Category Archives: My Stance to Global Warming

The Climate Mobilization Pledge

We are at war, and we are losing! (Bill McKibben, 2016 Sep 6)

I’ve indicated previously that I have joined The Climate Mobilization (TCM). What follows is the pledge I am making as part of this process.

I’ve joined TCM because I strongly believe that our civilization is on a suicide course regarding Climate Change, and that the only hope for our survival (in any form of effective civilization) is to engage in a massive political mobilization. Actually, it may be our only hope for survival as a species.

The planet will survive. Life will likely survive. We may not!

All of this will not likely occur in my lifetime. But I/we will be leaving a degraded world for our children and grand-children. I would like my grand-children to know that I am doing what I can to create a better world.

Climate Change is a problem of our entire civilization, not a national issue. The Pledge is international, and can be adapted for any nation.


Climate change is causing immense human suffering and damage to the natural world. It threatens the collapse of civilization within this century. Confronting this crisis is the great moral imperative of our time.


  1. Immediately commence a social and economic mobilization to restore a climate that is safe, stable, and supportive of human civilization. This heroic campaign shall be carried out on a vast scale, transforming our economy at wartime speed.
  2. Reduce our country’s net greenhouse gas emissions 100 percent by 2030 at the latest and implement far-reaching measures to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
  3. Enlist a multitude of citizens in efforts to rapidly expand our carbon-neutral energy and agricultural systems, conduct groundbreaking research, and implement large-scale adaptation measures. Full employment will be achieved.
  4. Conduct this mobilization in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and ensure that the essential needs of the civilian economy are met during this time of transition.
  5. Establish the following imperatives as our nation’s top foreign policy priorities: A 100 percent reduction of global net greenhouse gas emissions at emergency speed, and the deployment of comprehensive measures that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere until a safe climate is restored.

I will enlist fellow citizens from all walks of life in this campaign. If sitting politicians fail to mobilize, we will elect leaders with the courage and foresight to enact these demands.


  1. Vote for candidates— on every electoral level — who have signed the Pledge to Mobilize over those who have not.
  2. Advocate publiclyfor an emergency climate mobilization in the halls of government and in the media.
  3. Mobilize my skills, resources, and networks to spreadthe truth of climate change and the hope of this movement to others. When I spread the Pledge to Mobilize, I will do so with respect, truth, focus and courage.

Thus I pledge to mobilize, in defense of civilization and the natural world.

MY INTENTION (in the next four months)

  1. Initiate a Vancouver-based chapter of Climate Mobilization.
  2. Organize a support group within System Change Not Climate Change – North Vancouver regarding anger and burnout within the spectrum of Climate Change
  3. Present workshops on Anger Management (Blowing Out The Darkness) and Burnout (The Bottom Line) as a supplementary support.
  4. Present an online Anger Management program: Angry? Change Your Life in 90 Days (a free email program).

Any interest: contact; any support welcome.


I’ve chosen to focus on TCM because I believe that TCM has an effective vision, and an effective platform. From my work as therapist (using the concept of the force field of change), I know that change requires three things:

  • an effective vision of the future,
  • an honest appraisal of the present, and
  • a shift in the balances of forces that maintain the present
    • augmenting the positive forces, and
    • reducing the negative forces.

As TCM notes, their immediate vision is that of full-scale climate mobilization; they are less clear of the long-term vision, but at least they allude to the need for long-term cultural change. Their appraisal of the present as a suicide mission is correct for me.

I agree that their focus on augmenting political will is accurate as to what must happen in shifting the culture. And they recognize the need for dealing with the negative forces, the Climate Lie. Finally, although heavily Americanized in their language, they attempt to build coordinated cooperation between agencies.

Thus for me, TCM covers all the bases — so this is where I want to put my energy of making a difference. At the personal level, my strength is in reducing the negative forces, especially in dealing with issues of anger and burnout (long-term, I do want to find a way to utilize my strengths — which will almost certainly be necessary in the coming years).

For now though, my need is to build a local organization within TCM, one that can make a difference. I’m new to being an activist, but I have (I hope) relatively few illusions as to how difficult it is to shift the system. As necessary I fall back on the adage of how does one eat an elephant — one bite at a time.

Reflections on Hope, Part 2

Focus on what you can control about what matters.
It is easy to become overwhelmed.

In the last post, I reviewed the negative forces that I believe impact the likelihood of catastrophe as the outcome of global warming. I want now to reflect on the positives concerning my hope for a mature culture.

