The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative (www.cpcsi.org) provides research and analysis for critical challenge alerts, and research and support for collaborative problem solving, community education, and citizen peacebuilding initiatives which seek to maximize citizen participation, and accelerate solution-oriented activity.
The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative is an effort to apply the accumulated wisdom now accessible to us towards the general goal of integrating spiritual wisdom into the everyday circumstances of community life--and towards the specific goal of generating practical responses to the challenges of our times.
"Do We Have Moral Compasses We Can Rely On" (147 pages; March-April, 2021)
(with minor editing May 1, 2021)
--supplemental copy "Table of Contents" (13 pages)
This paper is a curated arrangement of excerpts from reports, articles, books, websites, etc--by Stefan Pasti (Founder and Resource Coordinator, The CPCS Initiative) with commentary provided by Stefan Pasti. The short version Table of Contents is below. The long version Table of Contents can serve as an Executive Summary and a Press Release.
“Do We Have Moral Compasses We Can Rely On?
Introduction (9 pages) Table of Contents (13 pages)
A. Selected Observations on the Historical Context…………………………………………………… 1
B. Concerns about the Leanings of Human Aspirations……………………………………………… 14
C. “The smaller the circumference, the more accurately can we guage the results
of our actions….”……………………………………………………………………………………………. 71
D. … the kind of truthful public discussion we really need to be having…………………….. 104
E. It is in such a context--in the most complex cultural landscapes ever created, and
at a time of unprecedented challenges--that there is a profound need for
not just schools--but all citizens--to recognize their social responsibilities………. 114
F. Countless opportunities for all of us--ourselves, our neighbors and our fellow citizens--
to become part of a system of mutual support and encouragement in our
local communities…………………………………………………………………………………………… 118
The Brainstorming Zero Carbon ASAP Project is currently in progress.
Initial contact letters seeking collaboration are been sent out, beginning on January 23, 2021.
People seeking updates on this project will find the most recent updates in the section "Brainstorming Zero Carbon ASAP Project--Overview Comments", in the Brainstorming Zero Carbon ASAP Discussion Forum.]
Here is an example of an "Initial Contact Letter" seeking collaboration, which includes a partial list (on p. 6) of positive tipping point organizations and institutions who will be receiving this initial contact letter.
Selected Outreach/Alerts (2017--2021) (CPCS Initiative)
1) “Global Warming Awareness, Climate Change Awareness, and Climate Emergency Action”
A Survey: 1961-2020
240 highlights from reports, websites, articles, books, etc. (316 pages; 9.65 MB)
--featuring milestones in awareness and action
--with in-depth looks at some key organizations
--bringing into focus pathways for achieving Zero Carbon ASAP
2) 17 Tweet Series Summarizing the “Constellation of Initiatives” Approach
of The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative
a) at Twitter
b) 17 Tweet Series in document form (pdf) (10 pages; June, 2020)
We are currently experiencing a Convergence of Unprecedented Challenges, which include:
1) the Climate Emergency (and achieving Zero Carbon economies ASAP)
2) the COVID 19 virus [as of July 5, 2020: 11,314,000 reported cases (worldwide), and 529,000 reported deaths (worldwide)(statistics from Washington Post reporting on John Hopkins University statistics] and the associated stresses on economy, employment, health care, food security, etc.
3) 6th extinction event (“Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history--and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely” UN IPBES Report (May 6, 2019)
4) toxic air in cities (“90% of world's children are breathing toxic air, WHO study finds” in Guardian October 29, 2018)
5) cultures of violence, greed, corruption, and overindulgence so widespread that most people accept such as inevitable.
Here is this writer’s ten point "Unprecedented Challenges Ahead--July 2020" (2 pages).
We need collaborative problem solving and community education, in communities around the world--
a) which will exponentially increase solution-oriented activity
b) which will help people discover for themselves how much we really need to be on the same side, helping each other.
This 17 Tweet thread highlights one “constellation of initiatives” approach to the convergence of unprecedented challenges we face, and can serve as a starting point for discussions on how local communities can maximize resident participation in solution-oriented activity at this critical time.
