Climate Trauma, Reconciliation & Recovery: Book & Public Address

As I finalized my magnum opus, my Gaian Manifesto, and made it freely available online, I was invited by Douglass Goodstein, Associate Director of the Sustainability Institute at Penn State University, to present the results of my decade-long inquiry into the psychology of the Climate Crisis. I took about 40 minutes to tell my story, explain its relevance to the crisis, and propose a solution to our collective climate trauma. Then my long-time friend and collaborator, J. Dallas Gudgell, joined us for a panel discussion. You can watch this for yourself here:

Becoming Indigenous to Earth: Enlisting Gaia as our Ally in the Climate Crisis

That’s the short of it. The long of it is the book itself, which is a synthesis of my research, writing and thinking over the last decade on the related topics of planetary hospice, cultural and climate trauma, climate grief, Gaian awareness, quantum social change, shared responsibility for climate solutions, and holistic indigeneity. You can begin reading here:

Climate Trauma, Reconciliation & Recovery


I’ve been requested to set forth the core values of holistic indigeneity in list form, for ease of reference. Here they are:

  1. RADICAL HUMILITY: We have to begin by admitting we were wrong, especially about Indigenous peoples and our ability to control nature and the basic powers of the universe.
  2. SHARED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CLIMATE: Instead of blaming corporations and asking government to save us from the consequences of the way we live in the world, we need to actually take responsibility for the way we live in the world, focusing on what we are not doing for the future rather than dwelling on what others have done in the past.
  3. RECIPROCITY ~ this is an attitudinal shift grounded in gratitude and acknowledgement of interdependence.
  4. SIMPLICITY ~ a complement to reciprocity by which we take only what we need, and leave the rest.
  5. HOLISM ~ this is an integral worldview grounded in Gaia theory, ecology, quantum physics, and our organismic relationship to Earth.
  6. ANIMACY ~ borrowing from Robyn Wall-Kimmerer, this linguistic orientation follows from holism, and grants being-ness to what we have up till now objectified as living ‘things.’ 
  7. RELATIONAL ORIENTATION ~ the takeaway from quantum physics is that there ARE no things in the world, there are only relations, and thus we must stop objectifying every living thing and nature herself. 
  8. BIOPHILIA ~ a love of life and the living world which supports a more symbiotic relationship between humans and Gaia, and includes such initiatives as promoting alliances with keystone species in the restoration of degraded ecosystems.
  9. And finally, ENTHEO-GENEITY ~ the recognition, based upon Indigenous wisdom and personal experience, that certain plants connect us with Gaia’s superior intelligence. They are like her voice.

For what it is worth, this is what I walked away from my career ten years ago to figure out. I hope there are people out there who will find it instructive, useful, and salutary.

Peace Out!

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