As stated, I strongly believe that, if we are to survive as a species, we must more towards maturity; we must move towards:

  • the many features of justice and love that have been advocated over the centuries (the features that represent our greatness as a species), and
  • the ability to have power over the processes of power (the nemesis that has plagued our civilizations for thousands of years).

In the past few years, I have often stated that, as individuals, human beings are capable of incredible greatness, but as a species we are psychotic.

There are many positives, but unfortunately they are not as easy to describe as the negatives. My struggle in this post is to organize the positives in such a way as to convey hope. Here I define hope as “evidence in the present for what I seek in the future.”

The positive forces include:

  • large numbers of people and organizations making headway in technology, social justice, and other forms of cultural transformation.
    • In particular, Gilding in The Great Disruption (2011) notes of human beings: “They were slow, but not stupid.”
  • the huge diversity in the creative ways in which change is beginning to occur in our civilization, thus increasing the possibility of self-organizing systemic change.
    • major advances in science and technology.
    • much better understanding to complex systems, leading to better understanding of resilience and sustainability.
    • much more powerful theological understandings and challenges, with an emphasis on community and correction of systemic injustice.
    • many examples of the convergence of science and spirituality. For example, Shinzen Young[1] notes: “the world of rigorous science and the world of deep meditation have begun a courtship dance.. . . a new knowledge powerful enough to rapidly alter the course of human history for the better.”
  • numerous social challenges by diverse organizations, ranging from to native communities, seeking greater attention to ecology and the dangers of global warming.
    • It is essential that these forces affiliate, but it is equally important that they provide diversity, so as to provide the opportunity for creative resolutions to difficult issues.
  • the recognition that profound change usually comes out of left field. It is not predictable how and when it will happen. As example, I think of the many times in my life that major change occurred in a day or less when events came together in synchronistic ways. This was true of the mystical experiences I had, and it was also true of both my decision to settle in Orangeville Ontario (1992) as a therapist, and my developing a day retreat center (1996) for anger management — profound change within hours.

When I look over the above, it does not look like much in the way of evidence! Much of it is very subjective.

I am also influenced by my own mystic experiences that have been transformative of my life, especially that of a three-year period of Cosmic Consciousness, an experience of profoundly knowing that “all shall be well,” a trust in the goodness of the universe.

Furthermore, I am very aware that to live into the power of the negatives is to create a self-fulfilling prophesy that we are all doomed anyway, so why bother? I am not willing to do this; thus I choose to be active in response.

However, each person will have to struggle with their own despair in this horrendous issue. I have deep compassion for this struggle — in my dissertation, I noted a statement of the 17th century scientist-philosopher Blaise Pascal: “those who study acedia do not come away unscathed.”

It is helpful to me to remember that the Chinese pictogram for crisis is a combination of the symbols for danger and for opportunity. There is also the Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times!

I believe that my primary journey as a human being is to become more loving — and the issues of global warming certainly provide that interesting opportunity. I hope we will survive (and thrive in) these dangerous times, but I also recognize it seems like a coin toss as to what will really happen.

Onward — what are the blocks that stop human beings from maturing.

[1] Unsolicited email, 2016 September 9, Shinzen Young on The Science of Enlightenment.

Reflections on Hope

Focus on what you can control about what matters.
It is easy to become overwhelmed.

I want now to reflect on my hope for a mature culture. For more than twenty postings, I have suggested my ideas for a mature culture, not as a blueprint, but as a point of discussion.

I strongly believe that, if we are to survive as a species, we must more towards maturity; we must more towards:

  • the many features of justice and love that have been advocated over the centuries (the features that represent our greatness as a species), and
  • the ability to have power over the processes of power (the nemesis that has plagued our civilizations for thousands of years).

If we do not learn to manage these issues, we not only are not likely to survive, but we probably do not even deserve to survive.

As I reflect on what I know of the human species, and of the characteristics of civilization, it is very easy for me to feel discouraged.

  • We are at the brink of destruction of our world as a result of the complexity of global warming; we have knowingly been moving in this direction for at least 50 years, and we are only now beginning to mobilize our resources (probably ineffectively as yet) to combat these forces.
  • And what we are just starting to confront are only the symptoms of the hubris and acedia that underlie the processes whereby we have created global warming. Especially, we have yet to begin the conversation regarding the two major issues of overpopulation and the management of power.

It is not easy to read about, or to write about, these matters. I began to look at them in a serious way about five years ago, and as a result, I was in major despair for a number of years. I am through that struggle now, and as a result, I choose to live into hopefulness. But I have major empathy and compassion with those who are in denial or who give up — it is not easy to live with ongoing concern of these issues.

So, to begin, I see many forces arrayed against this possibility of maturity.