Example Outreach Tweet (from @StefanPasti)
“Unprec Challenges Ahead-July2020” 2p https://bit.ly/3gGCaVZ
means we need this:
5-10 page overviews on challenges,solutions
from 1000s of keyorgs worldwide--
to catalyze 1000s of localVisioning
17 Twt Thread https://bit.ly/3ftuV2S
"Unprecedented Challenges Ahead--July 2020" (2 pages)
"17 Tweet Series in document form" (pdf)
"Sample List of 231 positive tipping point organizations and institutions" (with 5 page introduction)]
[Note: along with key CPCS Initiative documents cited as sources in the above "17 Tweet Series in document form", there are two longer documents which this writer compiled and wrote, which provide much more evidence in support of recent shorter documents (these two documents are also included on the webpage "Key Documents and Resources".]
a) “IPCR Critical Challenges Assessment 2011-2012: Summary Report” (444 pages)
(5 page Table of Contents)
b) “Invitation Package for Possible Board of Advisors” (589 p., 3.66 MB; Nov. 2013)
(27 page long version Table of Contents)
Recent Summary Document:
“Re-visioning and Re-growing Our Local and National Institutions” (8 Tweet Series) (5p; Feb., 2020)
3) Climate Emergency Op-Ed Piece "We interrupt this broadcast...." (6 pages; 2401 words)
(January 7, 2020 to present)(two links updated from previous version)
First half of Op-Ed: 20 points (almost all evidence-based with source references) highlighting the need and the urgency for Climate Emergency Action.
Second half of Op-Ed--Solution Approach being contributed: 5-10 page overviews on how to achieve Zero Carbon ASAP from thousands of positive tipping point organizations and institutions can be catalysts for thousands of local Community Visioning Initiatives; concluding comments highlight the importance of selective buying as one of the many positive outcomes from thousands of Community Visioning Initiatives.
a) for January 13, 2020 mail outreach: 20 universities/colleges (student newspapers, offices of sustainability, civic engagement), and associated local newspapers.
Sample List of 231 positive tipping point organizations and institutions (with 5 page introduction)
Possible example 5-10 page overview from ClimateEmergency.com
Many examples of local Community Visioning and Strategic Planning
13 minute documentary of Community Visioning (highly recommended)
“Brainstorming Zero Carbon ASAP Campaign” Press Release
About The Climate Emergency Era
The Climate Emergency Era has begun,
and it is not currently known how long it will last, or if it will end.
“The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected (figure 2, IPCC 2018). It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity (IPCC 2019). Especially worrisome are potential irreversible climate tipping points and nature's reinforcing feedbacks (atmospheric, marine, and terrestrial) that could lead to a catastrophic “hothouse Earth,” well beyond the control of humans (Steffen et al. 2018). These climate chain reactions could cause significant disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies, potentially making large areas of Earth uninhabitable.” [From statement “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency”, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world (November 5, 2019; paragraph 7)]
[Special Note: The "Brainstorming Zero Carbon ASAP" Project (CPCS Initiative) is now in progress (as of 1/23/21). The new project, and the campaign described below, are similar. However, to avoid confusion, the below information (about the "Brainstorming" campaign) will be moved to another part of the website when there can be more information posted about the newer project. SP]
4) "Brainstorming 100% Reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG)Emissions ASAP Campaign"
(157 pages; June, 2019) (Note: 11 Appendices account for 113 pages)
The Brainstorming Zero Carbon ASAP Campaign proposes to streamline to the frontlines of public discourse thousands of 5-10 page overviews from positive tipping point organizations and institutions on how we can get to a 100% reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions ASAP--and thereby catalyze local Community Visioning Initiatives, and contribute significantly to maximizing "all hands on deck" participation in positive tipping point activity.
This 157 page paper includes a 19 point assessment for why it is most urgent for us to reach Zero Carbon ASAP (see p. 17-25)--and Appendix 10 is a list of 616 positive tipping point organizations and institutions with Twitter profiles [and in 30 categories (see p. 69), with each category linked to its section, for quick access]. Many helpful educational resources incorporated into this paper.
Press Release for Brainstorming Zero Carbon ASAP Campaign (September 18, 2019)
Sections of the Press Release
B. The Potential of Thousands of Local Community Visioning Initiatives
C. About The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative (www.cpcsi.org )
D. Potential Partners for Collaboration and Accelerating Multiplier Effects
Highlights from Press Release:
1) Clearinghouse website of 5-10 page overviews on how to achieve Zero Carbon ASAP can inform
local surveys (prior to Community Visioning)
2) Responses to local surveys to key local leaders can demonstrate need for Community Visioning,
and many Neighborhood Learning Centers
3) Universities, colleges--and municipalities which have declared a Climate Emergency (over 1000
local govts as of 9/18/19)( https://www.theclimatemobilization.org/climate-emergency-campaign )
--will be natural lead organizations for local Community Visioning (see 13 minute documentary
“Chattanooga: A Community with a Vision” http://bit.ly/2uE1XX5 ) (highly recommended)
4) Universities, colleges, can increase their existing efforts, or take up the call, to develop related
curriculum and offer classes, workshops, and teacher training, to support the development of
Neighborhood Learning Centers
5) Through the visioning process, workshops, numerous positive ways of news reporting, etc.
people can learn where to buy only what goods and services they absolutely need--so that they can
lower Total Energy Demand, and contribute the most possible to carbon-neutral supply chains
“… there are truths which none can be free to ignore, if one is to have that wisdom through which life can become useful. These are the truths concerning the structures of the good life and concerning the factual conditions by which it may be achieved….”
