When we think of the word ‘climate’ we immediately tend to imagine the weather, the temperature and perhaps even the impact of global warming. Another meaning of the word, perhaps one that is less considered, is the global climate of human thought that is changing like the weather and impacts the natural world.
Transformational change always begins at a personal level and then proceeds to a collective level. The process begins when we question deeply ingrained ways of thinking and seeing that result in the actions we take. When we question and critically examine our ways of being in the world, we actively participate in shaping the culture we live in as our daily interactions directly impact the climate of our own environments on mental/emotional and physical levels.
It seems apparent that over time, the rampant materialism generated by consumerism, with its adverse effects on the natural world, is making people question whether there is something else we need to put our faith into besides the promised land of material abundance our business leaders and governments are marketing through all forms of media.
The quality of relationships we have with our animal kin can help us become more aware and motivated to act in ways that help create a better world for future generations of people and animals. Animals and humans are equal parts of the biological biodiversity of our planet, which refers to the “variety of life on Earth at all levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain life. Biodiversity includes not only species we consider rare, threatened, or endangered but also every living thing – from humans to organisms we know little about, such microbes, fungi and invertebrates”. (Cycle of Conferences. UN Biodiversity Conference, October 2021) The human kingdom, as is the case with the animal kingdom, is naturally entangled with the biosphere, whether we are conscious or unconscious of the fact. Hence, protection and care of our shared biosphere is essential to the continued flourishing of life on our planet. We live in a “more than human natural-technical world.” (Keri Facer, Professor of Education and Social Futures, University of Bristol, UK.)
The universe is full of an astonishing variety of life forms, all of which have a very specific purpose vital to the dynamic, harmonious function of the living world. Amidst natural disasters and the detrimental effects of climate change and ecological destruction threatening the biodiversity of our planet, there is cause for optimism and hope. There is abundant evidence that the crisis is stimulating the goodness inherent in humanity. Humanity is waking up to the importance and value, in non-economic terms, of the fertile diversity and beauty of nature, and taking united action to protect and preserve its fragile balance.
Ideas related to biomimicry and regenerative culture are emerging through a climate of global thought focused on ways humanity can learn to live in greater peace and harmony with nature to create better relations with all forms of life, whether they be plant, animal or human. When diverse groups of individuals with a view of the bigger picture enter into open-minded, calm and respectful dialogue, they learn that each point of view has something valuable to contribute to the whole subject of focus. It is through the collective sharing of ideas that true wisdom emerges to guide transformational change and compassionate action that serves to produce the qualities of unity, harmony and beauty that naturally exist in nature. These qualities are first expressed in individual life forms, then through the formation of species groups and finally, they are demonstrated in the purposeful relations between all kingdoms of nature.
To further explore some of the current, innovative work being conducted by international groups, please Google the following phrases to be taken to their websites:
What is biodiversity?
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Biodiversity and Indigenous cultures