tremendously valuable as we move forward.
For those in the United States, it seems time to work, as Governor Schwarzenegger urges, at the sub national level as he has done so effectively in California. The fact that Washington seems incapable of action is actually an opportunity for traction locally in specific cities, states and regions. This is where the 2020 Campaign in the U.S. will focus its energy – supporting local initiatives and strategies. There is very significant work being done which inexorably will turn the tide.
For example, we are supporting the Pachamama Alliance around their Four Years.Go campaign that is seeking to mobilize concerted action within the next four years; Lester Brown and his work through his Plan Be 4.0; Bill Becker and his effort to impact executive policy through the Presidential Climate Action Project; the Climate Prosperity Alliance in their efforts to build growth economies by taking up the challenge of global warming; Osprey Lake and her Women’s Leadership Caucus that is mobilizing women around the country; Carol and Tom Brayford who are doing extraordinary work in St. Louis to generate a city wide effort to green the city; and David Gershon and his Cool Community campaigns all over the country mobilizing city wide efforts at CO2 reduction. All these efforts, and many more, are of critical importance in developing forward momentum.
More broadly, we must recognize that Washington is not alone in its inability take serious action with regard to global warming, especially in the aftermath of Copenhagen. The net result of COP 15 was the collapse of the Kyoto Accords and the attempt to get the nations of the world to agree on common goals, fair financing, and a realistic timeframe. The only agreement to emerge seems to have been a vague commitment to share information, with each nation now basically on its own and free to set its own goals, timeframes, and standards.
It should also be noted that civil society in Copenhagen was essentially as disorganized and incoherent as our governments. There was no over-arching set of common demands, little coordination between groups, and no sense of what to do collectively in the aftermath of the inevitable failure of the negotiations. The NGOs were in fact summarily excluded from the negotiations in the final week, with little drama and no public outcry. This indicates just how complicated and politicized climate discussions have become and how well organized the fossil fuel lobby and conservative elements are in national and international affairs in blocking any forward momentum.
An important learning from the postponement of the Washington conference is that the difficulty we had in crafting a single coherent marketing message and agreeing on the best possible audience, purpose and intended result is, in fact, a reflection of the complexity and the chaotic state of the climate change discussion in general.
We thus move into 2010 with the climate crisis intensifying but climate politics adrift and civil society as disorganized about what to do as our governments, and not only in the U.S. but worldwide, with precious few exceptions. There is enormous work to be done both at the level of strategy and at the level of engaging in concrete actions that actually make a difference.
What is essential moving forward is to discern where the energy is and where climate leadership is emerging. Looking internationally, the most dynamic leadership seems to be coming from Brazil where President Lula has just signed into law a bill passed by a strong majority of the Brazilian Congress to reduce CO2 emissions by just under 40% by 2020, which includes a commitment to reduce deforestation by 80% by 2020. It is always easy, of course, for politicians to make bold pronouncements and Brazil is no exception, but unlike most countries at least Brazil is making the bold pronouncements. Contrast this, for example, with the U.S. offer at Copenhagen to reduce CO2 by 4% and not even being able to get this passed by the Congress.
The Brazil 2020 Climate Leadership Campaign has been deeply involved in shaping climate leadership in Brazil. This was why State of the World Forum launched the 2020 Climate Leadership Campaign in Belo Horizonte last August. Recognizing Brazil as a climate leader allows us to work in the United States and elsewhere with a solid referent and a locus of vision and action. It would be an extraordinary advance if we could mobilize countries around the world to join Brazil and commit to 40% reductions in CO2 by 2020. This is half way to our campaign goal of 80% by 2020, a very good start.
Of course many other nations besides Brazil are taking leadership. Costa Rica and Sweden have made dramatic commitments, and the EU is committed to making progress. China has become the world leader in clean technology and is on an aggressive march to develop renewable energy. Bolivian president Evo Morales is convening a post Copenhagen gathering in that country in April. All these efforts, and many others, are deserving of support. As possible, we should be convening 2020 Campaigns and events in countries developing dynamic progress and action.
One of our 2020 campaigners Susana Osiguera is working hard in Mexico as well, where COP 16 will take place this next December, probably on the same scale as Copenhagen. Susana is putting together a Mexican Climate Leadership Initiative. Goodnews Cadogan is also active in South Africa along similar lines. Johannesburg will be the site of COP 17 in 2011. We just learned that a number of groups have come together in Nigeria around the 2020 goals and want to collaborate. Peter Merry and Morel Fourman took the Meshworks to the next level of refinement in Copenhagen, building on what they pioneered in Belo Horizonte, and they are building the 2020 network in Europe. Richard Hames and Laurent Labormene are hard at work in Australia developing 2020 plans.
