Our Civilization Needs a Great Transformation

Our Civilization Needs a Great Transformation | by umair haque | Jul, 2020 

 Any thoughtful person should understand that, at this juncture in human history, civilization is in trouble. We face three to five decades of mounting catastrophe, three apocalyptic waves of it — of which the Coronavirus pandemic is a mere foreshadowing. Climate change goes nuclear in the 30s, by the 2040s mass extinction begins to kill off life as we know it on planet earth, and by the 2050s, the planet’s great ecosystems — on which our civilization depends for food, water, air, medicine, and energy — all begin to irreversibly and finally implode.
Bang! The depressions, panics, upheavals, migrations, lockdowns, and fascisms unleashed by the waves of catastrophe heading our way are going to make the last six months look like a pleasant memory.
The stakes have never been higher. We aren’t Rome collapsing. We’re more like the dinosaurs. We face existential threats so vast they challenge our ability to really comprehend them. By the middle of the century, on the path it’s on, our civilization will simply not be able to survive. And if you doubt me, take a hard look at America — a nation that denies all the above. How’s life working out there?  Read More

Towards a great forest transition – part 1

The Covid-19 pandemic did not come out of the blue. It was a symptom of the fundamental structures of industrial civilization, and it is an early warning signal for how this civilization is rapidly eroding the very conditions of its own existence.

Over the last decade, environmental scientists have warned that human activities are increasingly at risk of the breaching planetary boundaries that define the environmental limits in which humanity can safely operate.
As industrial civilisation increasingly encroaches on natural ecosystems, we are reducing this ‘safe operating space’ for human survival.
Deforestation is one of the most intractable and yet most potent drivers of environmental crisis. It is also among the four out of nine planetary boundaries that civilisation was already at high risk of crossing five years ago according to research published in the journal Science.
Other boundaries we were on the brink of breaching at that time included the rate at which species were going extinct, levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and the flow of nitrogen and phosphorus into the environment due to industrial agriculture. The further we breach these and other planetary boundaries, the greater the risk of irreversibly driving the Earth into a less hospitable state for humanity. Read More

Vision 2030: A New National Strategic Plan 2020 – 2030?

This 10-Year National Strategic Plan was based on the belief that the Cayman Islands can continue to develop in harmony and prosperity if we implement the recommendations of Vision 2008 according to the principles of balanced growth and integrated policy development.

This National Strategic Plan was created through a strategic planning process. Strategic Planning is a means by which an organization, and in our case, a country, continually recreates itself. This process deals with people and the way they see themselves. It is based on aspirations. It is proactive; it allows us as a people to celebrate our uniqueness and enables us to choose the future we desire. The design of the planning process invited participation and created a climate that produced real change champions. This type of strategic planning is based on our core beliefs and values, the things we, the people of the Cayman Islands hold most dear.

Vision 2008, the planning process which led to the creation of the National Strategic Plan, began in March 1998 with a series of Visioning meetings held with different groups including Executive Council and Members of the Legislative Assembly. District meetings were held in every district and in all three Cayman Islands. The purpose of these meetings, and of the interviews, focus groups and public polling exercise that followed was to identify the people’s key issues of concern. These were the issues that had to be addressed if we were to plan confidently for a bright future.

From the outset, Vision 2008 caught the imagination of the people of the Cayman Islands and beyond. The Vision 2008 Office received many calls, letters and visits, and numerous electronic communications through our web-site. It was very obvious that the people of the Cayman Islands were ready and anxious to take part in the long-term planning necessary to ensure the prosperity and quality of life for which we are known.

In June 1998 a 30-member planning team, which reflected the composition of our community, was appointed, and met for three days. In this first Planning Session, they developed a statement of beliefs, a vision statement for the Cayman Islands, parameters, objectives, and sixteen strategies.

Following a recruitment drive, Round Table leaders were identified and trained in a two day session. Sixteen Round Tables, one for each strategy began meeting in early October. Two hundred and fifty individuals continued to meet in their Round Table groups over the next four months to come up with the action plans required to implement each strategy.

Unfortunately, Vision 2008 was great on paper, but,  in practice, it did not accomplish as much as it should have.

Do we need to look forward again and plan the course for these islands for the next twenty years?
Looking around it would appear that we are developing for the benefit of foreign investors. My question therefore, is what do you, the people and citizens of the Cayman Islands want?
  • Do you want a more affordable cost of living? 
  • Do you believe that the government should be building affordable housing for Caymanians?
  • Do you want to see the environment protected?
  • Do you want your electrical (CUC) bill to be lower?
  • Do you find your health insurance very costly?

