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Title: Transforming Environments from the Inside Out

Transforming Environmentsfrom the Inside Out
  • Arthur Lyon Dahl Ph.D.
  • International Environment Forum (IEF)
  • http//
  • 13 August 2009

Exploring the relationship between our outer and
inner environments
  • the planet and
  • our soul
  • science and spirituality

The Stateof the World
  • the apex of human progress?
  • wealth undreamed of by our forebears?
  • the successful result of economic development?
  • technological solutions to every problem?
  • the greatest civilization the world has ever
  • economic success proved that the system was right

OR the State of the World - 2
  • Half the world population lives on less than
  • Extremes of wealth and poverty widening
  • Asian economic expansion has reduced poverty at
    great environmental cost
  • Energy challenge / climate change threats
  • Growing water shortages
  • Loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Food production capacity at risk
  • Financial system has imploded
  • We are living beyond our means

Ecological footprint
  • Surface needed to supply the needs and absorb the
    wastes of an individual, community, or country
  • Global average 2.7 ha/person
  • USA 9.4 ha/p Canada 7.1 ha/p. Mexico 3.4 ha/p.
  • EU 4.7 ha/p Russia 3.7 ha/p. China 2.1 ha/p.
  • Resources available 1.9 ha/person
  • We overshot the earth's capacity in 1975
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//

Human Population Growth
Human Population
  • The world population has tripled in one lifetime,
    and is expected by the UN to rise to 9.2 billion
    by 2050 before stabilizing
  • By some estimates, world resources can only
    sustainably support 500 million people
  • We seem to be following a classic ecological
    pattern of overshoot and collapse
  • The planetary carrying capacity depends on
    numbers versus standard of living increasing one
    reduces the other
  • Science may find ways to increase carrying
    capacity, but only at longer time scales

Human Impact on the Carbon Cycle
  • Extracting and burning fossil fuels is returning
    to the atmosphere in two centuries the carbon
    dioxide sequestered by hundreds of millions of
    years of primitive biological activity

Climate Change will bestronger and sooner
  • Global carbon dioxide levels due to emissions
    from fossil fuels have accelerated since 2000
  • Rise in 1990s 0.7/yr 2.9 since 2000
  • Three causes growth in world economy, rise of
    coal use in China, weakening of natural carbon
    sinks (forests, seas, soils)
  • Growth in atmospheric CO2 about 35 higher than
    expected a few years ago

Polar areas are changing fastest
  • Half of the permafrost in the Arctic is expected
    to melt by 2050 and 90 before 2100, releasing
  • 14 of the permanent ice in the Arctic Ocean
    melted in 2005 23 more in 2007 (worst melting
    ever) nearly as much in 2008, opening the
    North-West Passage permanent ice in the Arctic
    Ocean may be gone by 2015-2030
  • Greenland glaciers have doubled their rate of
    flow in the last few years (6km/y 1997, 9km/y
    2000, 13km/y 2003), now raising sea level 0.83 mm
    per year
  • Similar melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet
    is adding another 0.55 mm per year, and

There is little time left to act
  • Global temperatures have already risen 0.6C and
    will probably rise a further 3, or even up to
    4.5-5 by 2100
  • Ocean temperatures have risen at least 3 km deep
  • Glaciers and snow cover have decreased cold
    days, nights and frost have become rarer hot
    days, nights and heat waves more frequent
  • Sea level rise has doubled in 150 years to 2
    mm/year, and recent polar melting is adding
    another 2 mm/year
  • Recent surge in CO2 levels from less uptake by
  • We may soon be approaching a tipping point where
    runaway climate change would be catastrophic

The most vulnerable areas risking catastrophic
collapse this century
  • Arctic Ocean and Greenland ice sheet
  • Amazon rain forest
  • Northern boreal forests
  • El Nino affecting weather in North America,
    South-East Asia and Africa (3C rise).
  • Collapse of West African monsoon
  • Erratic Indian summer monsoon

Climate changeeffect on the economy
  • The Stern Report estimated the annual cost of
    uncontrolled climate change at more than 660
    billion (5 to 20 of global GDP, as compared to
    1 for control measures for greenhouse gases).
  • Climate change represents the greatest market
    failure in human history

