Breaking News: The Shift Hits the Fan

Cultural Intelligence, Earth Intelligence

Kenny AusubelKenny Ausubel

Posted: October 15, 2010 10:56 AM

The Revolution Has Begun – “The Shift Hits the Fan”

The Bottleneck. The Great Disruption. Peak Everything. The Great Turning.

Whatever you call it, it's the big enchilada.

In the words of filmmaker Tom Shadyac, “The shift is hitting the fan.” We're experiencing the dawn of a revolutionary transformation. This awkward ‘tween state marks the end of pre-history – the sunset of an ecologically illiterate civilization. Like a baby being born, a new world is crowning.

The revolution has begun. But in fits and starts. The challenge is it's one minute to midnight – too late to avoid large-scale destruction. We have to fan the shift to ecoliterate societies at sufficient scale and speed to dodge irretrievable cataclysm.

From breakdown to breakthrough, it's a revolution from the heart of nature and the human heart. It leads with a basic shift in our relationship with nature from resource and object to mentor, model and partner. Game-changing breakthroughs in science, technology and design such as biomimicry are revolutionizing our very ways of knowing. The Rights of Nature movement is recognizing the inalienable rights of the non-human world of ecosystems and critters, widening our circle of compassion and kinship. Greater decentralization and localization are building resilience from the ground up – shaped by ancient indigenous wisdom of becoming native to our place.

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A major barrier in the U.S. is the annual military budget of over a trillion dollars. Although the Defense Department has embraced climate change as a top national security issue, national sustainability must move front and center. As David Orr observes, “The concept of sustainability should be the new organizing principle for both domestic and foreign policy. Sustainability is the core of a national development strategy designed to enhance our security, build prosperity from the ground up, and reduce ecological damage, risks of climate destabilization and the necessity of fighting endless wars over dwindling resources.”

What's needed is the national and global equivalent of a wartime mobilization with sustainability as magnetic north. Many say only catastrophe will precipitate such a shift and are readying plans for that turning point. Paul Gilding's One Degree War Plan forecasts a “Coalition of the Cooling” anchored by the U.S., China and the EU, who produce 50 percent of emissions – and who could then engage Russia, India, Japan and Brazil to hit 67 percent.

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Phi Beta Iota: This is a world-class public oration worthy of Oxford or Cambridge or a Nobel acceptance.  A little known aspect of revolution is that it can occur in isolation across each of the dimensions (political-legal, socio-economic, ideo-cultural, techno-demographic, and natural-geographic), but when it occurs in two or three of the dimensions at the same time, it has the potential to “explode” into a Great Revolution that leaves no stone unturned.  It is possible that 2012 will see a Great Revolution in the United STATES of America.

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