COP21 – Becoming a Gaian gathering of subjects

December 3, 2015 at 10:40 am | Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

The scale of what is facing the world is enormous. Our planet is dying. Dying in the sense that its life-forms and life processes are being profoundly and systematically degraded. To address this we need an extraordinary change. We need to initiate a new cultural age – what Thomas Berry described as the Ecological Age. This is the only response possible to living in the Anthropocene.

The problem is that the governments in COP21 are thinking within the current set of assumptions and ideologies. They still are trying to make ‘saving the planet’ compatible with an economic growth paradigm. They still see the planet as an object external to humanity.

Let us consider what a truly radical COP21 might look like.

  1. We would recognise that we have entered the Anthropocene
  2. We would recognise Gaia as a subject to whom we must learn to relate
  3. We would recognise Gaia and the Universe as our primary teachers
  4. We would acknowledge the need for a new mode of human presence in Gaia which would affect and change all of our cultural, institutional systems
  5. We would start by ensuring in COP21 that:


i. The interests of non-human life-forms are represented and acknowledged

ii. The interests of future human generations are represented and acknowledged

iii. The wisdoms of indigenous cultures, not just nation states, are represented and acknowledged.


Creating structures to achieve the above three actions are possible with the requisite commitment and engagement. Then COP21 would truly be a Gaian gathering.


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