Intro To Climate Crisis JournalWhen people ask me what I would be doing if billions of humans weren't in the climax phase of their witting and unwitting war against the Earth, all its living creatures and the evolutionary force of creation, I usually tell them I would probably be employed in the world of academe. I'd be sipping coffee with colleagues such as Joseph Campbell, E.O. Wilson, Margaret Mead, Michael Soule, C. Wright Mills, and Bertrand Russell (yes, I know they're not synchronous!), teaching courses at some small private college as a Professor of Change. I'd be studying all kinds of change, from quantum mechanics to Alzheimers disease, from the enclosure of the British Commons to the Council of Nycea (337 AD party thrown by Constantine the Great to select the books of the Bible and turn Christianity into a state sanctionable religion, laying the ground rules for the Popes and St. Francis the bird lover, Billy Graham and David Koresh, Mother Theresa and Billy Boy Clinton). I'd lecture about my own Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the Oakland Firestorm, homelessness, breast cancer, LSD, and the Wobblies (Industrial Workers of the World Unite!).
I would study every method of change or transformation in nature, in spiritual practices, in child development, and social revolution from Lenin to Dwight Worker ("Sink It!). I'd sponsor a weekly colloquim on cable TV with an anarchist, an investment broker, a Hopi grandmother, a socialist, a Deadhead, and a conservation biologist, moderated by a precocious thirteen year old girl (who better to understand the relevance of ideas and actions to the continuity of life?). And down the road as we improve our communications technology, I'd bring in Koko the American Sign Language communicating gorilla, and one of John Lilly's dolphins to have the last say at the end of the program (forget Kinsley and Buchannon!).
But alas, we're a fucked up people. So no tenure for me. But the dreams live on and now can at least be partially realized by you and me and anyone else who still operates from a garden of love and concern, a secret internal sanctuary of hope, passion and connection with life and historical unfoldment. CAN is alive, and you are now at the center of it! For once in your life you're lucky enough to have stumbled into the right place at the right time! Who would have guessed it would be a web site?
Here's the deal. For twenty years I've been an eco-warrior/healer. I've worked for dozens of projects and campaigns, met most of the great organizers, geniuses, and artists of our time, and read widely. I've seen more than I can express, but I've seen that the answers and solutions to our crises, from homelessness and racism to extinction and climate change are out there. So now CAN exists as a vortex, a funnel cloud to suck all of these ideas, projects and experiences that in isolation seem inadequate for solving the global crisis (and it really is one global crisis: the definition and manifestation of civilization for the rest of time, the organization of the human species and its interrelationships with life in homeostasis until the next asteroid impact or the sun goes supernova). This is a time for designing civilization.
So CAN is the best place for anyone to contribute to this process, to learn, and to find the answers to the obstacles you find at every step of the way, wherever you live, to moving humanity along on the trail out of this unbelievably horrific mess, the disintegration of civilization and collapse of Earth's life support systems.
The CAN Web Site is thus designed to remove as many obstacles in your path as an agent of change as we can imagine. First and foremost, as we get things up to speed, if you have any questions about how other people might have done something you would like to do (e.g. shut down a city's downtown area to automobiles, or fund free bus systems, or transform agribusiness farm land to organic farm communes) email your questions to us. We are building a data base of articles (how-to and theoretical), interviews, projects, progressive investment groups etc. We'll try to put you in touch with groups around the world who have already done these things, and information on how they did them (e.g. how they organized politically, designed the projects, budgeted for them, and found funding sources; lessons they learned and advice they have for people to avoid or transcend the problems they encountered).
In exchange for this karmic gift, there must be overall, a balanced exchange from the users of the CAN web site. Look around your community and send us whatever information you can find on people and projects in your neck of the, by now probably clearcut, woods. Is there a neighborhood health clinic in your area (e.g. the Berkeley Free Clinic), has a church set up a volunteer daycare center staffed by the community's elders? How about organic farms, alternative energy researchers, radical bicyclists, community investment funds? You can contribute by becoming an ecoreporter in your community and telling us who is doing what, writing up interviews with anybody who's making a difference, who's innovative and creative. Turn us on to the pioneers, the artists, the poets and the madmen and madwomen (not that any of these are mutually exclusive). Anyone can do this. Even the most overworked single mom, or the cyberized Ivy Leaguer. If you only know of one thing , with a phone call or letter or email, the ideas of that special person or project, that idea that could be the missing link people have been waiting for, can be made available to people around the world. This is about accelerating the process, people. It's accumulative. The more you put into it, the faster we get there... the sooner the fear and misery subsides and the faster the love and hope and nourishment expands to those in need. This is about creating a massive, incredibly diversified movement of totally uncontrolled cooperation! You don't have to join anything, take any oaths, or even agree with anyone to move the process along! You pick the area of your greatest concern and contribute your experience, ideas, and wisdom to all who are interested, and ask us what you need as you pursue your dream... sky's the limit... nothing left to hold you back!
Andy Caffrey, Director, Climate Action Now