We live in complex times. The Earth, our common life-support system, is being heavily impacted by human-caused climate change—brought on by deforestation, factory farming, fossil fuel combustion and other destructive, life-negating practices. There is no question that these practices have “built” an economic order in the world. Many argue that this order is what makes life on Earth possible; thus, to abandon it would be to destabilize the world, courting full-scale collapse. We contend, however, that the status quo and continuity of the industrial growth society is what actually courts collapse—not only of the planet, but of the human spirit.
Environmental Activism and Education With Weaving Earth
The current global economic order, manifesting as capitalism in many regions, is based on a myth of infinite growth and expansion that is simply at odds with the limited and precious resources our environment offers. And capitalism is not the only culprit—it is any economic order that is based on the false notion that we can infinitely extract resources from the planet (trees, oil, coal, human labor, for example) to fuel growth. Our adherence to the industrial growth society is driving catastrophic changes to our world.
The changes to our climate are already impacting millions of people in significant ways, exacerbating social, political and economic tensions that have existed for generations. Thus, the ecological challenges we face are intimately intertwined with race, class, gender, war, resource scarcity and many other issues. In order to meet well what lies ahead, we must all become adept at addressing the intersections of the challenges we face—and working together. Within these challenges reside tremendous opportunities for relating to the Earth, each other and ourselves in ways that are far richer—in the truest, uneconomic sense of the word.
Environmental Education Through Weaving Earth Programs
It is from this recognition that our perspective on environmental activism and environmental education grows. Environmental activism is any action that recognizes and seeks to address how we as a species have fallen out of balance with the operating principles of nature. It is any action that aims to bring human beings back within the fold of creation, that challenges the false notion that we as a species are somehow apart from the rest of nature, or worse, that we have dominion over it. Rather than dominion, we have a responsibility to wisely protect the Earth, not just for ourselves, but for the benefit of all life.
Our approach to environmental education seeks to cultivate an embodied understanding of the interrelatedness and interdependence of all life. From this embodied understanding, we encourage people to find the right action for them to take in service to the whole—it might be rehabilitating damaged ecosystems, connecting young people to nature, dismantling systems of privilege, being cultural agents of change in corporate board rooms, or blockading the operations of fossil fuel companies. The point is that many approaches to environmental activism are needed—and everybody is required. Our greatest contribution as individuals lies at the intersection of our passions and the world’s greatest need, which at this moment in time is an all-hands-on-deck, diverse response to reclaiming our ecology and our connection to all life.