The energy challenge
  • Industrial economy, agriculture, transportation,
    communications, trade, urbanization, consumer
    lifestyle all depend on cheap and abundant energy
  • Energy demand will grow 50 by 2030, but oil
    production is peaking and will decline 75 in 30
    years coal may also peak by then
  • Climate change requires a rapid halt to fossil
    fuel use
  • Adaptation will be extremely expensive and the
    struggle for diminishing resources globally
  • A fossil-fuel-based civilization is unsustainable

Food Production
  • The Green Revolution of the 1970s postponed food
    supply as a limit to growth
  • Crop production has improved in the last 20 years
    from 1.8 to 2.5 t/ha. but such intensive
    agriculture requires high energy, fertilizer and
    petrochemical inputs
  • World cereal production per person peaked in the
    1980s and has decreased slowly since
  • Feeding the growing world population and reducing
    hunger by half will require doubling world food
    production by 2050
  • Land, water, phosphate, energy are all limiting

Soil degradation
The coming soil crisis
  • Many past civilizations collapsed because they
    degraded their soil
  • Average global soil loss today is 10 to 100 times
    the rate of soil formation
  • In Indiana, USA, for each ton of grain harvested,
    a ton of soil is lost
  • Since 1945, erosion has degraded 1.2 billion
    hectares, equal to China plus India, 38 of
    global crop land
  • Annual soil loss is 75 billion tonnes, with 12
    million ha abandoned, 1 of total

Start of a Global Food Crisis
  • In 2007, the price of wheat rose 100, maize 50,
    rice 20, increasing staple food prices for the
    poor over 10. By mid-2008 food prices up 78,
    soybeans and rice up 130
  • Global food reserves are lowest for 20 years,
    with only 57 day grain reserve
  • Climate change, drought, floods, soil erosion,
    overfishing are reducing food production
  • With grain being diverted for biofuel, 800 m
    motorists are competing with 2 bn poor
  • There are 960 m hungry people, 40 m more in 2008
    due to higher food prices
  • Food is being priced out of reach for the poor

Resource Depletion
  • Many key materials are being exhausted rapidly
    (estimated years left predicted/today's rate)?
  • Phosphorus (fertilizer) 142-345
  • Antimony (drugs) 15-30
  • Copper (wire, coins, pipes) 40-60
  • Hafnium, Indium (chips, LCDs) 5-15
  • Platinum (catalysts, fuel cells) 15-360
  • Silver (jewelry, catalysts) 15-30
  • Tantalum (cellphones, cameras) 20-115
  • Uranium (weapons, power stations) 30-60
  • Zinc (galvanizing) 20-46

The failure of social and economic development to
eliminate poverty
  • - Development has been our largest collective
    undertaking, with humanitarian aims and enormous
    material and technological investment
  • - While it brought impressive benefits, it failed
    to narrow the gap between rich and poor
  • - The gap has widen into an abyss
  • (based on Baha'i International Community, 2005).

Accumulating economic, socialand environmental
  • Financial crisis debt transferred to governments
  • UK Chief Scientist (19 March 2009) the world
    faces a 'perfect storm' of problems in 2030 as
    food, energy and water shortages interact with
    climate change to produce public unrest,
    cross-border conflicts and mass migrations

Scenariosplausible futures
  • Business as usual in a materialistic society
    ignoring the future
  • Retreating to a fortress world of old values
  • Making a transition to sustainability

Scenarios from World 3(Meadows et al. (1992)
Beyond the Limits)?
  • Business as usual Transition 1995
    Transition 2015


End of the growth paradigm
  • Is endless growth realistic?
  • Everything in nature follows cycles with optimal
  • Economic growth has depended on population
    growth, fossil fuel energy subsidy, resource
    discoveries and technological innovation
  • The first three all end in this century
  • All that is left is our brains and heart

Collapse of the financial system
  • The 2007-2008 collapse of the financial system
    was due to greed, herd behaviour, and
    over-confidence in scientific approaches to risk
  • Complex statistical models do not work for
    extreme events
  • Each vulnerability was evaluated independently
  • Future projections were based on past experience
  • There was no evaluation of overall systems
  • Jamison 2008

Where is the Economy going?
  • Origins in American consumer society living
    beyond its means, accumulating debt
  • UK minister "worst recession in 100 years"
  • The challenge to economic assumptions
  • Head of European Central Bank "We live in
    non-linear times the classic economic models and
    theories cannot be applied, and future
    development cannot be foreseen."
  • Derivatives over 500 trillion by 2008 (x4 5y).
  • European countries on brink of insolvency
  • Warnings of hyperinflation

CAUSESANDBARRIERSHow did we get ourselves
into such a situation?What is preventing us from
solving it?

