Our delegation is now complete with the arrival of Sister Jayanti last night and Patricia Itergurri, from Peru arriving mid-morning. We also had an arrival and departure from our local centers, Raquel from Mexico City who departed and Rossy Rea who arrived from Tijuana (close to the USA boarder). After holding a meeting to brief Sister Jayanti and share news with each other from the previous day's activities, most of us set off for the day.
Cancun Masse (UN Exhibition and Side Events)
Interview at the Climate Change Studio. In order to channel the dynamic and engaging views of participants of COP16, the secretariat of UNFCCC has continued the "Climate Change Studio" (which was also present in Copenhagen last year and interviewed Sister Jayanti). Climate Change TV is a platform that provides the opportunity to be interviewed by a professional journalist on actions, solutions, observations and issues that impact climate change. Joachim Golo Pilz was interviewed by a British journalist.
Golo has played a major role in making the Brahma Kumaris (BKs) one of the largest users of alternative energy in India. He has, together with German organizations, installed solar energy systems for steam generation and power supply in the BK world headquarters in the remote mountains of Rajasthan and in the BK centers all over India.
Presently he is working on designing a 1mw solar power plant. After initial questions about the use of solar energy the subject turned to spirituality and how a change in consciousness affects climate change. Golo emphasized the connection between the inner state of mind and the external condition of the world, saying that there is a strong relationship. First, man has to improve his consciousness and awareness and only then can it have a lasting impact.
Asked for his personal experiences on how spirituality helped him in his work with solar energy. He emphasized that spirituality had helped him to develop patience and dedication and not allow him to loose focus of the projects under adverse circumstances. Golo then shared his personal view that meditation helped a lot in his having success in his solar projects. After the interview Golo was asked many follow-up questions by bystanders including a reporter from a Chinese TV station who asked him to be interviewed on live TV on Thursday morning.
By the evening Sister Jayanti had registered and was visiting the various locations of the conference. Shortly afterwards the Brahma Kumaris held a joint side event with Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) in a large meeting room near the country pavilions.
The theme again was the Inner Dimensions of Climate Change. A panel of spiritual and religious leaders of which Sister Jayanti is a part, discussed the understanding that the environmental crisis is a moral and spiritual crisis and explored ways to shift the consciousness needed to change behaviors and lifestyles that reduce the waste and degradation that modern life entails.
Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, spoke of a deeply spiritual crisis in which we have become so separate from each other that we no longer relate to each other as being part of the whole. We have forgotten what it means to be unified. "Everything relates to every thing, and everything relates to everyone" she said. The greatest call for people of faith is unity. We need to care beyond ourselves, beyond our families, beyond our professions, beyond our politics, beyond our nation, beyond what separates us. We have lost the capacity to care for what is beyond us.
Sister Jayanti. We have separated our selves from the living system of nature. We exploit everything for our own purposes and have forgotten that we are part of the living system of life.
The power of thought, which is also a living system, has a huge impact on mater. The human mind and vibrations created from thoughts influence everything on the physical level. We have lost contact with the core qualities inside each of us; our real treasures of peace, happiness, simplicity, love and care which create a naturally sustainable world. The attitude and vision of the world that arise from these qualities are being lost, because we have forgotten who we are – spiritual beings filled with these qualities When we lose ourselves in this way, greed arrives to acquire physical things to fill this huge gap we feel inside and we lose the capacity to care for each other, nature, and the animal kingdom.
Ven. Chang Ji Dharma Drum, Buddhist: Our lives are moving so fast that we only do what we must and not what we should. We are experiencing the collective destiny of what we have created. We need to think about what we are doing – right now. Be present and aware of what is happening. Think about what we are doing – live a sustainable life and be Mindful.
Mr. Richard Cizik, founder of New Evangelicals USA. Believes this is a defining moment. Our vision needs to move from human centered to cosmic centered. We need to change from 'Take, Make and Waste' to 'Borrow, Use and Return'. A vision of sustainability is heavenly. Religion and science need to come together because religion is the 'why' and science is the 'how'. We need to care more deeply and act more boldly. The defining moment needs to be our best moment and we need a conversion of the habits of the heart.
Sraddhalu Ranade, Scientist, Teacher at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India. Everything is in a grid-lock of human policies and practices. This is a fundamental crisis of spirituality, a consciousness crisis and there are six errors that have lead us to this crisis.
- Self interest. Self interest is fine but it needs to expand to include everything.
- Lifestyle – Increasing greed and unlimited desires have led us to this crisis. We have to learn to be satisfied with what we have. We need to recover our spiritual values.
- Short term vision. We need to look at the long-term vision of quality of life and sustainable living.
- We have forgotten that we are part of nature
- We have lost the sense of who we are – we have been taught that we are a biological structure, but first of all we are spiritual beings
- Why we are here. We are not here by chance but as spiritual beings we have a purpose.
Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Nun and renowned author asked: Where do we get our ideas from and how do we change them? She suggested that we are not at the point of seeing differently, we are not at the point of seeing at all! We are not just separated from nature or distinct from nature but we exploit it. We need to come into relationship with nature and not dominate it. The creation story which we are taught in the Judo Christian tradition is one of dominance over matter but there is the other creations story which shows us to be in relationship with matter and so the quality of caring is present in that relationship.
Finally, after questions from the audience, the panel agreed that they had all learnt from each others perspectives and that they need to come together to learn how to join together to speak about how to get this message out to the world.
BK Renaud Russeil from France gave his presentation of 'Livestocks Long Shadow', speaking about the impact of the meat industry on the environment. He included some facts that the small audience didn't have any idea about, for example: breeding livestock (not processing the meat, only breeding) is the second largest industry to produce greenhouse gases – 18 % of them. The largest producer is the home, and third is transport which produces 13.5 %. 1 kg meat produces 36,4 kg CO2.
Our day at KlimaForum again finished with the circular dance, which is by far the most popular activity with the young people who inhabit this forum.