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The planet-wide natural process that builds resilient life-support mechanisms is made up of genuinely delicate systems, life-forms and collaborative relationships. Though it seems too vast and powerful to be directly affected by human behavior, our own industrial activity is so complex and far-reaching as to disrupt those delicate systems at the most intimate levels.

Everything we do that can be called “economic activity” rests on a solid foundation of these delicate natural systems, life-forms and collaborative relationships. And the word to describe how those life-support mechanisms come together, and how energy moves through and around them, is “climate”. We are, in our mainstream culture, only now beginning to talk more effectively about the ecological weight of climate-destabilizing activities.

As we begin to quantify the value of natural life-support systems, and the disruptions they face, we need to understand what kind of paradigm-shift solution can be deployed to rescue us from our own scientific, economic and political failings. This talk will give a clear illustration of how we can do that, and why no ideology need keep to the margins or work against the right corrective policy.

And, it will tell the inspiring story of how real political will is being built for the most important reform policy of our times, through the efforts of ordinary citizens, serving honorably in the role of citizen. We can invent our climate future; in fact, we already are. What we do now will determine how future generations experience the interplay of life-support mechanisms on this planet.

We are living the paradigm shift now; we can make it one that works for us, if we work together.

Written by Joseph Robertson

Joseph is Global Strategy Director for the non-partisan non-profit Citizens' Climate Lobby. He coordinates the building of CCL's citizen engagement groups on 5 continents, leads the Citizens' Climate Engagement Network and represents CCL in the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, UNFCCC negotiations, and other UN processes. He is a member of the Executive Board of the UN-linked NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY and of the Policy and Strategy Group for the World We Want. He is also the founder of Geoversiv.net and the Geoversiv Foundation and the lead strategist supporting the high-level climate dialogue series Accelerating Progress, Advancing Innovation.

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