The Pipeline and the Paradigm – January 31, 2013

  I just signed off on the final corrections to the Pipeline and the Paradigm, and the manuscript is off to the printers!  What a great feeling – it will be out on April 23!  But as I read through the text (for the millionth time) I kept asking myself.  “What is the main thing I’m trying to say here?” 

In essence, I am saying that the new climate will not fit into our world; we are going to have to fit into it.  It will become our world.  The reasons we now give for doing things will not apply in the future on the global scale.  Changes will not be made because they are “good for the economy,” “create jobs,” or in the “national interest.”  Adapting to the new climate will be good for the economy – there will be new opportunities for investment and employment – but that is not the reason to do what must be done.  We will have to look beneath the reasons to the worldviews from which they proceed.  We will look at ourselves and at the world from an entirely new perspective – through the new ecologic paradigm.  We will see humanity as a whole in relation to nature. 

As the climate changes around us, it is the clash of the economic and ecologic paradigms that is producing such dread about the future, and such excitement.  From the economic standpoint, climate change is an inconvenience, an expense, and an intrusion into business as usual.  From the ecologic standpoint, climate change means a new awareness, a new commitment to the Earth, and a new global understanding of human life in relation to the Earth.  The Pipeline and the Paradigm is about the confrontation between these two paradigms as they manifest themselves in a particularly important issue: the Canadian tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline.  Stay tuned!

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