What is clear is that the 2020 Climate Leadership Campaign is gaining traction in many ways and in many areas of the world. We are in this for the long haul – at least for the next ten years through 2020. Postponing the Washington event was a necessary tactical retreat in an area of the world where climate politics are especially fraught and counterproductive right now. The U.S. is simply no longer the center of gravity for the world and we must adjust accordingly. We must continue to expand where the situation is the most conducive and where climate leadership emerges, especially at the sub national level where so much dynamism is taking place, including in the U.S.
I will be in touch shortly with further updates and areas for collaboration.
State of the World Forum
“Gaia’s main problems are not industrialization, ozone depletion, over-population, or resource depletion. Gaia’s main problem is the lack of mutual understanding and mutual agreement … about how to proceed with those problems. We cannot reign in industry if we cannot reach mutual understanding and mutual agreement based on a worldcentric moral perspective concerning the global commons.” – Ken Wilber
NextNow Collab is joined by Club of Budapest, CSR Wire, Earth Policy Institute, EnlightenNext, EthicalMarkets, Friends of the Earth, GaiaSoft, Integral Institute, New York Open Center, Ode Magazine, Pachamama Alliance, Presidential Climate Action Project, Resilient Cities Initiative and a growing host of others in partnering to convene the State of the World Forum. This is the launch of a 10-year plan of committed action to transform our economy, our world, and ourselves in relation to each other and the natural world. To register, visit the website; to explore collaboration, please contact me at cwelss(at)nextnow.net.
The State of the World Forum launched in Belo Horizonte August 4, 2009 and initiated the 2020 Climate Leadership Campaign. The first 2010 Forum will be in Washington D.C. and intends to build on the progress made in Belo Horizonte to catalyze and mobilize a global network of people and organizations committed to transforming the way we live and accomplish an 80% reduction in C02 by 2020 instead of 2050. Global challenges are both too systemic and too personal to be left to government and business alone; it really is time for each of us to “be the change” and become climate leaders.
We will vision and launch a 10-year plan to make more sustainable both our economies and our lives by 2020, including through
- Using Ken Wilber’s Integral Framework as our “operating system,” allowing for organizing knowledge and action plans that recognize personal and cultural values, resulting in truly empowered action
- Debuting Version 4.0 of Lester Brown’s Plan B
- Drawing inspiration from action-oriented, forward-thinking organizations such as the Presidential Climate Action Project, Apollo Alliance (who gave a powerful presentation at Social Venture Network conference in October), Friends of the Earth, Global Urban Development and many others
- Leveraging the concept of “social artistry,” as embraced by the United Nations Development Programme, towards creating real leadership for social change
- Releasing the latest data supporting the rise of the “new progressives,” a culturally creative worldwide demographic reflecting global values
- Demonstrating new technologies that enable us to envision, and participate in, sustainable systems.
Featured speakers include:
Ray Anderson, Founder and CEO, Interface Inc.
Esperide Ananas, International Coordinator, Federation of Damanhur, Italy, founded in 1975. Damanhur is a U.N. agency award-winning sustainable society numbering 1,000 citizens; it is a member of G.E.N.; and an active supporter of the Earth Charter Initiative. www.damanhur.org
Bill Becker, Executive Director, Presidential Climate Action Project; Project Director and Senior Consultant, National Leadership Summits for a Sustainable America; and former Director, Department of Energy, Central Regional Office. www.natcapsolutions.org
Barrett C. Brown, Co-Director, Integral Sustainability Center, organizational consultant, author, and specialist in leadership development for global environmental and social sustainability. www.integrallife.com
Lester Brown, Founder, Earth Policy Institute, World Watch Institute, author of numerous books, including Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. www.earth-policy.org
Brian Castelli, Executive Vice President for Programs and Development, Alliance to Save Energy. www.ase.org
Michael Cox, Chair, Executive Committee, California Student Sustainability Coalition. www.sustainabilitycoalition.org
Sean Esbjorn-Hargens, Chair, Integral Theory Department, John F. Kennedy University; Executive Editor, Journal of Integral Theory and Practice; co-author, Integral Ecology. www.integralinstitute.org
Morel Fourman, Founder, Gaiasoft; author Managing in the New Economy – Performance Management Habits; and The Book of Personal and Global Transformation. www.mindofmany.com
Vasilis M. Fthenakis, Senior Scientist, Head, National Photovoltaic Environmental Research Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory; Director, Center for Life Cycle Analysis, Earth and Environmental Engineering Department, Columbia University www.bnl.gov
Jim Garrison, President and Chairman of Wisdom University, a graduate academic institution that explores both ancient wisdom traditions and the wisdom culture shaping our future today. He is also founder and president of State of the World Forum, a San Francisco based non-profit institution with a global network of leaders dedicated to developing a more sustainable global civilization.
