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Peace on Earth requires peace with Earth -- A vision for returning democracy to the people.

Copyright 2003 by Dave Ewoldt

(ok, I guess it's more of a semi-rambling rant than a statement... anyway...)

My prime passion includes helping people learn how to enjoy life, and learn how to lead enjoyable lives. To do this we need to have a healthy planet and healthy communities to live in. We need sustainable lifestyles so we have a liveable and life sustaining planet to pass on to future generations. We need to learn how to live in peace with ourselves and our neighbors -- across the street and across the oceans.

Don't I think we currently have a high quality of life and an ecstatically happy population in the USA? In a word -- NO. When 60-80% of the American population need pain relievers, stress reducers, anti-depressants, alcohol and/or other recreational drugs, or regular therapy or counseling in order to make it through their day, or to supposedly be able to enjoy a part of their day, I think something is very seriously wrong. When the majority of the planet's wealth is concentrated in a very tiny minority, and when the planet's resources are exploited and squandered in the pursuit of profits without regard to anything else, I think something is very seriously wrong. When the American government spends as much money on one ICBM as it would take to build 227 schools, I think our value system is seriously out of balance.

The key to global transformations in the personal, social, environmental, economic, and other realms is not a simple matter of right or wrong actions, but a matter of building right relationships. And, because our relationship with our planet is primary, all healthy relationships grow and are sustained by strengthening this primary and fundamental bond humans have with the natural world. Therefore, as part of my overarching purpose, my life's passion, I want to do whatever I can to keep the Earth from suffering further damage and harm, and to help catalyze efforts to reverse these trends. That is why, in addition to its political and societal components, the coalition I've founded has a natural affinity with, and support for, the peace movement and the environmental movement--because peace on earth requires peace with earth.

People attracted to this coalition share a common struggle for the ideals of peace, justice, and freedom. There are many common strands that bind us together, many connections and attractions between us that revolve around these three ideals. This is how we are in solidarity with one another. We also share the realization that a clean and healthy environment is necessary to sustain us in our common struggles-because the greed that abuses and exploits humans is the same mindset that abuses and exploits the Earth. Looking at Nature as "other," as separate, is exactly the same as how the dominator culture gets us to look at each other as "other," -- as separate. Conditioning us to this mindset is how they try to make us think that we have nothing in common, when, in reality, we have almost everything in common--especially the need to democratically take back our lives and our spirits. To be able to raise our children free from fear. To educate our brothers and sisters. To be able to grow ourselves, to become fully self-aware and to creatively express ourselves along our paths to wholeness and integrity.

How can our planet be both an endless supply of resources as well as a bottomless pit for waste products? How can growth be truly limitless if we limit the definition of growth to material goods? If human desire is truly infinite, it is impossible for material wealth to ever deliver complete fulfillment. US economic policy based on GDP ignores the former two questions and the latter fact. Even more dangerously and at odds with humanity's best interests, GDP includes in its measure of growth any spending that occurs due to disasters, accidents, and decreases in both mental and physical health. This is what allows our current administration to say with a staight face that reducing emissions, cleaning up the environment, or ratifying the Kyoto Protocol is bad for the economy. Decreasing risk and increasing health is bad for the GDP. Saving, sustainability, and simplicity are bad for the economy. Reducing, reusing, and recycling are bad for an economy based on excessive and mindless consumption.

I invite you to please join me in helping affect the shift in consciousness necessary to restore ecological health to our planet, to ensure a sustainable world, and to build a peaceful and just society with a population that supports each individual's creative growth in mutually enhancing fulfillment. Instead of continuing to embrace a psychotic dissociative split from Nature that leads to addictive lifestyles that destroy our very life support system (a very good definition of insanity, don't you think?) as well as our own enjoyment of life, let's redefine sanity as if the whole Earth matters.

The Green Party, whose ten key values reflect the ideals of this coalition, tends to still be seen within the mainstream as being a group of environmental activists who are more concerned with trees and dolphins than healthy communities and well funded schools. Further, most people don't consider themselves activists, nor do they necessarily want to be.

In order to reach a broader base of everyday people, I am tying the comprehensive, non-threatening Earth Charter document into my political outreach efforts. What the EC presents makes sense to a lot of folks, from all walks of life and political persuasions. For those that still aren't too sure about the appeal of the Coaliton, I use the general precepts of ecopsychology to introduce the interconnected nature of reality, and then use the NSTP as a tool for them to actually experience this. When people then realize that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are in line with this type of thinking, I introduce the Green Party as the only federally recognized political party that upholds these values, and show how these values are all dependent on a healthy environment and strong and healthy relationships with others and with Nature.

When people get the opportunity to reconnect all of their natural senses to their source in Nature, "Peace on Earth requires peace with Earth" becomes a statement people can identify with at both an intellectual and an emotional level, and it becomes something they themselves want to work on achieving. And people begin to realize they can do this without chaining themselves to trees or ramming whaling boats.

On the latter point, and this also goes along with public outreach, it seems the best way for me and this coalition to talk about the Green Party is to state how it supports progressive goals in harmony with the Ten Key Values. This coalition is not just about electoral politics, although we need a broad-base change in the political structure of this country to make real and lasting changes in the quality of life on earth. This coalition is mainly about co-creating lifestyles and a society that are based on mutually enhancing and sustainable relationships that fully respect diversity and equality.

Finally, here is how I see the four main groups of the coaltion, or how I delineate the spheres of influence within the common core set of shared values, even though this is somewhat hard to do because so much overlap occurs.

  • Cultural Creatives -- progressive social change agents; individuals and the sustainable lifestyles they wish to create, who need outreach amongst themselves for creating comradeship and for overcoming personal isolation.
  • Green Party -- progressive politics; where we can all make a difference at the ballot box.
  • Earth Charter -- a guiding document and a declaration of interdependence; providing guidance on environmental, social, and globalization issues for planning and development at the local, regional, and international levels.
  • Natural Systems Thinking Process -- ecopsychology and spiritual ecology through ecotherapy and ecoeducation; healing, transformation and growth, for helping to affect and support the shift in consciousness necessary.

I am scientifically and spiritually pragmatic as I seek to organize this coalition to promote policy development, encourage open debate, and ensure accessible education about these issues at the national level. These goals, however, will be best accomplished through a grass-roots implementation with the physical outreach taking place at the local level.

So let's get busy. There's work to be done, and play to enjoy.

For the Earth...
_dave_(there are many paths to the one way)



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