Peace is a presence
Dear Rev, is there hope?
The new climate agreement in Dubai. They say that there is hope. But we have been burned so often. What’s your take on it? Can we relax a little bit?
Darlene, New Jersey
The oil barons are doing with superstorms and wildfires what the Israelis are doing with American bombs. COP28 makes you wonder, do the super-rich believe that they can steer the planet’s heat itself… Yes, they are climate-makers now, which must be something like being God.
It’s a sort of science fiction logic. They believe that their pollution keeps the indigenous people of the global south down. “Keep ‘em busy with those disasters and droughts and starvation, and then give ‘em enough of a reparation allowance that their governments look like they’re trying.” While up North the investor class flood itself with orgasmic hallucinations of wealth.
Well, Darlene, COP28 does send me off into surreal flights. But when I discovered that Netanyahu was siphoning money to Hamas, so that our tax money was shooting from both sides, I start seeing manipulative dramas everywhere.
The CEOs believe that the destruction descending on the poor in the South is their arrangement with the natural world. The Great Stall, (the first COP was in 1995) has worked so far. Oil industry profits in 2022 were an astronomical $4 Trillion (USD). It’s hard to exaggerate the dominant presence of the Oilies…
There were 2,500 of them registered at COP28. Fossil fuel annual profits are currently larger than the total revenue of the Chinese government. How does a Pacific island drowning from sea-rise negotiate with that?
Once again, as in the 27 previous climate negotiations called COPs, the delegates were fed those mushy-soft promises. COP28 publicity hacks called the agreement “unprecedented,” but they say that every year. The “Net Zero Emissions by 2050” - the fake goal that leaves the horror to the young and the unborn — this is still the single material fact of the COPs, and the deadly nature of it fits eerily with the thousands of dead and dying children In Gaza.
If the oil people believe that the Earth is operating on a schedule that they can predict, and even direct, then…Well, what DO they believe? The answer is Nothing. They are zombie junkies. Making money is their drug of choice, creating so much of it that they preside over the Earth from a second layer of super-government. Planet Oil.
This current toxic wealth surge will get them a few years of triumphant quarterly reports. But when the Earth needs to act out later - what then? Is their hubris so extreme that they believe they can bribe the 6th Extinction? The Earth is evolving post-oil life forms. The desperate oil executives will discover that the final COP isn’t that pesky global warming anymore. It will be a cremation.
Well Darlene, we need to thank the suits for throwing us that rhetorical bone, “transition out of fossil fuels”. What a great phrase! I’m sure the Earth is in full agreement!
Has the unconscious violence in the Mideast made us afraid of the Earth?
The storms and floods are a million times more powerful, but they aren't reported now, they are erased by the war stuff.
Modern man has always been addicted to how war becomes information, and stories, and fashion. William James told us a century ago to find a "moral equivalent of war." James was a Peace activist. He was looking for what makes war so addictive, the boom and blast, the music and flags, the looks of terror.
How can we use the essence of what makes war so compelling but delete the bullets and bombs – to make Peace.
From Ernest Hemingway to Steven Spielberg we have mis-used the entertainment power of war. In the century that followed William James' assignment we have manufactured an "immoral equivalent of war." We use war to make money, celebrity, false heroism... We have romanticized war.
In that century the Pentagon budget grew to $800 billion. The US created false wars in Viet Nam and Iraq. Young people watch Super Bowl commercials that glorify the army life, and they sign up.
Now the main material fact of our lives is that the Earth is rising up in fiery fits of hyper-evolution, a time of horror for humans and all life. We don't admit it is happening. We are lost in our false glory.
Where do we start when humanity has gone so wrong? First of all, we need to be clear that to make Peace we need to love the Earth. Peace is not an absence; it is a presence.
The ecosystem around and within our bodies is the Earth. Being peaceful with what we are is the beginning of our radical selves.
Jack, we will be a wave of Peace with the Earth in us.
Bear witness with us.
WE WILL BEAR WITNESS to this moment in history. This media project features stories from earth's citizens, recording climate destruction, devastation, resilience and hope. Tell your story.