Richard Hames, Distinguished University Professor, Founding Director, Asian Foresight Institute, Dhurakij Pundit University, Bangkok, Thailand www.richardhames.com
Marilyn Hamilton, Founder, Integral City Meshworks Inc.; author, Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligence for the Human Hive.
James Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Adjunct Professor, Department of Earth and Earth Sciences Division, Columbia University. www.giss.nasa.gov
Johannes Heimrath, Executive Director, Club of Budapest. www.johannesheimrath.de
Jean Houston, mythologist, philosopher and researcher in human capacities, long regarded as one of the principal founders of the human potential movement; author of 19 published books, including The Possible Human, A Mythic Life: Learning to Live Our Greater Story, The Passion of Isis and Osiris, and Jump Time. www.jeanhouston.org
Ross Jackson, Founder and Chairman, Gaia Trust, a Danish foundation which since 1987 has supported over 300 sustainability products in over 40 countries, especially in the ecovillage movement. He is also a major shareholder in the Urtekram International, the largest organic wholesaler in Scandinavia.
Jurriaan Kamp, President, Editor-in-Chief, Ode Magazine
Chuck Kutscher, Principal Engineer/Group Manager, Thermal Systems Electricity, Resources, and Building Systems Integration, National Renewable Energy Laboratory www.nrel.gov
Osprey Orielle Lake, Founder/artist of the International Cheemah and Mari Monument Projects, which are dedicated to environmental sustainability, cultural diversity and societal transformation. www.ospreyoriellelake.com
Ervin Laszlo, President, The Club of Budapest; Founder and University Chancellor, The Institute at GlobalShift University. www.clubofbudapest.org
Pierre-Yves Longaretti, Theoretical astrophysicist, Astrophysics Laboratory of Grenoble, France. http://www-laog.obs.ujf-grenoble.fr/~pyl/
Amory Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute; focuses on transforming the hydrocarbon, automobile, real estate, electricity, water, semiconductor, and several other sectors toward advanced resource productivity. He has authored or co-authored twenty-nine books and hundreds of papers, and consulted for scores of industries and governments worldwide. www.rmi.org
Hunter Lovins, President and Founder, Natural Capitalism Solutions. She is currently a founding Professor of Business at Presidio School of Management, one of the first accredited programs offering an MBA in Sustainable Management. www.hunterlovins.com
David Martin, Executive Chairman, M∙CAM, Fellow, Batten Institute, Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia. www.m-cam.com
Peter Merry, Founding partner of Engage! InterAct; Chair of the Board of the Center for Human Emergence; author, Evolutionary Leadership. www.engage.nl
Caroline Myss, Author of five New York Times bestselling books, including Sacred Contracts, The Interior Castle, The Anatomy of the Spirit; founder, Caroline Myss Education Institute. www.myss.com
Karen O’Brien, Chair, Global Environmental Change and Human Security Project Professor, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo http://www.iss.uio.no/instituttet/ansatte/karenob.xml
Mary Otto-Chang, Consultant, UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Children and Climate Change; UN Secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (2003-2007); UN Development Program, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (2000-2003). UNICEF and UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean
Rajendra Pachauri, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2007); Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Director, Tata Energy Research Institute; author of over twenty books and numerous articles on ecology, climate change and technology. www.climatescience.gov
Sandra Postel, Director, Global Water Policy Project and Center for the Environment at Mount Holyoke College. www.globalwaterpolicy.org
James Quilligan, Economic development policy advisor and writer for many international politicians and leaders, including Pierre Trudeau, François Mitterand, Jimmy Carter, Edward Heath, Julius Nyerere, Olof Palme, Willy Brandt, Tony Blair, and His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal. www.global-negotiations.org
Sally Ranney, CEO, StillWater Preservation LLC.