Compartmentalized view of the worldThe
environment is outside of us(Mark Tobey,
Head of Boy, 1955).
Economic ThinkingDisjunction with Reality
  • The planet's resources are free for the taking
  • Short term perspective the quarterly balance
    sheet the next election
  • Herd mentality of investors and speculators
  • Expectation that things will always get better
  • In nature, cycles and optimal sizes uncontrolled
    growth is like a cancer

Disjunction with reality
  • - Economic thinking is challenged by the
    environmental crisis
  • - It can no longer insist that there is no limit
    to nature's capacity to fulfil any demand made on
  • - Attaching absolute value to growth, to
    acquisition, and to the satisfaction of people's
    wants is no longer a realistic guide to policy
  • - Economic decision-making tools cannot deal with
    the fact that most of the major challenges are
  • (based on The Prosperity of Humankind, Bahá'í
    International Community, Office of Public
    Information, Haifa, 1995)

A self-centred materialism
  • The early twentieth century materialistic
    interpretation of reality has become the dominant
    world faith in the direction of society
  • Rational experimentation and discussion are
    expected to solve all the issues of human
    governance and development
  • Dogmatic materialism has captured all
    significant centres of power and information at
    the global level, ensuring that no competing
    voices can challenge projects of world wide
    economic exploitation
  • (based on Bahá'í International Community, One
    Common Faith, 2005).

The wealthy live unsustainable lifestyles
The unsustainable consumer culture
  • - Materialism's vision of human progress produced
    today's consumer culture with its ephemeral goals
  • - For the small minority of people who can afford
    them, the benefits it offers are immediate
  • - The breakdown of traditional morality has led
    to the triumph of animal impulses and hedonism
  • - Selfishness has become a prized commercial
    resource falsehood reinvents itself as public
    information greed, lust, indolence, pride,
    violence are broadly accepted and have social and
    economic value
  • - Yet it is a culture without meaning
  • (based on Bahá'í International Community, One
    Common Faith, 2005, p. 10).

Barriers to change
  • No politician will sacrifice short-term economic
    welfare, even while agreeing that sustainability
    is essential in the long term
  • Deep social divisions within societies and
    between countries prevent united action in the
    common interest
  • Primacy of self interest over solidarity

Business as usual is not an optionbut how will
we respond to
  • Climate change?
  • Changes in energy systems and use?
  • Food shortages and price rises?
  • Forced migrations of environmental refugees?
  • Reform of the economic system?

Global land grab
  • Wealthy governments and large companies are
    buying/leasing large areas of land in poor
    countries for food export to ensure their own
    food security
  • 10 m ha were bought in 2008, 20m in first half of
    2009 ( half all arable land in Europe).
  • South Korea 690,000ha and UAE and Egypt 400,000ha
    each in Sudan Saudi Arabia 500,000ha in
    Tanzania Daewoo 1.3m ha in Madagascar Libya
    100,000ha in Mali South African businesses 8m ha
    in DR Congo China 2.8m ha in Congo and 2m ha in
    Zambia, with 1 m Chinese farm labourers in Africa
    in 2009

The main danger
  • "The main danger we face is... that by late 2009
    the global economy will be perking up again
    (because the housing sectors will have bottomed
    and the unwinding of commodity prices will boost
    consumption among oil importers) and governments
    will go back to business as usual, missing a
    once-in-a-life-time opportunity to address the
    serious vulnerabilities in the worlds financial
    system which the current crisis has revealed. In
    that scenario, the next crisis would find us with
    little ammunition left. That is the real danger."
  • Augusto Lopez Claros, letter to the Financial
    Times, 4 December 2008

Denial, Depression or Action?Do we have a
  • Can we go and hide on a remote island?