("General Education in a Free Society; The Harvard Committee, 1945)
The Brainstorming 100% Reduction in GHG Emissions ASAP Campaign
This Brainstorming 100% ASAP Campaign proposes to streamline to frontlines of public discourse the best 5-10 page overviews of how we can achieve a 100% reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions ASAP--and thereby catalyze local Community Visioning Initiatives, and contribute significantly to maximizing “all hands on deck” participation in positive tipping point activity (Ex Visioning 13 min doc http://bit.ly/2uE1XX5 ).
The Brainstorming 100% ASAP Campaign http://bit.ly/321sn60 identifies organizations, institutions which are already contributing in trustworthy, verifiable, and peer-evaluated ways to guiding public discourse towards achieving 1.5oC--and asks them to provide a 5-10 page overview of best ways to decrease emissions by 100% ASAP. Further, the Brainstorming 100% ASAP Campaign also makes a call for 5-10 page overviews from organizations, institutions critical to education, ecological sustainability, communication, access to basic needs, emergency assistance, social cohesion, preserving roots of wisdom and compassion, etc.--as such organizations and institutions are directly or indirectly related to Climate Breakdown mitigation… and as part of the many steps still required to provide a most comprehensive picture of what actions need to be prioritized at local community level (Appendix 10 recipient list includes 616 orgs and institutions with 98.9 million followers as recipients of first call requests for 5-10 page overviews).
100-150 of the best 5-10 page overviews can function as a needs assessment--of the kind which precedes local Community Visioning Initiatives (as such will help residents see the need for Community Visioning and many supporting Neighborhood Learning Centers). Universities and colleges--which are already far advanced in recognizing and implementing climate change solutions--will be natural lead organizations for building the partnerships necessary to carry out Community Visioning Initiatives in their local community.
Such 5-10 page overviews can also be a key resource for the “over 1,740 local govt have declared Climate Emergency” (as of 7/5/20)(see the climatemobilization.org Climate Emergency Campaign ).
This Brainstorming Campaign can accelerate opportunities for people around the world to become part of a system of mutual support,encouragement, and positive tipping point action in their local communities.
5) “Common Sense and Social Cohesion
During a Time of Unprecedented Cultural Transformation”
(25 pages; August, 2020)
We now have a convergence of unprecedented challenges (see p. 7 in pamphlet).
Confidence will be dimmed by a lack of clarity until there is truthful public discourse on the full dimensions of the critical challenges ahead.
Confidence will be built up when people believe that the efforts of everyone working together is a greater force than the challenges they are facing.
We need to increase cooperation in our communities, and accelerate movement towards positive tipping points on the very difficult challenges we now have.
6) “Harvest Song” (Summary Document) [78 pages (3.9 MB); Nov-Dec, 2018]
“…(finding) a value above all price for the smallest events in our daily life.”
[(with two updated links)--> "Introduction to Chapter 4 from 'Harvest Song'")]
Comprehensive, concise, and optimistic--even as it illustrates that the convergence of unprecedented challenges ahead is way beyond “uncharted territory”. There are many ways we can achieve a convergence of unprecedented solutions. There is much that can be done to resolve the unprecedented challenges ahead that has not yet been done.
Chapters #1 and #2--Convergence of Unprecedented Challenges
However much we may move forward with the technology pieces needed to hold global warming at 1.5oC, there are many other pieces to the unprecedented cultural transformation which we must also achieve--and failure to also reach positive tipping points on the many other pieces may cause us to lose positive traction, and slide downhill into cynicism.