  • As a species, we are pain avoiders. We tend not to deal with issues until they are fully in our faces, such that we must deal with them.
    • Given the laws of physics as applied to global warming, this tendency does not bode well for survival. We are reaching, if not exceeding, irreversible tipping points that will change our world in major ways.
    • And there is the acedia of the general population, many of whom are almost certainly overwhelmed by the complexity of these problems. The difficulty here is to get others to respond; the problems are so complex and so difficult to prove, especially in the face of frequent disinformation. But silence maintains the Climate Lie.
  • We are the world’s top predator, and we are deeply in denial of this role. David Suzuki, in “The simple-minded nature of human super predators” (2016 Sep 06) notes: “When judged by this dynamic of upholding natural balances, humans are failing terribly as predators” — as compared to other predator-prey systems which are symbiotic, human beings degrade the system rather than stabilize it. We interfere, often with good intentions.
  • Between global warming and overpopulation, we are likely approaching Malthusian limits that will present themselves as famine, plague, or war, all of which have some basis in present reality.
    • Famine: Lester Brown in World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse (2011) has written: I had long rejected the idea that food could be the weak link in our twenty-first century civilization. Today I think not only that it could be the weak link, but that it is the weak link.”
    • Plague: The emergence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs presents major challenges in disease management.
    • War: The increasing numbers of failed states such as Syria, and the testing of nuclear weapons by North Korea, are potentially only the beginning of struggles over resources such as water and food.
  • There is also the immense sabotage of democratic systems by processes that, for me, can only be understood as greed and evil.
  • Consistent with the adage “Powertends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” there is much in the modern legal system that does not reflect justice, but merely legal maneuvering — a sad state of affairs with respect to the possibility of a mature culture.

Given all of this, many give up. I have not. In the next post, I will look at the positives.

To be continued.

Understanding this blog

My experience is that anyone coming to a new blog, especially one that has be available for more than 20-30 posts, will need time to get a sense of the blog.

This page is meant to give you the new reader some clues as to what I the creator believe will most serve you in understanding the nature of this blog. Of course I want you to stay, and either get value from the blog and/or perhaps contribute comments that add to the value.

Ideally my postings range over a variety of topics. Often I focus on what will be required to respond to the issues of global warming, both the surface technological issues and the deeper cultural issues.  In some, I respond to current events. In others, I delve into my skills as psychotherapist to understand the dilemmas of human beings.

These are my starting suggestions. Periodically I will update this list as I create new posts.

  1. the Home page
  2. Welcome #2 (20160614)
  3. Global Warming: My Stance (20160728)
  4. Why I do anger management (20160626)
  5. What Are The Rules That Run You? (20140813)
  6. Being A Resource Seeking A Need (20161016, #1 of 5)

Two other series of posts may be of interest, perhaps importance:

Global Warming: My Stance

I truly wonder if we will survive as a species.
I truly wonder if we will survive as a species.

I’ve been ill for the past week, still somewhat frail — it has given me an opportunity to think about what I really want, and why I am writing this blog. Succinctly, I believe that as a species we are on a suicide mission, and as a culture we are incredibly angry; you only have to look at the American politics to see how angry we are, and you only have to look at other situations to see how frustrated. I want to have a positive impact in changing all this.

Therapist: anger management

For almost 25 years, I taught anger management, and I was good. A judge would sometimes specify my weekend program as part of his judgments, to the exclusion of other better-known programs. A Probation Officer send me more that 60 clients for domestic issues over the years — he could only recall two who re-offended (after a while, he kept informal count, and eventually he gave me detailed feedback, published in my book Blowing Out The Darkness). Not all angry people end up with probation issues, but only two poor outcomes out of sixty is astounding.

During my career, I generally noted that my long-term clients fell into two groups. One group was very active in personal growth, and would change their lives in astounding ways; personal growth itself can be painful — these people would work through the pain, arriving at places in their lives where they were deeply satisfied.

My Acedia Clients

The second group was inactive. I came to characterize them as lazy and/or fearful. I am not intending to be pejorative, simply descriptive. By lazy I mean they would say they would do the work, and then produce no results other than excuses. By fearful, they would talk about how painful the work would be if they did it, and that they were afraid of the consequences (they were fearful — this was not fear!).

I eventually came to the conclusion that these issues were a broad reflection of their (unconscious) refusal to be authentic (so-called existential issues) and/or a refusal to engage in the profound beauty of life (one of my definitions of spiritual). I also know that I had no tools to offer — laziness and fearfulness were choices, and all I could do was to challenge the client to live authentically. (Actually, if the client accepted the challenge, the therapy became easy.)

