I used to have two lists: 1) the greatest threats to the human species and 2) fundamental human rights. Now I’m moving towards one list that somewhat combines them an “Agenda for the Human Age.” It’s still a work in progress. (Yes I know, dreaming the impossible dream.)
- Educate and nurture our young. Most of them live in places in the world that are not privileged. First they need the basics: food, shelter, and encouragement. Then they need the kind of education that will enable them to invent a whole new world. Accept we won’t agree on what that means and allow diversity.
- Secure clean energy and open infrastructure. Progress in medicine and technology and transportation and communication and production demands more energy not less. Thriving for the vulnerable creatures we are depends on it. And it can’t be the kind that destroys the environment or is only available to the rich or requires us to all go back to the farm. This means nuclear energy.
- Demand and support reasonable Rule of Law. Allowing the richest or the strongest or the most popular to rule has proven not to work. Stability and thriving come from caring for the least among us along with appropriately rewarding contributors who create value for others. Stop hijacking the law out of greed and fear.
- Build beneficial networks. We live in a global society. We can’t go back and redo colonialism and we can’t just pretend we can get along without each other. A fair exchange of labor and materials and knowledge needs to be encouraged. What’s happening “over there” rarely stays “over there.”
- Encourage and support Research and Development. In all areas: medical, engineering, social sciences, arts. The microbes are winning. We can do better.
- Learn to be honest and heal. The world is pretending that we are not crumbling under the weight of trauma and addictions. Somehow we have to make it safe and hopeful for people to deal with their pain. Whether they are perpetrators or victims. There is no healing if we don’t heal the perpetrators, we can’t afford to just lock “them” away permanently. Some are damaged beyond repair, but we should still deal with them humanely, or we become them.
- Stop being cowards, respect others, and learn to depend on each other. Stop being mean out of fear. Learn to trust process. Recognize not everyone has the same perspective. Learn ways to negotiate the messy complex respect it will take for us to remain human. Our option is extinction.
1) I started in fear: What is the biggest threat to humanity right now? A big nuclear accident we can’t clean up because a) we can’t cooperate on a global level b) we’ve choked the nuclear industry to the point there aren’t enough skilled workers, robots, or engineers to battle the situation c) we are so malicious that the industry can’t operate transparently
2) I got educated: Worldwide we subsidize fossil fuels $500billion per year. We aren’t taking care of research to secure Chernobyl permanently. There are 435 nuclear plants operating worldwide (only 7% are in the USA), 71 are under construction (mostly in China). It could cost $3Billion to shutter San Onofre – and it’s unclear who will pay. Without power the poor will have a hard time thriving. According to the WHO 7 million people died from air pollution in 2012. Nuclear plants are essential to our carbon reduction goals. All our power systems (including our grids) are dangerously aging. Our security, health, and economy depend on reliable power. There is more to be discovered- an example is nuclear fusion- a minimal waste process. Toxic waste already exists and it’s not going to just “go away”- we need to persist until we can clean it up. I am still learning.
3) I ended up excited: We are converting nuclear warheads into power instead of just burying them! We can research ways to convert our nuclear waste into clean energy! Nuclear power is reliable- it doesn’t shut down just when you need it in the extreme heat or cold! Rivers can be saved from new destructive dams!
GLOBAL PRIORITIES ARE MISSING THE MARK
In a previous blog on May 21, 2008 I posted the following list as “Threats to Our Species”:
In light of comments I am re-posting the list. It is not so much that a nuclear emergency might occur that is the threat, but that we have failed to form as a global community to apply ourselves to these threats in a meaningful cooperative way. (Chernobyl’s solution was temporary, because they assumed we would develop a permanent solution by now. We haven’t and it isn’t a priority on the global agenda.)
1) Lack of ability to respond to a nuclear emergency
3) Inability to heal from emotional trauma
4) Addictions including consumerism
6) Failure to nurture and educate our young
7) Lack of wisdom to discern the truth
Ten Years since the Darfuri People Were Exiled
John and Kathleen Goldingay invite you to join in a fast for Darfur, to back up prayer for its people. We want to make a clamor that heaven cannot miss in urging God to take action to end the wrong done to this people. The fast will involve eating only what the refugees eat, for 24 hours each week, and praying.
You can find info on the typical Darfur rations and on the official fast at http://www.iactivism.org/100-day-fast-darfur. For ourselves we are making it a fast associated with prayer for Darfur. The heart of the prayer will be praying the Old Testament prayers in Lamentations and Psalms on behalf of the Darfuri people.
We’ll begin the fast on the evening of Thursday April 11 at 6 p.m. At the end of that 24-hour period, at 6 p.m. on Friday April 12, we’ll have a half-hour meeting for prayer at which we’ll begin reading Lamentations . The meeting will be at St Barnabas Church, 1062 North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA (the church parking lot is at the back, entered from the alley).
John and Kathleen will follow this pattern in their own life each subsequent Thursday/Friday. We won’t meet with people each week, but it will be great if you are able to join us in fasting and prayer at a distance. We’ll continue until July 4-5th (you may adapt things for Independence-tide!).
As these weeks draw to an end, we invite people to a celebratory breaking of the fast with a barbecue on the evening of Friday July 5th at 6 p.m., at our house. (We’re beginning a week later than the official fast and stopping a week before it ends.) There’s no need to say that you are coming or not coming for the initial evening—just show up. But if you’re coming for the break-fast, let us know!
Here are the prayers for each week. Of course they don’t exactly fit the circumstances of the Darfuri people. For instance, some speak of sin, when the plight of the Darfuri issues from the sin of others not from their own sin. So those elements in the prayers we could use to acknowledge our sin as nations who have let this event happen and let the situation persist.
April 12 Lamentations 1
April 19 Lamentations 2
April 26 Lamentations 3
May 3 Lamentations 4
May 10 Lamentations 5
May 17 Psalms 3 and 4
May 24 Psalms 5 and 6
May 31 Psalms 9 and 10
June 7 Psalms 12 and 13
June 14 Psalms 16 and 17
June 21 Psalms 22 and 23
June 28 Psalms 25 and 26
July 5 Psalms 27 and 28
John Goldingay and Kathleen Scott Goldingay
Mix 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, .5 tsp baking soda, scant .75 tsp salt, .25 cup sugar, 2.5 tbsp buttermilk powder if available.
Cut in gently with fingers 5 tbsp butter
Add 1 cup raisins
Add 1 beaten egg, .6 cup water (or buttermilk or milk if you have no buttermilk powder)
Mix with a fork, gather till it no longer crumbles, pat out flat, divide into about eight scones, dab with milk (so that they will brown)
Lightly grease a baking tray
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or a bit more until lightly browned
When cool, slice
Faux Devonshire Cream:
Fold 2oz whipped Mexican cream (or whipped cream) into 4oz of mascarpone (or cream cheese) and add 1 tbsp sugar (or a bit more)
Or mix 6 oz whipped cream cheese (or a softened block), .5 cup sour cream, 1 tbsp sugar or more.
Put a generous coating of jam (e.g., apricot-pineapple) on the scone, then add a blob of cream
Never underestimate the urgency of darkness to come after the light. When the light shines on you, watch your back.
Joe Cocker inhabits the song; builds us a passionate world that wouldn’t exist without him. (At the Greek in LA last night).
Dylan and Simon sing into us a vision of our past, present, and future.
Sometimes it takes music to reach that part of you that needs a good cry. Sing it Aretha, Natalie, Whitney, Donna, Sheryl, Norah, Cher, Sarah, and Tierney.
Life is a mysterious beautiful paradox.