Paul Ray, Sociologist; Director, Institute of the Emerging Wisdom Culture, Wisdom University; author, The Cultural Creatives. www.wisdomuniversity.org
Jerome Ringo, Chairman, Apollo Alliance; Associate Research Scholar “ Yale University; former Chairman, World Wildlife Fund. www.jeromeringo.com
Rustum Roy, Evan Pugh Professor of the Solid State Emeritus; Professor of Science Technology and Society Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University
Robb Smith, CEO, Integral Institute; Chairman, CEO and co-founder, Integral Life. www.integrallife.com
Richard Tarnas, author of The Passion of the Western Mind and Cosmos and Psyche; Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. www.cosmosandpsyche.com
Marc Weiss, Founder and CEO of Global Urban Development.
Herman Wijffels, Member, Office of the Executive Director, World Bank, representing Armenia, Bosnia and Herzengovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, Macedonia, Moldova, Netherlands, Romania and Ukraine; former Chairman of Rabobank; Chairman, Economic and Social Council of the Netherlands. www.clubofbudapest.org
Ken Wilber, Author of 25 books translated into some 30 foreign languages, he is the most widely translated academic writer in the United States. Ken is the internationally acknowledged originator of Integral Theory and co-founder of Integral Life. www.kenwilber.com
Michael Zimmerman, Director, Center for Humanities and the Arts, and Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado, Boulder; co-author, Integral Ecology. www.colorado.edu
Ken Zweibel, former Program Leader for the Thin Film Photovoltaic Partnership Program, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and is often credited with the success of thin film photovoltaics in the U.S. Zweibel also cofounded a thin film CdTe PV start-up, PrimeStar Solar and became the founding Director of the Institute for Analysis of Solar Energy at George Washington University. He has written two books on photovoltaics and co-authored a Scientific American article (January 2008) on solar energy as a solution to climate change. solar.gwu.edu
The 2009 State of the World Forum will elevate awareness and connect need with innovative resources into a movement of global activism.
RECENT CALL TO ACTION
NNC is also joining the State of the World Forum in sponsoring the following Call to Action to mobilize networks of citizens who support the proposal put forward by Al Gore July 17th, 2008 to supply 100% of our electricity from renewable energy within ten years. (Al Gore: A Generational Challenge to Repower America http://www.wecansolveit.org/pa… ) The entire text of the Call To Action follows; you can read more and sign the petition at the State of the World Forum website.
A GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION
We the undersigned have come together at a moment of urgent global necessity to call attention to the crisis of global warming and demand that our leaders commit themselves to the proposal announced by Al Gore on July 17th to produce 100% of our electricity by renewable energy within the next ten years. We implore our governments to implement this vision in the spirit of President Kennedy’s vision to put a human on the moon within ten years. Nothing less than this will suffice to overcome the crisis we face. We are confronted with a challenge that is political and economic in scope and moral and spiritual at its core. Its solution must be as inspired, simple and audacious as to align human affairs with the natural systems of our earth.
INITIAL SIGNATORIES: Esperide Ananas, Angeles Arrien, Patricia Ellsberg, Steve Farrell, Jim Garrison, Christina Grof, Stan Grof, Robert Dirks Hall, Johannes Heimrath, Jean Houston, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Arjan Kinderman, Stacey Lawson, Hunter Lovins, Stephanie Pace Marshall, Caroline Myss, Michael Olmstead, Andy Orgel, Paul Ray, Kumar Rupesinghe, Margaret Schaub, Benjamin Schick, Joel Silberman, Mary Staton, Michel Saint Sulpice, Claudia Welss, and Robert Work.
We urge you to join us, sign this Call to Action, add your name to the list, and send it on to your network for their consideration, urging them to do the same.
The crisis of global warming has suddenly moved from the indeterminate future to our immediate present. The current word from leading scientists is that the serious impacts from global warming are already bearing down upon us and will hit us with potentially incapacitating force within three to four years unless we respond decisively. The gravity of our situation has been detailed by James Hansen, Chief Scientist for NASA, who states in Science magazine that “if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm.” Hansen details six irreversible tipping points, including massive sea level rises and dramatic increases and extreme weather events, which have already begun to wreck havoc around the world.
Add to this the statement of Indian scientist Rajendra Pachauri, who accepted the Nobel Prize on behalf of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: “If there is no action before 2012, that is too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.” He said this in December 2007.
These statements are coming from some of the most eminent scientists of our time and therefore must be taken seriously. Their research indicates that we have only a few years, four at most, to reverse the momentum of global warming, currently building towards a disastrous conclusion for humanity and for most of life on Earth.
Because the threat is global, our response must be global. Because the threat is imminent, our solution must be immediate.
