What are some of the roots of the climate and multiple crises we face? A Tree Analysis

Michele Maynard

Most of us experience life at the level of the crown (leaves and upper branches) of the tree.


Leaves: Increased water scarcity, desertification; increased food prices and hunger; climate chaos and forced migrations; growing unemployment rates with very few opportunities for youth; increased land grabbing and violence against women and girls; increased health risks; energy poverty; financial meltdown; austerity in social protection spending by governments resulting in social upheaval; loss of livestock and livelihood, mass species extinction; civilization and systems collapse.

Upper Branches: Communal/global struggles and sector wide direct actions  (struggles against oil, coal and gas (fracking) conglomerates; no REDD, no biofuels, no carbon trading, no geoengineering, against synthetic biology; struggles against water privatization; against financialization of ecosystem services through green economy; a just transition for labor and green climate jobs; removing of intellectual property rights, against free trade agreements; against austerity social spending cuts; climate justice tribunals; adaptation, loss and damage;  recent movements occupy wall street, indignados, VIA22, idlenomore, forwardonclimate, globalsquare, and many more). All of these struggles are connected to a larger system.

Trunk: This is the Military_Corporate_Capitalist_Industrial_Growth_System

We also have many excellent initiatives aimed at structural/systems change (food and energy sovereignty; localization of food, energy, infrastructure, health; recognizing rights of nature; alternative currency and measurement instruments to GDP growth paradigm; divestment from fossil fuels; carbon tax; eco-villages; etc.). This military_corporate_capitalist_industrial_growth_system has been growing more oppressive and exploitative to both nature and humans (especially women) because of the very powerful root system.

Roots: Separation or dualistic thinking of human beings from nature, self and the world, spirit and matter, mind and body, conscious and unconscious, personal and transpersonal, sacred and secular, intellect and soul, science and humanities, science and religion. Some of the initiatives working at this level include work on the Earth Charter, Rights of Nature/Mother Earth and Journey of the Universe

A closer look at the primary tap root – science and religion dualism



This analysis is by no means exhaustive but it helps us to see some of the inter connections as well as some underlying roots. If we are to successfully deal with the climate and multiple crises we face we will need to address them from multiple levels that include direct actions, campaigns aimed at system/structural change as well as corresponding changes in collective consciousness


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