Married with two sons, I've spent most of my professional life working for a not-for-profit organization working for peace and reconciliation. Like any parent I think about the state of the planet we will be handing to our children and we try to do the best for our kids in terms of healthy, conscious that we often swimming against the tide of consumerism and video screen addiction.
This blog started out as a place to share our discoveries about health issues, from a holistic perspective, but will occasionaly step onto broader issues.
In case you are wondering about my Nickname, I am a fan of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber who was really concerned about relationships of all kinds - as am I.
This is a video interview with Tom Duncan, Co-Director of the Environment and Economy Group of Initiatives of Change. It was shot during the Caux Forum for Human Security, July 2011.
Tom explains the story of his own background in environmental activism and what drew him to Initiatives of Change. He also talks about the origins of the Environment and Economy working group during the 2009 Caux Forum for Human Security.
Guest post by Rishab Khanna from the Indian Youth Climate Action Network, and part of the IofC team in Cancun
Sitting here in the Space shuttle of the Cancun Messe, far away from the negotiations in the Moon Palace, I wanted to share my first impressions of my interaction with the Indian Environment Minster Jai Ram Ramesh.
Well here I am just started to type in some words, and being attacked by a giant butterfly :). Jai Ram did not waste any time in getting to the point, he said that in the last 15 months, India’s strategy with regards to climate change has been a function of three factors:
a) Indian Economic Interest
b) Domestic Environment agenda
c) Global diplomacy, repositioning India for the UN security council
Today one of the biggest global campaigns in history launches a new phase – the 10/10/10 global work party. During 2009, in the run-up to the Copenhagen conference on climate change, COP15, the 350.org campaign organised the ‘most widespead day of political action’ on Saturday 24 October when 5,245 separate actions took place across 181 countries all calling for a commitment to a target of 350 parts per million (ppm) carbon dioxide (CO2) in the earth’s atmosphere. Present levels are above 385 ppm and rising. Continue reading →
Well, COP 15 is over, and along with the turkey and Christmas pudding we’ve had time to digest what it all means. This is my own take, having read a lot of different views. I have posted this on the IofC global website, along with a report from Jennifer Helgeson of her reflections from Copenhagen.
Following on from previous posts with the contributions of Martin Frick and Mary Evelyn Tucker at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, here is the third speaker in that session – Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision, Australia. Tim is a very well-known and much loved figure in Australia, a former Baptist pastor and long-term campaigner for social justice issues. He is also the brother of former Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Peter Costello. Again, thanks go to film maker Ashley Young for these videos. Continue reading →
Over 4 billion people claim allegiance to religious communities of one form or another, which is why the recent Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne was so important. Here is a statement on climate change which emerged from that gathering, read by Bishop Geoffrey Davies from the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute. It endorses a target of 350ppm and recognizes the principles of climate justice. Special thanks to Tom Duncan and Ashley Young for this film.
Martin Frick, Director of the Global Humanitarian Forum (set up by Kofi Annan) came to the Parliament of the World’s Religions because, he said, ‘it is the world’s largest gathering of grass-roots organizations’. He was the opening presenter on a panel on ‘The Human Face of Climate Change’, speaking alongside Mary Evelyn Tucker from the Religion and Ecology unit at Yale University (and a leading force in the Earth Charter movement) and Australia’s Tim Costello.
Here is Martin speaking about the outcomes he is hoping for from Copenhagen, followed by his presentation at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Thanks again to film-maker Ashley Young.
Presentation to the Parliament of the World’s Religions – part 1
Presentation to the Parliament of the World’s Religions – part 2
Presentation to the Parliament of the World’s Religions – part 3
One thing is very clear: – the people who will suffer the most from climate change are the world’s poorest, who have contributed least to the problems.
Professor Dr. M. Din Syamsuddin is President of Muhammadiyah, which at 30 million members is one of the world’s largest Muslim organisations. Protecting Indonesia’s ancient rain-forest will be an important component of any deal to limit global warming. This is what he has to say to the people meeting in Copenhagen (with thanks again to film-maker Ashley Young)
I am also adding an interview with Visier Sanyu from Nagaland. Visier, who lives in Melbourne, is President of the Naga Overseas Association. The Nagas are an indigenous tribal people who live in North-East India and Western Burma.
This wonderful short film by Ashley Young gives a flavour of the extraordinary week that has been the Parliament of the World’s Religions. There were many personal messages and prayers for the Copenhagen summit which delegates wrote on a 50 metre scroll (covering both sides) which will be delivered to the summit. This film also includes a message from the Right Reverend Dr Peter Hollingworth, former Governor General of Australia.