So finally, back to my blog. The Peoples Climate March, Flood Wall Street and the Mindfulness, Dharma and Climate Action Series have passed. Since then — from November ’til now — I’ve mostly been in retreat mode (practicing & teaching) Spirit Rock, Dharmagiri month-long, Insight Meditation Society. The inner work of transformation informs activism, just as Gandhi’s weekly silent day was critical support for taking on the British Empire. An Empire that seemed intractable, but which nether-the-less crumbled. The Petro-Corporate-Military Empire also seems intractable, but as the impact of global warming deepens — extreme winter storms in the NE of the USA, crippling drought in California — and as denial moves into the realms of the absurd; Florida Governor banning the term “climate change” (FL State University, with petition, have called for a full investigation into gag-rule on state workers and scientists), it is clear that our global paradigm is in fast forward change. Even though we face powerful forces of destruction, there is hope. Al Gore, who knows his science and politics, seems positive, and even in “home of oil Texas” there is some bright news:
A city in Texas – home to the “Gusher Age” of American oil – is aiming to become 100 per cent renewable within two years, after finalizing a deal with SunEdison to supply it with solar power for 25 years. Georgetown – population 54,000 – will take the output from the 150MW solar plant and another 144MW from a new wind farm to source its needs from renewables. The local utility saying it has turned to wind and solar because it is cheaper and more reliable, and requires a lot less water. The deal with SunEdison will provide electricity at a lower overall cost than the City of Georgetown’s previous wholesale power contracts – and will supply more than 9,500 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy to Georgetown rate payers through 2041, enough to power more than 24,000 homes a year for 25 years.
More about this later. For now, if you are in the Boston / New York area, do join Kittisaro and myself for a series of talks and workshops — focusing on Listening to the Heart and the relationship to Engaged Dharma in a World on Fire. Listening to the Heart, A Journey to Engaged Buddhism is our new book, which came out in November, and will be available for signing. Hope to see you there!