“As you prepare to come to the Paris Summit in December, we would like to ask you to think about your personal role, and answer a simple, but profound, question: Why do I care?”
Organised by Nicolas Hulot, special envoy for the French President for the protection of the planet, the letter asks each delegation member to think about what a greenhouse gas slashing pact will mean for themselves. “Your response might be very personal – the influence of a parent, child or grandparent; the influence of culture or personal beliefs; the influence of a transformative experience of the wonder and beauty of nature; a crisis in your life which brought you back to core values,” the letter continues. “In our contemporary world it is very rare that we are asked to talk about what lies at the heart of our actions. Instead we hide behind statistics, data, policy statements etc, few of which actually touch other people’s hearts and minds.”
I am struck by the brilliant simplicity of this question and thought I would spend some time with it. What follows is Round One.
I care about the release of our human sense of primacy and entitlement. I care about us as humans growing our capacity to know our appropriate place within the earth community. I care about our awakening to the interdependence of the human and non-human world. I care about our awakening to the sacredness of this world, this universe. I care about our awakening to the intimate connection between human health and well being and ecological health and well being. I care about the entanglement of biodiversity and human diversity. I care about the entanglement of ecological justice and human social justice. I care deeply and desperately about this earth. I care about the unfailing generosity of earth, water, air, and fire. I care that earth, water, plants, trees, creatures love me and us. I care that we have so circumscribed what it means to be intelligent and conscious beings that we cannot conceive of the consciousness or cognitive ability of non-human species. I care about elemental and sacramental ritual which engages the whole earth community. I care about the concept of a decentralized soul.
I am hoping that you do this with me, and post your thoughts in the comment section below.