31 links; 18 tweets from many people; 12 text boxes w/ info, stats, graphics; 5 text boxes (this writer)
Topics: Climate Breakdown; Toxic Air; 6th extinction event; U.S. Govt. Debt, U.S. Household Debt, Global Debt, Costs for Weather Damages; Migration, Displacement; Water and Sanitation; Floods and Chemical Sites; Radioactive Waste Disposal; Plutonium Disposal; Minerals Absolutely Critical to U.S. Security; Violence, Corruption, Cynicism; School Shootings; Marginalization of Human Morality and Wisdom; Cities; Global Food System; Meat, Dairy and Emissions; Food Waste; Solid Waste Management; Oceans; Plastic Pollution; Deforestation; Cement Emissions; Thawing Permafrost; Cyber Threats; Gambling; Media Literacy; Information Overload
Chapter #3 and #4--Convergence of Unprecedented Solutions
Significant movement towards avoiding catastrophic climate breakdown plus potential steps towards positive tipping points on climate breakdown, and many other unprecedented challenges.
34 links; 2 tweets; 14 text boxes w/ info, stats, graphics; 12 text boxes (this writer)
Topics: Investor Commitment; Fossil Fuel Divestment; 56 newspaper with Same Opinion Piece about Climate Change; Community Education; Solar Power; 100% Renewable Energy by 2050; IRENA Renewable Energy Brief; Community Microgrids; Centre for Alternative Technology; Zero Carbon Britain; Findhorn Ecovillage; Household Energy Use; Taking Time for Some Serious Reflection; Community Visioning Initiatives; Neighborhood Learning Centers; Appropriate Technology Library; Food Sovereignty; Local Food Policy Councils; Questionnaires and Surveys; Living Lightly and Practicing Wisdom and Compassion; 13 Steps for Long Term Culture Change; 178 Related Fields of Activity
Here is a brief overview of the collaborative problem solving, community education, and citizen peacebuilding this writer advocates for in Chapter 4:
Colleges/universities assisting w/ Community Visioning + related curriculum, workshops, teacher training, to support many Neighborhood Learning Centers = exponential acceleration of solution activity (Example of Community Visioning: 13 min documentary “Chattanooga: A Community with a Vision” http://bit.ly/2uE1XX5 --Highly Recommended)
Creating many Neighborhood Learning Centers can provide places--in local neighborhoods--for discussion, information sharing, mutual support and encouragement, fellowship and friendship—so that the exchanging of information and resources will also include the building of a close-knit community of people with a healthy appreciation for each other’s strengths
Local Newspapers: can report on Community Visioning [150 key leaders -> preliminary surveys (identify challenges, solutions); Neighborhood Learning Centers workshops; Visioning stages; job fairs]; Neighbor to Neighbor Community Ed section in newspapers can help identify contributing people, valuable resources
Residents (especially unemployed) who volunteer time, energy to assist w/ Community Visioning, Neighborhood Learning Centers--and/or advance resulting action plans--could receive, as compensation, local currency.
Local leaders of religious/spiritual traditions: demonstrate what is possible along lines of living lightly and practicing wisdom, compassion; help restore confidence in higher values of life; encourage and support Interfaith Prayer Vigils
Confidence will be dimmed by a lack of clarity until there is truthful public discourse on the full dimensions of the unprecedented challenges ahead. Confidence will be built up when people believe that the efforts of everyone working together is a greater force than the challenges they are facing.
7) “Convergence of Critical Challenges Alert to Peacebuilders, Chaplains” (February, 2017)
In February, 2017, The CPCS Initiative issued a Convergence of Critical Challenges Alert. An introduction to the full text document “Convergence of Critical Challenges Alert to Peacebuilders, Chaplains--from cpcsi.org” (10 pages; approx. 3500 words) was directed to:
a) peacebuilding organizations and peacebuilding graduate study programs
b) chaplains and offices of religious and spiritual life at universities and colleges
c) national and international organizations associated with religious and spiritual life in higher education
(Note: This is where the full text of the “Convergence of Critical Challenges
Alert to Peacebuilders, Chaplains--from cpcsi.org" begins)
Convergence of Critical Challenges Alert to Peacebuilders, Chaplains--from cpcsi.org
(issued in February, 2017 by CPCS Initiative Founder and Resource Coordinator Stefan Pasti)
There is much that can be done to accelerate solution-oriented activity at this critical time
My name is Stefan Pasti, and I am the founder and resource coordinator of The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative (at www.cpcsi.org ).
The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative provides research and analysis for critical challenge alerts, and research and support for collaborative problem solving and community education initiatives which seek to maximize citizen participation, and accelerate solution-oriented activity.
This message is a Convergence of Critical Challenges Alert from The CPCS Initiative, and it is being sent to:
1) peacebuilding organizations and peacebuilding graduate study programs
2) chaplains and offices of religious and spiritual life at universities and colleges
3) national and international organizations associated with religious and spiritual life in higher education
I realize I may be making an unusual request--asking people to give their attention to a message from someone they do not know... and from someone who is lacking traditional credentials. And yet... I see something... and it doesn't seem like many other people see it.
