Climate Change and Peacebuilding are irrevocably woven together. Here’s why.
*Excerpted from Cultivating Peace, O’Dea’s bestselling and pivotal book.
How, you may ask, is climate change a problem for peacebuilders?
I was at a meeting in Washington, DC, on systems thinking and policy change in 2009. Two military representatives of the Joint Chiefs
were present. They outlined various scenarios of war, conflict, and mass
refugee movements arising out of climate change catastrophes. When
the military is drawing up scenarios, you know the situation is serious.
But it seems world leaders are waiting to see who will have the courage
to do something first.
We noted in the chapter on systems thinking how peace is interconnected
with poverty, women’s rights, a healthy democracy, social
networks, and so on. I have particularly stressed that peace calls us to
cultivate capacities in compassionate and skillful listening, nonviolent
communication, truth telling, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Without
these qualities we cannot move the entire social order to the next turn
in the spiral of our collective evolution.
As brilliant peacebuilders, Lynne and Bill Twist founded the
Pachamama Alliance to help the Achuar people save their rain forest
territory in Ecuador. The Achuar people in their wisdom told them
that the most urgent priority was for them to change the dream of the
West. In other words, the world cannot have peace unless we change
our ways. Saving the rain forests and protecting indigenous lifestyles
require those who live in advanced materialist societies to dream a new
dream of communal well-being and sustainability. It is obvious that
we urgently need legions of awakened and conscious new-paradigm
evolutionary leaders, who can rise to the occasion as we face the challenges
left by distorted, myopic leadership. READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
James O’Dea is an internationally renowned teacher, most recently as Lead Faculty of the Peace Ambassador Training, a course that has included individuals from over 30 countries worldwide. The training is a twelve-week telecourse intensive that covers a wide range of essential areas for activating compassion, sustainable action, conflict resolution, and addressing your place in the greater transformation we are amidst. He is the author of the bestselling Cultivating Peace: Becoming a 21st Century Peace Ambassador as well as Creative Stress. He also co-founded the International Social Healing Project with Dr. Judith Thompson. Visit his website for more information.