Statement by His Holiness the Dalai Lama Welcoming EU Agreement

Statement by His Holiness the Dalai Lama Welcoming EU Agreement
July 22, 2020
It is heartening to know that European Union leaders have succeeded in meeting one of the toughest challenges in the organization’s history by agreeing a package of measures to rescue their economies from the disruption caused by the pandemic.
Once again, the European Union has shown the importance of taking the common interests of all its members into account. Through persistent negotiation and compromise the respective leaders have reached an agreement. This shows wisdom and maturity in a world often unsettled by emotional crises.
As ever, I would like to reiterate how much I admire the spirit of the European Union. While I congratulate European Union leaders on what they have achieved on this occasion, I also wish them every success in meeting other challenges that lie ahead, including the threat of climate change and global warming. I believe that a strong European Union is an inspiring model for others to follow.
Dalai Lama
July 22, 2020

The Cancer Stage of Capitalism

“It is reliably estimated that species extinctions now proceed at 1000 times their normal rate, and that up to 99% of the materials used in the US production process end up as waste within 6 weeks. For every ton of garbage, in turn, there are 5 tons of materials to produce it, and 25 tons extracted from nature to yield these materials.

But these facts are not connected across the fields of expertise which track them. As the earth is thus stripped and polluted by ever more unfettered global market operations, the market paradigm of value that leads governments does not factor into its calculus the countless life forms, habitats and systems which are thus extinguished and poisoned. When objections are raised, the followers of the paradigm that rules sternly warn that all is necessary ‘to keep the economy going’. Peoples increasingly observe that their life-ground is being devastated, but no ‘new discovery’ reports that every step of decision behind this process of life-destruction is taken to enact the global market programme.”

At this stage of the global market system’s reproduction of transnational money sequences to unheard-of volumes and velocities of transaction and growth, a systematic and irreversible destruction of planetary life-organization emerges for the first time in history. If we consider the defining principles of carcinogenic invasion and eventual destruction of a life-host, and do not avoid or deny the symptom profile in evidence, we discern a carcinogenic pattern increasingly penetrating and spreading across civil and environmental life-organization. 

There are seven defining properties of a cancer invasion which medical diagnosis recognizes at the level of the individual organism. These seven properties can now be recognized for the first time at the level of global life-organization as well. And this is the pathological core of our current disease condition.

That is, there is: 

(1) an uncontrolled and unregulated reproduction and multiplication of an agent in a host body; that 

(2) is not committed to any life function of its life-host; that 

(3) aggressively and opportunistically appropriates nutriments and resources from its social and natural hosts in uninhibited growth and reproduction; that 

(4) is not effectively recognized or responded to by the immune system of its hosts; that 

(5) possesses the ability to transfer or to metastasize its growth and uncontrolled reproduction to sites across the host body; that 

(6) progressively infiltrates and invades contiguous and distant sites of its life- hosts until it obstructs, damages and/or destroys successive organs of their life-systems; and that 

(7) without effective immune-system recognition and response eventually destroys the host bodies it has invaded.

John McMurtry

The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economy

Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations provided the first, most influential and lasting explanation of the workings of modern economics. But with his focus on “the market” as the best mechanism for producing and distributing the necessities of life, Smith’s concepts only told part of the story, leading to flawed economic models that devalue activities that fall outside of the market’s parameters of buying and selling. 

The real wealth of nations, Riane Eisler argues, is not merely financial, but includes the contributions of people and our natural environment. Here, Eisler goes beyond the market to reexamine economics from a larger perspective–and shows that we must give visibility and value to the socially and economically essential work of caring for people and the planet if we are to meet the enormous challenges we are facing.

Eisler proposes a new “caring economics” that takes into account the full spectrum of economic activities–from the life–sustaining activities of the household, to the life-enriching activities of caregivers and communities, to the life-supporting processes of nature. She shows how our values are distorted by the economic double standard that devalues anything stereotypically associated with women and femininity; reveals how current economic models are based on a deep-seated culture of domination; and shows how human needs would be better served by economic models based on caring. Most importantly, she provides practical proposals for new economic inventions–new measures, policies, rules, and practices–to bring about a caring economics that fulfills human needs.

Like her classic The Chalice and the Blade, The Real Wealth of Nations is a bold and insightful look at how to create a society in which each of us can achieve the full measure of our humanity. https://amzn.to/2Bgnr4V