PhD: Climate Change

After about 25 years, I recognized that I needed a break from my career, and the opportunity came for me to do my PhD at a university that emphasized authenticity. I decided that here was my opportunity to study laziness and fearfulness, and started on that journey. (I soon added self-righteousness, and subsumed all three under an ancient word acedia.)

Early in the course work, we were talking about the current state of our society, especially global warming. Given my first university degree was in physics, I easily understood the science and mechanics of global warming — I recognized we were on a suicide course, the extinction of the human species, no ifs! It is that serious. I was devastated, and it took me almost two years to get out of my despair (now long gone, but with residual sadness). So my dissertation became the relationship between acedia and global warming, eventually resulting in my second book Acedia, The Darkness Within, and the darkness of climate change.


For the next few years, I travelled, and saw a lot of the Caribbean, South America, and some of Europe. I also pondered one of my favorite expressions: “As individual human beings, we are capable of incredible greatness, but as a species, we are psychotic.” (Introverts, especially hermits, are very good at pondering.)

Global warming is a technological issue, but we do not resolve it. We have known about the issues for approximately 50 years, but we have continued on a path of denial and greed, such that now it might be too late. I hope not, and I intend to live as if it is not too late.

And global warming is simply the outcome of our hubris as a species. For perhaps millions of years, the Homo species has lived as hunter-gatherers. Ten thousand years ago (a drop in the bucket), we started to create civilizations through the dynamics of power. Eventually came scientific materialism, our marvelous technology, with hidden costs. And in our hubris, we did not want to pay the costs. Hence, we are where we are . . .

What I Want

About a year ago, after much vacillation, I decided this was not good enough. This is not how I want to spend my life, pondering. I have skills that are important to this whole struggle.

The world needs to mobilize its forces to deal with the ills of civilization. I can assist with this, although it is not my strong point. First, it must be mobilized to resolve global warming, likely at the level demonstrated in the States at the beginning of their direct contribution in the 1940s (see The Climate Mobilization). Second, we must create a more humane culture, one that honors the whole of the planet.

My skill is in being a resource to people who want to do the work. I believe there is a huge amount of anger in the world, even in the people who are doing the work. There is nothing wrong with anger, provided it does not lead to violation, but anger poorly managed leads to burnout, and burnout is not useful to doing the work. And I am very good at the management of both anger and burnout.

Next: What underlies global warming — the nature of acedia.

This post is part of what I am calling the core posts for understanding what I am attempting by this blog. For other core posts, click here.

Why I do anger management

So sad.
So sad.

In one sense, this post is a digression on my current theme of visioning a mature society. But it also gets to the heart of the matter of how we are to get to this vision. For me, anger is the canary in the coal mine, and it has movement.

First, what a blog offers me.

In doing a blog, I am forced by its structure: It needs to be short and fairly concise, neither of which really suits my need to present depth. However, I go in a number of interesting directions.

  • I give major attention to how blogs attract people, a significant learning curve for me.
    • I use more lists and more subheadings — they apparently attract more attention. (Because of information overload, people seek very brief bites of information, thus very stressful and dysfunctional. Efficient, but sad!)
    • I keep the posts relatively short, forcing me to be more precise. Likely a good thing.
  • I use my meditation practice (approximately 40 minutes a day) as a way to reflect; thereby, I access my other-than-conscious mind, a very powerful workhorse for me.
  • In having pause time between blogs, I develop very interesting (to me) side-branches to the themes I want to present.

So, why anger management?

I focused on anger management as a therapist largely because anger was so much a part of my own life. With this, I soon came to realize that anger is a part of every life issue. Thus I had the opportunity to study the whole of life.

In that sense, anger is a window to cultural issues, and is a canary in the coal mine. If you want to improve any situation, augment the positives and diminish the negatives. As applied to mine conditions, for example, you work on a) education for better conditions, and b) improving the ventilation system. But if you don’t change the ventilation, education does little good. From my perspective, if our culture does not deal long-term with the underlying anger in healthy ways, much (all?) of the positive movement is ineffective.

In addition, anger has movement; it is a push against the environment. Eventually in my therapy practice, I realized that the people who were stuck were either lazy (they wouldn’t do the work) or fearful (they were afraid of the consequences of the work) — I’m not being critical here, simply attempting to identify. So in retirement, I decided to research laziness and fearfulness as the focus of my PhD. (Eventually I subsumed laziness and fearfulness, plus self-righteousness, into the ancient word, acedia.)

There are two problems with acedia:

  • there is no movement; acedia is a stuck state, and requires an existential choice by the individual that they will not stay stuck; they will move through whatever the issues are.
  • acedia is the dominant factor that has lead to the issues of climate change. As a culture, we have been unwilling to do the work of choosing a world based on justice and health.

