Saturday, 26 April 2008

A Quaker "Worship-storming" about Earthcare

The following ideas come from a session at the Quaker Earthcare Witness meeting in Chicago 26 Apr 2008. The query to which Friends were responding was, "If QEW had access to unlimited funds, what work or projects might you envision?"

Readers inside or outside QEW are welcome to add comments, or email me ideas (see how to do so, under the Towards a Moral Economy title) to add to this list. The principle of a brainstorm is that we refrain from criticizing each others' ideas or questioning how they can be put into practice.

- a QEW retreat center with cohousing, land, community garden and trees (we appreciate the beauty and convenience of the Cenacle Retreat)
- Bill Gates becomes a Quaker and builds Quaker eco-villages
- Quaker environmental youth pilgrimage to visit/build eco-villages
- gray heads at QEW are replaced by young Friends eager to create a new world
- a Quaker youth corps restoring parks locally, nationally, internationally
- every piece of open land preserved forever
- Quaker home-owner insurance, rates reduced by voluntary or community green jobs, like the Amish
- all trips under 10 miles by bicycle, by those with physical ability
- immediate voluntary commitments, like giving up cars
- using free Skype phone via computer for meetings instead of flying in carbon-spewing planes
- long distance rapid trains across the country
- family planning and health services provided for all who need/want them
- subsidies for alternative renewable energies, rather than pernicious subsidies for fossil and nuclear
- a giant QEW fund to subsidize Quaker renewable energy projects
- buy TV time (ad-busters) to advertize against the market
- houses of worship as centers and examples of urban agriculture
- a Quaker LEED certification program with rewards for compliance
- a campaign to destigmatize abortion
- every Meeting to adopt a voluntary one-child policy
- USA to adopt and support a one-child policy
- the top 5 issues in US presidential election reframed to show how they are all connected to the environment
- reverse the damage done by perverse US agricultural subsidies
- a worldwide Quaker earthcare statement, a spiritual grounding for earthcare
- collect the stories of Quakers and others of all faiths, to show what they are already doing to green their lives, sharing the knowledge worldwide
- food for the hungry here and in other countries
- green homes for the homeless
- prepare a welcome/relief for (inevitable) environmental refugees
- start city planning for coastal cities facing (inevitable) sea level rise
- practical support & information exchange for Quakers around the world to adapt to (inevitable) climate destabilization, finding local solutions
- international action to mitigate environmental damage (reducing greenhouse gases, saving species and habitat)
- experience the oneness with the Spirit, unity of creation, collectively know what we are to do where we live

from Robert Howell in New Zealand:
- my vision is that Quakers worldwide plan to
recognise the threats of climate change and related environmental degradation;
make the connection between the conditions and systems of ecology, economics and international governance;
assist 75% of Yearly Meetings by the end of 2009 to have in place steps they need to take to help Quakers in their region to mitigate and adapt to a deteriorating world (assume a 2 degrees C increase by 2030).
contact key individuals and organisations internationally and in North America, South America, Europe, Asia/Pacific, and Africa who have similar concerns to explore their interest in mutual action and collaboration.
By the end of April 2009
- have an agreement with key individuals and organisations on an action plan that
identifies what are the essential changes needed to mitigate and adapt to the threats of climate change and related environmental degradation, including changes to the international economy and governance systems;
what needs to be done to achieve the plan;
how the plan is to be achieved.

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