In June of 2013, I was putting the final touches on my most recent edition of Betrayal Trust and Forgiveness. At the opening of Chapter 8, “Betrayal of the Planet: Gateway to a New World”, I shared with you some information and thoughts around the September, 2004 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) raising its estimate of global warming in this century to a possible 10.8° F. I also shared about the possibilities of the impact—including an increase in natural disasters: earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and changes in weather patterns. And, I also described how, only a few months after the 2004 IPCC report was released, an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia sent a 20 to 30 meter tsunami waive across the Indian Ocean. The wave affected 55 countries from Indonesia to Africa, killing almost a quarter of a million people in its wake. That event launched a ten-year cycle of increasing international mass disaster recovery work for me—starting with an invitation to train Indonesian psychologists and local volunteer recovery workers in Indonesia (where 170,000 people had died in the tsunami disaster).
A year after the 2013 edition of my book came out – and ten years after the December 26, 2004 S. E Asian tsunami – the IPCC released its latest findings entitled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. This report states, “A key finding of the WGI AR5 is: “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” [WGI AR5 SPM Section D.3, 2.2, 6.3, 10.3-6, 10.9].” This is not a surprise to many of us; however scientific evidence is now mounting for those who need it. It may take a while to grow in volume, resonance, and harmony, but the message of Mother Earth, reflected to us, is being mirrored to scientists world-wide to be acknowledged regarding the truth of Climate Change and Global Warming, and our link to these movements.
This acknowledgement from world leaders and scientists, who up until recently have had a deep interest in denying the human impact on our environment, supports the awakening of a new relationship to our Mother Earth. Climate change and “Betrayal of the Planet” is indeed a “Gateway to a New World”—Ultimately the success of our emerging new world is one that is built upon a global community that honors and blends ancient spiritual traditions and indigenous wisdom with scientific knowledge in ways that respect universal ethical principles and cross-cultural healing traditions.
While working in developing nations like Indonesia, and Haiti, and Sierra Leone, I have seen and experienced what I call ‘the disaster of disaster recovery’. Specifically, the way a hierarchy of Foreign Service Provider’s nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s) swoop in to ‘help victims’, rather than empowering survivors (who comprise local helping professionals, recovery workers and local non-governmental organizations’). International NGO’s often seem to extend a form of psychological imperialism together with food, shelter and emergency health services.
In the worst cases, I have more than once witnessed an unwitting creation of dependency on foreign NGO’s who send battalions of volunteers with a missionary-like zeal. These charitable ‘heroes’ have the luxury of leaving a few weeks after the shock of the crisis begins to fade from the news headlines. Locals do not have that luxury. (In fact, disaster recovery research has shown that it usually takes communities THREE YEARS to rebuild after a mass disaster – but, that is a story for another time, and a different blog post.)
I await this next level of acknowledgement from social scientists and world leaders that we are all inter related and that we each must take responsibility for and action in lessening the negative impact on Mother Earth and all those who inhabit her. I encourage all of us to continue on with Embodying the Awareness of our Collective Body and our Collective Soul ; and, I encourage all of us to Act on what we intuitively know is real; as it is through action that our intuitions are integrated, and made to manifest.