I believe people working in the peacebuilding field, and people working in the field of religious and spiritual life in higher education, may be able to see what I see, and do much to accelerate solution-oriented activity at this critical time.
“… remaining within the temperature goal of 1.5oC … would require net-zero emissions at some point between 2040 and 2060 (even if negative emissions technologies can be deployed at scale), thus requiring radical near-term reductions in energy sector CO2 emissions, employing every known technological, societal and regulatory decarbonisation option.”
The cultural transformation necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigate global warming is, by itself, enough to justify the highest level of warning since:
a) there is uncertainty about how negative feedback loops are triggered
b) there is a quickly closing window of opportunity for staying below +2oC (+3.6oF)
c) investment in the energy sector requires long-range planning
d) although there is much very credible information available--about what causes global warming and climate change, how widespread the negative impacts are already, how catastrophic negative impacts could be in the future, and what we can do to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and minimize negative impacts--we live in very complex cultural landscapes, and there are many different kinds of moral compasses attempting to navigate such landscapes.
So even though it might not be necessary, included below are 13 resources relating to understanding and mitigating global warming and climate change--which may help educators who are in need of such resources.
[Editor's Note: all links associated with the 13 resources below are active in the pdf file of this "Convergence of Critical Challenges Alert to Peacebuilders, Chaplains--from cpcsi.org"]
1) Overview--“The Carbon Story” (with helpful visualizations in an interactive story line from 800,000 B.C. to 2013) at The Global Carbon Atlas website (an affiliate of The Global Carbon Project). “The Global Carbon Project is a scientific program that aims to draw a complete picture of the carbon cycle on planet Earth”.
2) The Wikipedia webpage titled “Carbon Dioxide in the Earth’s Atmosphere” is a most comprehensive overview, which includes sections titled “Past concentration”, “Atmospheric carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect”, “Atmospheric carbon dioxide and the carbon cycle”, “Atmospheric carbon dioxide and the oceanic carbon cycle”, and “Anthropogenic CO2 emissions”. Graphs and charts include: “Life Timeline”, a pictogram of the Greenhouse Effect, and a very helpful diagram of the fast carbon cycle.
3) The World Resources Institute has a blog entry titled “The History of Carbon Dioxide Emissions” (dated May 21, 2014). The eleven graphs and charts include “1960-2011: Per Capita Emissions in the West--Stable, but High” and “2011: The Top 10 Emitting Countries Still Make Up 78 Percent of Global CO₂ Emissions”.
4) NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration--U.S. Government Agency) has a webpage titled “Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet”, which includes links to graphs and charts in five subject areas: Carbon Dioxide, Global Temperature, Arctic Sea Ice Minimum, Land Ice, and Sea Level. To access the five subject areas, begin at the “evidence” webpage (http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ ), and then click on “Vital Signs”.
5) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s webpage “Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data” provides four charts which include “Global Emissions by Economic Sector” (chart data from 2011-2015, with helpful details).
6) On January 31, 2008, a nationwide “teach-in” on global warming and climate change (an all-day symposium called "Focus the Nation: Global Warming Solutions for America") took place at more than 1,500 institutions (mostly colleges and universities). Included here are two articles about that nationwide “teach-in”:
a) “Campus joins national Focus the Nation "teach-in" with Jan. 31 global warming symposium” (University of California, Berkeley)
b) “Students, Faculty Join Focus The Nation Teach-In” (Bowling Green State University)
7) ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability “is the leading global network of more than 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future.”
8) The Compact of Mayors “is a global coalition of mayors and city officials pledging to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change, and to track their progress transparently” (for more details, see November 13, 2016 Press Release “The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Announces its Global Impact”).
9) On 25 September, 2015, a bold new global agenda to end poverty by 2030 and pursue a sustainable future was unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at the start of a three-day Summit on Sustainable Development. On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development--adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN summit--officially came into force.