THE CALL TO ACTION
We must mobilize a global campaign to demand of our governments that they commit, beginning January 19, 2009 with the inauguration of the new American president, to support the proposal put forward by Al Gore July 17th to supply 100% of our electricity from renewable energy within ten years.
Our goal in the United States must be to persuade the new American president to make this a centerpiece of his administration and to do so not in a spirit of fear or despair but in the spirit of John Kennedy declaring that we could put a man on the moon in ten years. A ten-year commitment to green the world is equally inspired, practicable and achievable.
If we can mobilize this kind of campaign and persuade national leaders around the world to make this kind of commitment, we can be where we need to be in four years. It will give us the collective capacity to deal with issues that are now global in scope, which is our only real domain of human interaction. It is a call for unprecedented international cooperation around a common challenge. It is a campaign that is economic and political in scope and spiritual and moral at its core.
For the complete text of Gore’s speech:
Gore’s speech was given to an American audience and contains perspectives and details that are specific to the United States. What is striking is that he offers a global vision of embarking on a ten-year plan to green our energy sources that every country in the world can and should embrace.
We must do two things urgently:
1) We must use every opportunity to demand of our national leaders that they address Hansen’s and Pachauri’s assertions specifically and decisively. Our goal must be to persuade them to support the Gore Proposal and to declare that, if elected, they would join with other world leaders in implementing a ten-year global campaign to move from carbon based fuels to renewable energy. Right now, both candidates speak of the problem of global warming only in generalities and without any sense of urgency.
2) We must mobilize a global campaign to inspire our politicians from the ground up as well as from the top down. This is the genius of the strategic alliance with Al Gore. It allows us to mobilize citizen networks as well as the political elites. We can thus speak with power at all levels of society, backed by the most eminent scientists of our time, concerning an issue of urgent global concern.
THE REASON WE CAN SUCCEED
What is as hopeful as the gravity of the crisis is the fact that there is a growing global population comprised of Cultural Creatives — a group that only began to emerge in world culture fifty years ago but which now constitutes fully one third of the public in Europe, Japan and the United States. The implications of this emerging cultural force are as profound as the consequences of global warming are imminent. Cultural Creatives are having a profound influence in the marketplace and form a new voter constituency that is shifting the very center of gravity for politics.
Cultural Creatives are essentially comprised of people who have participated in the social and consciousness movements that have emerged since World War II: the civil rights movement, the environmental movement, the women’s movement, the jobs and social justice movements, the peace movement, the organic food and alternative health care movements, the new spirituality and self growth movements, etc. Integral to the emergence of the Cultural Creatives is the emergence of women’s issues in the public domain. Cultural Creatives tend to be spiritually motivated and committed to personal growth but are not dogmatically religious. They embrace technology and economic development but only within a deep affirmation of the environment and community. They tend to view the world from the perspective of holistic systems. They are the people paying attention to world events and global trends. This information is based on a new study conducted by Dr. Ray through his Institute for the Emerging Wisdom Culture at Wisdom University. His data shows that Cultural Creatives have the vision to notice the trends, the practical ability to take up the enabling technologies, and the leadership to mobilize against dangers. Research also indicates that they are not yet aware that they exist as a group and therefore have not yet cultivated the power to act collectively or decisively. The major task therefore is to develop a communication and public empowerment strategy that will identify and catalyze the Cultural Creatives into an even more self conscious and potent political force. The voters who can be moved by global concerns, ecological sustainability and hope based politics are now numerous enough and influential enough to win elections if they can be mobilized. Remember the famous story of Franklin Roosevelt and the labor leaders during the Great Depression: At the end of their meeting, he said to them: “I completely agree with you. Now pressure me to do it.” In this sense, our pressure is as important as who are leaders are. It will take two partners to accomplish what must be done: worthy leaders and focused public support. The extraordinary advantage we have in our effort to deal with the crisis of global warming is that we do not have to create a constituency. It is already here. What we have to do is energize it and shape a global movement that will compel our governments to take decisive action to build a positive future.
The main organizers of the Cultural Creativity study, Paul Ray and Jim Garrison, have been described in What is Enlightenment Magazine as “having a bold plan to organize and mobilize a post modern renaissance…” (quoted from the current issue (Aug-Oct 2008).
For an interview transcript on the subject: http://www.wie.org/unbound/media.asp?id=225
For more information on Cultural Creatives visit https://www.wisdomuniversity.org/cultural-creatives.htm
For further information on this campaign in the United States, please contact Jim Garrison at email@example.com