Conflict is inevitable. War is not.

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Posted on: April 29th, 2019 by BWNWAdmin No Comments

Drawdown: the most compresensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming.

Paul Hawken, editor.

The links between increased global warming and escalated human conflicts are clear. Drawdown outlines the ways we can work to reverse the impending challenges to our survival. We do that by shifting our worldview from an emphasis on competition to one of cooperation and collaboration.

The chapter titled “Reciprocity” by Janine Benyus provides a framework for changing our focus.  Benyus describes how ecologists analyzed plant and animal aggregations from the perspective of competition and predation for decades.  The frame was that the plants and animals were a random collection of individuals dispersed by chance and arranged according to how successfully they competed.  The new outlook is that there is a “Wood Wide Web” in the ground under forests with connections between roots and microbes, a reciprocity that we have only now come to understand. The concept of a forest or prairie as a community is much like the way we would like to think about our communities, working together makes the whole survive. Grasses thrive better when oak trees are there, and tree intercropping improves the survival of agricultural plantations (think shade-grown coffee or cacao for chocolate).

This change, focusing on the whole, the community, can lead us to solutions. As Bill McKibben has written, we cannot reverse global warming as individuals. What individuals can do is form a movement. Paul Hawkins writes “We are surfeited with metaphors of war, such that when we hear the word ‘defense,’ we think attack….Climate solutions depend on community, collaboration and cooperation” (p. 217). More than 250 individuals contributed to Project Drawdown. If peace groups were to come together with environmental and social justice groups, imagine what we could accomplish.

Anne Millhollen

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