10) On 15 December, 2015, in Paris, France, a historic agreement was reached, as 195 countries adopted a new universal, legally binding global climate deal. The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016 (as of 8 February 2017, 129 Parties have ratified of 197 Parties to the Convention). Here are two summaries of the Paris Agreement which this writer felt were especially informative:
a) “The Paris Agreement: Turning Point for a Climate Solution” (from staff at the World Resources Institute)
b) “Judging the COP21 outcome and what’s next for climate action” (from staff at E3G)
11) The Executive Summary of “World Energy Outlook 2016” [released on November 16, 2016 by the International Energy Agency (IEA)] includes the following assessments:
a) “Countries are generally on track to achieve, and even exceed in some instances, many of the targets set in their Paris Agreement pledges; this is sufficient to slow the projected rise in global energy-related CO2 emissions, but not nearly enough to limit warming to less than 2oC.” (p. 2)
b) “The transformation required for a reasonable chance of remaining within the temperature goal of 1.5oC is stark. It would require net-zero emissions at some point between 2040 and 2060 (even if negative emissions technologies can be deployed at scale), thus requiring radical near-term reductions in energy sector CO2 emissions, employing every known technological, societal and regulatory decarbonisation option.” (p. 5)
12) A Press Release (dated December 12, 2016) from DivestInvest titled “Assets Pledged To Fossil Fuel Divestment Surpass $5 Trillion, Says New Report” includes:
a) “According to a new analysis released today by Arabella Advisors, 688 institutions and 58,399 individuals across 76 countries have committed to divest from fossil fuels.”
b) “What began on a few college campuses in the U.S. has spread to every corner of the world, squarely into the financial mainstream. Divestment has permeated every sector of society: from universities and pension funds, to philanthropic and cultural institutions, to cities, faith groups, insurance companies and more.”
13) CPCS Initiative document “59 Recommended Sources on Twitter--for News, Information, and Solutions on Global Warming and Climate Change” (7 pages; Feb. 2017)
Unfortunately, what we have now is a convergence of critical challenges (here is a two page description of the ten most critical challenges identified by this writer).
Even with such unprecedented collaboration efforts being made…
During the three to eight decades of unprecedented cultural transformation needed to achieve--and adjust to--carbon neutral economies, this writer believes many serious blind spots will be discovered--issues which are far from being fully appreciated now, and issues which are serious enough to cripple our best efforts, if not remedied.
One such blind spot, which this writer has identified (and rated #2 in his list of the ten most critical challenges of our times), is “A Marginalization of the Treasured Wisdom of Religious, Spiritual, and Moral Traditions”.
Consider the three observations below, all of which have many serious negative implications--
a) “The satisfaction of one's physical needs must come at a certain point to a dead stop before it degenerates into physical decadence.”
b) “Taken together, the bottom half of the global population own less than 1 percent of total wealth.
In sharp contrast, the richest 10 percent hold 86 percent of the world’s wealth, and the top 1 percent alone account for 46 percent of global assets.”
c) “The global drugs trade and the global arms trade are integral to violence in both developing and industrialized countries. Even modest progress on either front will contribute to reducing the amount and degree of violence suffered by millions of people. To date, however--and despite their high profile in the world arena—no solutions seem to be in sight for these problems.”
It should be clear to most readers that the virtuous conduct (the discipline, restraint, wisdom, understanding, compassion, forgiveness, etc) necessary--to transform the negative outcomes associated with the three observations above into examples of the treasured wisdom of our human heritage being more fully appreciated, and applied in the everyday circumstances of community life--would inspire “waves” of additional goodwill.
And yet… if readers carefully explore thirteen of the most representative and most well-known critical challenge assessments and solution guides from the past 50 years (see p. 25 of the CPCS Initiative Summary Paper "Recalibrating Our Moral Compasses: to resolve unprecedented challenges and discover our collective spiritual destiny" (85 pages; June, 2015, updated July, 2016)for the list)--
--they will find that these critical challenge assessments and solution guides do not give serious attention to variations in human morality as a significant factor affecting the nature of the challenges of our times.
“Way Beyond” Uncharted Territory: the need to make unprecedented progress towards resolving timeless shortcomings of human nature
This writer believes that the challenges of our times are such that it is now critical for us to access the storehouses of wisdom which have accumulated over the many centuries of human experience, and which have been confirmed again and again as essential to individual well-being and social harmony by the saints, sages, spiritual leaders, and sincere practitioners of all religious, spiritual, and moral traditions.
Unfortunately, much of the real treasured wisdom of religious, spiritual, and moral traditions now seems to be hidden--and thus in need of being re-discovered. These “hidden” resources include teachings which inspire and encourage people to:
1) sacrifice personal desires for the greater good of the whole
2) find contentment and quality of life while consuming less material goods and ecological services
3) prefer peacebuilding which supports and actualizes mutually beneficial understandings, forgiveness, and reconciliation—and which abstains from violent conflict resolution—as a way of bringing cycles of violence to an end
4) use resources carefully, so that there is surplus available for emergency assistance
5) support community life and cultural traditions which “… bring to the fore how many good people there are, how many ways there are to do good, and how much happiness comes to those who extend help, as well as to those who receive it”.
