Winston Churchill’s painfully accurate observation that “democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried” comes to mind often these days. It’s not just that I am engrossed in the brilliant Danish political series Borgen; it’s the world around us. The European Parliament is stuck between a weak compromise or nothing at all on its climate bill, between climate hawks who find the agreement too weak and climate deniers who find it too strong, with not enough muscle in the middle to drive something significant through the gate. (Don’t even get me started about the American Congress.)
A wise friend whom I otherwise deeply respect has been opining that it will take authoritarian leaders and draconian measures for humanity to handle the climate crisis. I recognize the feeling, but (see Churchill) have to ask “Whose authoritarian? Put into power by whom? For the sake of whose interests?” Absent a political strategy to win power – whether authoritarian or democratic—you’re much more likely to wind up with Ron DeSantis as your Fuehrer than Bill McKibben. (By the way, if you’re not increasingly concerned about the rise of fascism in America, then have a look at Thom Hartman’s latest column. If you’re are concenred and want to act to prevent it, see Gene Sharp’s time-tested handbook, From Dictatorship to Democracy [PDF])
CLIMATE & SPIRIT
But lest anxiety appropriate grief turn into immobilizing despair, consider checking in with Joanna Macy tomorrow for a webinar on Climate Change As Spiritual Practice. Joanna, a friend and neighbor and leading Buddhist activist, has long taught us about grief and despair, thinking like a mountain, and transforming anxiety into empowerment. It’s territory that I often fear stepping into, but it keeps calling to me, as I struggle and dance with the challenge of living between worlds.
Living Between Worlds, as you probably know by now, is the name of the monthly conversation I’ve been hosting for the last three years. (Archived here.) Please join me this Wednesday—and every third Wednesday—from noon to 130 Pacific time; topic, as always, TBA. Zoom asks that you register in advance; you can do that here.
BEST INVESTMENT EVER?
“My coaching engagement with Gil,” says a recent client, “is one of the best business investments I’ve made, ever.” Gratifying!
IN A NUTSHELL
Here’s what else I’m up to now. In a nutshell. (Do you like this format I’m experimenting with? Is it useful? Please let me know!)
PS: A colleague recently called me “always prescient.” Well, I just took a look at this video profile of our perspectives and our work that we built ten years ago, and I think it stands the test of time pretty well. What do you think?