Under a massive and slowly spinning earthen globe in the SSE Hydro in Glasgow Scotland, I joined a meditation circle of 12 people led by two monks from Plum Village Monastery in France. The Monastery, founded by Thich Nhat Han, has become a spiritual lifeline for several of the leaders of CoP26. This makes sense when you consider the stakes of the event well named as the “last best chance” to get it right. The event is a dizzying mix of diplomacy, dance cards, and dinners. Each day, bold pledges and angry protests are captured by the massive media corps.
Just today, a $130 trillion climate finance plan was introduce by former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney that received tepid response. Down the hall Greta Thunberg questioned the value of carbon offsets. It’s a place where systems dynamics such as path dependencies, tipping points, paradoxes and emergence are forming into black swans right above your head.
This is also a clarion call for Blue Marble Evaluation. We are morning into terra incognito and it will require adaptive learning in response to a rapidly changing climate. We need to better see the systems we are living within. We need to understand and see our governance structures and become “athletic” running up and down scales to better understand how decisions are and will be made from the hyper local to the global. We need to see how the pledges for methane and reforestation, net zero and carbon pricing all come together. We need to learn how to live up to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and practice free, prior and informed consent to walk better together as allies into the coming storm.
This is a Blue Marble moment and requires a far deeper spiritual dimension, one that demands slowing down, ethical intelligence and far less ego. This is a Blue Marble moment that requires presence and perspective and learning by doing. Alice Walker captures the essence of this moment in “We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness when she writes,
Existence, we are now learning, is not finished! It is a happiness that comes from honoring the peace or the possibility of peace that lives within one’s own heart. A deep knowing that we are the Earth—our separation from Earth perhaps our greatest illusion—and that we stand, with gratitude and love, by our planetary Self.
I look forward to bold statements coming out each day from CoP 26 and encourage all those in the Blue Marble global network to be ready to help in the adaptive learning that is needed to navigate the Anthropocene.