Are we headed in directions which are consistent with the Treasured Wisdom of Religious, Spiritual, and Moral Traditions? Does the content of traditional mass media, Internet media, and Internet social media, provide evidence that wisdom and compassion are “coming through the mist as much as they should be”? Are our communities examples of our success at passing along to future generations the most treasured wisdom human beings have accumulated in more than 5,000 years of human history?
Do most of us believe that our moral compasses are sufficiently calibrated to overcome a convergence of unprecedented challenges in the most complex cultural landscapes ever created on Earth?
If we have serious concerns about the nature and reliability of our moral compasses at this critical time, and let those serious concerns go unresolved (even now, when we are in the most complex cultural landscapes ever created)
1) we may lose significant traction and critical momentum on challenges for which there is an urgent need to reach positive tipping points
2) we may do more to create widespread cynicism, rather than confidence, about our collective capacity to resolve the unprecedented challenges we face.
This writer believes we have an urgent need to make unprecedented progress towards resolving timeless shortcomings of human nature—even though such shortcomings are perceived as so much a part of who we are that most of us accept such as inevitable. Thus, the uncharted territory we thought we were in to achieve carbon neutral economies might be more accurately described as “way beyond” uncharted. There should be no one who has any doubts: there is no culture or association of societies that ever existed on planet Earth which has had to resolve the kind of challenges the next few generations of people will have to resolve.
It is the complexity of succeeding in integrating wisdom and compassion into the everyday circumstances of community life--at this critical time when wisdom and compassion are so urgently needed--which has persuaded this writer to make what contributions he can, and to issue this Convergence of Critical Challenges Alert.
We need a plan of action along these lines--
a) which goes beyond the efforts currently in progress
b) which will exponentially increase the likelihood of success
c) which can assure us that wisdom and compassion will be “coming through the mist as much as they should be”
d) which people from every variety of circumstances can trust
e) which will help people discover for themselves how much we all need to be learning so that we can be part of the solutions… and how much we really need to be on the same side, helping each other.
“Constellation of Initiatives” Approach
The CPCS Initiatives’ “constellation of initiatives” approach to collaborative problem solving, community education, and citizen peacebuilding (offered as an example of the kind of “constellation of initiatives” approach necessary to fulfill the above requirements, and help accomplish the unprecedented cultural transformation ahead):
1) Recalibrating Our Moral Compasses Surveys
2) Community Visioning Initiatives
3) Neighborhood Learning Centers
4) Neighbor to Neighbor Community Education (NTNCE) Projects in local newspapers
[For a detailed overview of each of these, see p. 36-45 in the Summary Paper "Recalibrating Our Moral Compasses: to resolve unprecedented challenges and discover our collective spiritual destiny” (85 pages; June, 2015, updated July, 2016)]
Recalibrating Our Moral Compasses Surveys
Recalibrating Our Moral Compasses Surveys:
a) are a very careful and conscientious approach to identifying critical challenges and solution-oriented activity--and to comparing that input with working definitions for “right livelihood” and “moral compasses” (to increase consensus on such definitions)--which could do much to increase the reliability of our “moral compasses” at this critical time
b) can help citizens in every variety of circumstances to understand and appreciate the need for Community Visioning Initiatives and Neighborhood Learning Centers
c) can provide starting point input for the kind of workshops needed in Neighborhood Learning Centers, and the kind of sharing which can be done through a Neighbor to Neighbor Community Education (NTNCE) section in local newspapers.
Opportunities for Colleges and Universities To Accelerate Solution-Oriented Activity
Organizations and institutions collaborating to administer Recalibrating Our Moral Compasses Surveys will participate in building clearinghouse websites for many of the survey topics (Ex: “critical challenges”, “field specific solutions”, “key collaborative problem solving processes”, and working definitions of “right livelihood” and “moral compasses”) which can continue to aggregate contributions after the survey is over. Thus, the organizations and institutions (and especially the colleges and universities) helping to launch such surveys would benefit, as they would be on a fast track to pioneering cutting edge educational curriculum and educational experiences which are highly relevant to resolving the challenges of our times.
We need to achieve significant positive tipping points on three key indicators… before negative feedback loops in many areas destabilize social cohesion
This writer offers the following three key indicators as a way of measuring if we are On Track with the cultural transformation necessary to resolve the challenges of our times--
1) Now… only a small percentage of people understand the following insight, and are able to apply it in the everyday circumstances of the communities they live in.
