[WEC-All] Fwd: Acting on climate from ground up, SPI, 20071221
mark at oilempire.us
Fri Dec 21 09:07:53 PST 2007
Elitist, self-selected cliques that are not welcoming are merely
illusions to pretend these crises are being addressed.
"Stakeholder" is a term that refers to an employee of a casino (who
holds the "stakes" of bettors), it is not an accurate synonym for
Begin forwarded message:
From: Tim Hermach <zerocut1 at forestcouncil.org>
Date: December 21, 2007 8:17 AM : Dec 21
To: StumpsDon'tLie <Stumps at lists.forestcouncil.org>
Subject: [Stumps] Acting on climate from ground up, SPI, 20071221
Acting on climate from ground up
Last updated December 20, 2007 4:32 p.m. PT
By PAUL MITCHELL
Isn't it odd?
My friend said, the other day, "I'm too busy to save the world. But I
hope someone else does."
Isn't it odd that (if you believe the scientists) we're on the verge
of fundamentally disrupting the climate patterns of our planet, and
yet no one has called us? Our phones are not ringing off the hook.
Renowned venture capitalist John Doerr says, "I'm scared. I don't
think we're going to make it."
Isn't it extremely odd that we're not meeting every night, that
neighborhoods are not organizing by block, that the bells atop town
halls are not clanging, that our elected leaders have not called us
into special emergency sessions to plan a mobilization? If you believe
the scientists, as I do, this silence is so odd, so ridiculously
absurd, that it must mean we are finally coming face to face with some
profound blind spot.
The fact is, we don't know how to govern the commons. Our governance
model is broken. We convene "stakeholder processes," and try to
squeeze compromise out of those with the most hardened, vested
interests -- a recipe for frustration and inaction, not for
discovering what is in the public interest. We are failing to protect
the common wealth that underlies our prosperity.
According to 12 of our top generals, climate change poses a serious
national security threat, acts as a threat multiplier for instability
and could "create sustained natural and humanitarian disasters on a
scale far beyond those we see today." Yet adequate national climate
legislation is still far off. What is it going to finally take for us
to rise to this challenge and seize the "insurmountable opportunities"
that are pooling up around our ankles?
Perhaps it's going to take the greatest innovation of them all, even
greater than cheap solar panels, cellulosic ethanol, and transgenic
cows that don't eructate. It's going to take innovations in democracy
that let the voice of the public good rise above the clamor of special
We know what these innovations look like -- they've been tried and
tested around the world for decades. They are citizen juries and
citizen assemblies: well-facilitated processes where a cross-section
of the public engages an issue with deep learning, dialogue and
deliberation. Like a jury in a criminal trial, these groups hear
evidence and ask questions, and out of a rich diversity of
perspectives come to common sense conclusions that put the public
It's obvious now that only citizen participation on a large scale is
going to make bold climate action politically possible. But will we do
it in time? You can join us in getting this started. The Greater
Seattle Climate Dialogues is a grassroots, science-based process that
aims to bring the whole community into this crucial conversation. Find
us at www.ClimateDialogues.org.
Phil Mitchell is the director of the Greater Seattle Climate Dialogues
and the founder of 2People.org, an online citizens network for climate
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