Thus, for me, anger management has been my path to health, both individually and culturally. I’ve learned much thereby, both about the negatives and the positives.

Now, back to cultural visioning (unless I develop another digression). :)))

This post is part of what I am calling the core posts for understanding what I am attempting by this blog. For other core posts, click here.

Welcome #2

We have a choice as to what happens!
We have a choice as to what happens!

Hi. I am re-evaluating how I use this blog, and have decided to resume it in a variety of ways.

I stopped posting (in every way) about two years ago, largely because I did not have a focus in my life as to how to proceed. However, I have remained deeply concerned about the issues of climate change, especially the emotional issues that underlie how we have created this problem, a super-wicked problem that may well lead to our extinction as a species. We must undertake the arduous work of maturing as a species — I do not believe we have much choice in this (the option remains extinction).

That said, in the past month, I have started working with a marketing consultant who believes (as I do) that my work is an important contribution to this process of maturation. I am therefore now re-establishing my workshops on emotional issues (see my website for details), and I am submitting regular postings both on Facebook (Dave MacQuarrie and Blowing Out the Darkness) and on LinkedIn (Dave MacQuarrie) — often duplicate postings in multiple sites. You can also watch a short video of me on my website, under “Who is Dave.”

Because these postings are difficult to search, and because many people simply do not want the hassle represented by such as Facebook, I want a primary location where my posts can be accessed. I believe this blog, as an independent site, will serve this purpose.

This site will therefore contain a wide variety of content:

  • my thoughts on the issues of climate change (please see my original home page).
  • my struggles and explorations as to how to respond to these issues.
  • my reactions to current issues — I read a lot, and when I encounter something that I believe important to the underlying issues, I will comment.
  • my responses to questions on an emotional nature — my experience is that the average person is overwhelmed with issues; when people ask me for assistance, their questions are likely of interest to many.

In the next few weeks, I will be adding copies of the recent posts I have submitted to other sites, mainly for consistency of content.

Thanks. I hope you enjoy this blog, and take value from my comments.

This post is part of what I am calling the core posts for understanding what I am attempting by this blog. For other core posts, click here.


We are running out of time.
We are running out of time.

In the past two days, I have received two key emails. Both seem vitally important to me in the resolution of global warming. If you are not able to access them, I’ll be happy to forward my copies.

    1. Al Gore’s The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate(Rolling Stones, 2014 June 14), and
    2. Charles Eisenstein’s Climate Change: The Bigger Picture (Resurgence & Ecologist magazine Issue 284 May/June 2014)

(Although the intended meanings of climate change and global warming are similar, I have read recently that global warming has more emotional impact, and therefore more likely to influence people — it is the term I will use in future.)

In particular, Al Gore noted:

There will be many times in the decades ahead when we will have to take care to guard against despair, lest it become another form of denial, paralyzing action.

Eisenstein, in his article, discussed the complexity of the inter-relatedness of our world, and the need for a grand vision. These are exactly the messages of my dissertation: Acedia and its Transformation, and my book Acedia: The Darkness Within, and the darkness of Climate Change (AuthorHouse, 2012, available on Amazon).

As illustration of the difficulties, I was listening to a podcast interview of David Suzuki, one of the world’s leading environmentalists (CBC Ideas, The Global Eco-crisis, 2014 Jun 20), where he indicated that he believes that the environmental movement of the past 50 years has failed — any advances have been temporary — and the destructive forces just keep on coming.

As a species, we are hugely subject to denial, seeking short term resolutions when long-term vision is essential. I believe it is time to create and act towards the kind of planetary civilization that we will require if we wish to survive as a species.

In my dissertation/book, I proposed that acedia is the basic underlying human characteristic that has both led to the problem of global warming (amongst other problems), and also stops us from effective action in its resolution (and possible maturation as a species). I also discussed some of the needed characteristics of a mature civilization.

The intention of this blog is to initiate a discussion of what is needed for our survival and maturation as a species. Throughout, I will be reflecting on my own issues as well as my own learnings over the thirty years that I have been studying human dynamics.

The starting point, from my perspective, is a two-pronged approach:

    1. develop a culture-wide vision of the civilization we want, and
    2. study and transform our acedia.

A tall order; in fact a super-wicked problem, and a major factor in acedia. It is possible that such approaches as mine will also fail, but “in basketball, you miss 100% of shots that you do not attempt.”

Those who wish can contact me, either within this blog itself, via email directly (, or via Facebook.

Dave MacQuarrie