The investments of time, energy, and money (the “votes”) each of us make in our everyday circumstances--
--can result in countless ways of earning a living which contribute to--rather than impair--
--the peacebuilding, community revitalization, and ecological sustainability efforts necessary to reach positive tipping points on many critical challenges at the same time.
We need a high percentage of people who understand this insight--and are able to apply it in the everyday circumstances of the communities they live in.
2) We need to be on the same side, helping each other.
3) We need to be making best use of the knowledge and skills each one of us has.
Key CPCS Initiative Documents
The following Key CPCS Initiative Documents--
1) this Convergence of Critical Challenges Alert
2) the CPCS Summary Paper ["Recalibrating Our Moral Compasses: to resolve unprecedented challenges and discover our collective spiritual destiny” (85 pages; June, 2015, updated July, 2016)]
3) a recent eight page introduction (Oct. 2016; Jan. 2017) to the "Recalibrating Our Moral Compasses..." document
--identify ways of minimizing disconnect and supporting maximum clarity on both--
a) the nature of the challenges ahead
b) what collaborative problem solving, community education, and citizen peacebuilding initiatives
will help maximize citizen participation and accelerate solution-oriented activity at this critical time.
You can help pass on to future generations the most treasured wisdom human beings have accumulated in more than 5,000 years of human history
Human morality is not a constant—it is not something which is the same throughout the centuries of human existence; and thus it is something which can become degraded or raised up, depending on the leanings of human aspirations. What if cynicism causes human aspirations to lean towards degrading aspects of human morality, instead of uplifting aspects of human morality, at this profoundly critical time--when we are at one of the most significant crossroads in the evolution of life on Planet Earth?
The challenges ahead are unprecedented. This writer believes we will need to achieve significant positive tipping points on three key indicators (listed above)--and we need to achieve those significant positive tipping points before negative feedback loops in many areas (climate change disasters; greed and corruption; the consumption juggernaut; water shortages; global inequities, overindulgence, malnutrition, and disease; unsuccessful transitions to carbon neutral--and ecologically sustainable--economies; transitional unemployment; loss of trust in institutions responsible for guiding public discourse; negative stereotypes; cynicism and violence; etc) destabilize social cohesion…
… and that until we have reached significant positive tipping points on the above three key indicators, the highest level of warning is justified.
The subtitle of the CPCS Initiative Summary Paper “resolve unprecedented challenges and discover our collective spiritual destiny”--and discussion by this writer in support of that subtitle--are efforts at making the followings points:
1) at this critical time, we have an urgent need to make unprecedented progress towards resolving timeless shortcomings of human nature
2) after more than 5,000 years of human history, we have the treasured wisdom necessary to make unprecedented progress towards resolving timeless shortcomings of human nature
3) if the leanings of our human aspirations are towards discovering our collective spiritual destiny, we may gain more momentum towards more positive tipping points than anything else we could do.
This writer believes that if many people could see and feel the practical value of carrying out the kind of collaborative problem solving and community education initiatives brought forward in the "Recalibrating Our Moral Compasses..." paper (see p. 36-45), such collaborative, solution-oriented activity could become a common experience… a common cultural tradition… a cultural tradition which can link many diverse communities of people together, in a fellowship of people working towards the greater good of the whole… and a cultural tradition which can help pass on to future generations the most treasured wisdom human beings have accumulated in more than 5,000 years of human history.
Resource Sharing in a Time of Unprecedented Challenges
I am sharing what information and resources I have--and inviting questions, comments, resource recommendations, constructive criticism, and any other helpful input--as a way of supporting and reinforcing our collective efforts, so that such efforts can realize their potential to accelerate solution-oriented activity at this critical time.
For a Peaceful and Sustainable World,
Stefan Pasti, Founder and Resource Coordinator
The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative
Fulton, Missouri (USA)
CommunityPeacebuildin (@StefanPasti) at Twitter
[end of full text of document "Convergence of Critical Challenges Alert to Peacebuilders, Chaplains--from cpcsi.org"]
[Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative, critical challenge assessments, unprecedented challenges ahead, maximizing citizen participation, accelerating solution-oriented activity, collaborative problem solving, questionnaires and surveys, community visioning, neighborhood learning centers, community education, community service, local newspapers, citizen peacebuilding, culture change, faith, wisdom, compassion, etc.]
Welcome to the website of the
The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative
Maximizing Citizen Participation and Accelerating Solution-Oriented Activity
in a Time of Unprecedented Challenges
The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative