Thursday, August 28, 2014

We Need a Shift in Context

Climate Change – A Matter of Context
by Laughlin Artz

What will get us out of this mess is the same thing that got us into it – action.  Not just any action, but a new kind of action, an entirely different order of action that comes from a new kind of thinking.  As Einstein said:      

             “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of
              thinking we used when we created them.” 

We need action that isn’t just more, better and different versions of what we’ve done before, but action that is bold, radical and produces results not possible in the current landscape.

The current climate situation is the direct result of actions taken and not taken.  And our success or failure in effectively mitigating that situation will also be a direct result of actions taken and not taken.

To effectively get at the whole matter of action, we need to examine what determines action.  Not what explains it or justifies it, but what actually determines it. 

What determines action?  Facts?  No.  Otherwise when 20 people are presented with the same facts, you would get 20 people taking the same actions.  Knowledge?  No.  It is common knowledge that to lose weight, one needs to eat less and exercise more.  Yet that knowledge does not predictably translate into the actions of eating less and exercising.  In fact, when you test out much of what is believed, assumed or theorized to be what determines action, it doesn’t hold up in the real time moments of “what is happening” when people are taking action.

Consider that what determines action is not the “situation” itself (the facts, the “what is happening” in the moment), but rather “how the situation is there, how it shows itself).  And if you alter how the situation is “there” for someone, his or her actions alter accordingly. 

For example, when the situation of Climate Change is “there” for someone as “a hoax” the actions that person takes will be completely correlated to that “how it is there for them,” which will be the action of taking no action.    

Given that what will make the difference in the matter of Climate Change is ensuring that the right actions are taken at the right times to produce the right results and that action is correlated to how the situation called climate change is “there” for people, then the question becomes: 
“How do we get Climate Change to “be there” for people such that the correlated actions of that “how it’s there for them” are the actions that mitigate the situation?”

What determines how a situation is “there” for people, and correspondingly the actions they take or don’t take, is not the facts but rather the context in which the facts exist.

Context gives/shapes the way the situation “is there” for people, and therefore is the key determining factor in the matter of people’s actions.  People’s actions are determined not by the situation itself, but by how the situation “is there” for them.  And what determines how it’s there for them is context.  Calling people to effective action is the power of context.

We need a Shift in Context.  If we as a global community are to be successful in mitigating the predictably catastrophic future of Climate Change, a shift in context is requiredNot just important, but required.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Upcoming Episode 9

Stay tuned for Episode 9 - our investigation into the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson.  To get the heart of the situation, not just in the matter of the incident itself, but as importantly, the ensuing riots.  Of the 318 law enforcement-related fatalities in the US in 2013, and the other 57 similar deaths in August 2014, what is it about the Michael Brown shooting that resulted in riots?  Watch September 1.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our Environment, Our Well Being

Our Environment, Our Well Being
by Laughlin Artz

If you don’t have a vital, healthy, sustainable environment in which to dwell, nothing else really matters.

That goes for both your planet and your body.  I campaign on these issues in tandem.  They are intrinsically connected and as such, hitting them as distinct yet mirrored entities will maximize the power we can gain in both arenas. 

You see, there is a direct connection between our relationship to the well-being of the planet and our relationship to the well-being of our bodies.  Beat the crap out of it, fill it with junk food and poisons over long periods of time, poo-poo advice to alter detrimental behavior, and then finally – only when our bodies/planet start to break down and revolt – only then do we begrudgingly attend to it. 
And even then only long enough to arrest the immediate crisis, which once abated, we go back to doing whatever we can get away with.
Now let’s consider what might be the context of all this.  The whole arena of well-being – our own and that of the environment – is viewed as feminine, “girly,” not manly, not macho, and for sure not the rough and tumble invincibility that we so proudly, as Americans, claim to be.  Even the language is crafted within that construct.  We name our planet Mother Earth and we frame our tending to our personal heath in the context of “care,” a traditionally feminine trait.  Environmentalists are themselves characterized in this same vein of feminized ridicule as “tree-huggers.” 
This should in no way to be construed as any agreement with, or validation of, these historic and misogynistic perspectives of women as the “weaker” sex.  This is simply an investigation into the condition.  The fact is that men run the vast majority of nations, and as such, much of the current polices and behaviors in the arena of well-being are born of these antiquated “masculine” views.  Me Tarzan. You Body/Earth.
The planet, our celestial body, and the bodies we inhabit are viewed as “ours”; they exist separate from ourselves, we own them, they work for us, they exist for our own use and pleasure.  Even the notion that we can “own” property, that we can actually make claim to a piece of Earth, all comes from the perspective that the planet is ours to have our way with, to do with what we will.  Earth is our bitch.
Capitalism gives us economics as the context through which to view and interact with the planet.   Given that the game of capitalism is growth, growth, growth, it pits our thinking and actions in direct violation of the natural order of life, which exists in a context of balance, wholeness, interconnectedness, and oneness
The capitalists are constantly scheming for how to increase profit, market share and the like.  Any talk of limitation on that pursuit is viewed as constrictive – an attack on the very nature of the game.
The earth is a limited resource, a finely crafted ecosystem that exists and flourishes in a natural condition of balance.  Everything on the planet came into existence in relation to everything else, and to not have an awareness of and operate consistent with that condition of balance is to violate the natural order and systematically extinguish the life force, which is what gives us all life.  We must move the environment into its own context and begin to remodel our economic models to co-exist within that natural balance.
The planet’s health is our health. 

We are the planet, and the planet is us.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Episode 8 - The Middle East

Getting ready to release Episode 8, which examines the situation in the Middle East.  It is an important piece, and we invite you to watch and share it.