The Transformation of Human Society(Mark Tobey,
The New Day, 1945).
How do we achieve a transformation in values?
  • Science has no particular competence
  • Scientific information does not change behavior
  • Chaos is an opportunity for spiritual and
    intellectual leadership
  • Evolution with punctuated equilibrium
  • Opportunities are opening before us

Vision in Bahá'í writings and statements
  • Integrated
  • environmental
  • social
  • economic
  • sustainability

Sustainabilityis fundamentally anEthical
Challengeegotism versus altruismme first
versus all together
Oneness of Humankind
  • Acceptance of the oneness of mankind is the first
    fundamental prerequisite for the reorganization
    and administration of the world as one country,
    the home of humankind.
  • (Universal House of Justice, The Promise of World
    Peace, p. 13-14)
  • This requires a profound reconsideration of every
    dimension of our lives and society, including the

Transformation must startat the individual level
  • We cannot segregate the human heart from the
    environment outside us and say that once one of
    these is reformed everything will be improved.
    Man is organic with the world. His inner life
    moulds the environment and is itself also deeply
    affected by it. The one acts upon the other and
    every abiding change in the life of man is the
    result of these mutual reactions.
  • (Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 17
    February 1933, Compilation on Social and Economic
    Development, p. 4)

We must give a higher priority to the
environment in our community, economy and society
  • ...sustainable environmental management must come
    to be seen... as a fundamental responsibility
    that must be shouldered - a pre-requisite for
    spiritual development as well as the individual's
    physical survival.
  • (Bahá'í International Community, Valuing
    Spirituality in Development Initial
    Considerations Regarding the Creation of
    Spiritually Based Indicators for Development. A
    concept paper written for the World Faiths and
    Development Dialogue, Lambeth Palace, London,
    18-19 February 1998)?
  • Both quotations imply an intimate link between
    environment and spirituality

TheInside(Mark Tobey, Meditative Series
No.VIII, 1954).
Connection between spirituality and nature
  • Environmental crisis the result of a spiritual
  • We cut ourselves off from our spiritual nature
    and from God, and from our roots in the natural

No separation of natural environment and
spiritual reality
  • Nature is God's Will and is its expression in and
    through the contingent world.
  • (Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 142)

Contact with nature
  • The country is the world of the soul, the city is
    the world of bodies.
  • (Bahá'u'lláh, in J. E. Esslemont, Bahá'u'lláh and
    the New Era. Chpt. 3, p. 35)

Study of nature scientific and spiritual
  • When... thou dost contemplate the innermost
    essence of all things, and the individuality of
    each, thou wilt behold the signs of thy Lord's
    mercy in every created thing, and see the
    spreading rays of His Names and Attributes
    throughout all the realm of being.... Then wilt
    thou observe that the universe is a scroll that
    discloseth His hidden secrets, which are
    preserved in the well-guarded Tablet. And not an
    atom of all the atoms in existence, not a
    creature from amongst the creatures but speaketh
    His praise and telleth of His attributes and
    names, revealeth the glory of His might and
    guideth to His oneness and His mercy.... Look
    thou upon the trees, upon the blossoms and
    fruits, even upon the stones. Here too wilt thou
    behold the Sun's rays shed upon them, clearly
    visible within them, and manifested by them.
  • ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of
    'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 41-42)

Individual spiritual effortto detach ourselves
fromthe consumer lifestyle
  • We must avoid "the temptation to sacrifice the
    well-being of most people -- and even of the
    planet itself -- to the advantages which
    technological breakthroughs can make available to
    privileged minorities."
  • (based on Baha'i International Community,
    Prosperity of Humankind)

Detachment from material things
  • The true seeker should be content with little,
    and be freed from all inordinate desire.
  • (Bahá'u'lláh, Kitáb-i-Iqán, p. 193-194)

Voluntary Simplicity
  • Take from this world only to the measure of your
    needs, and forego that which exceedeth them.
  • (Bahá'u'lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts,
    p. 193).

Moderation in lifestyle
  • It is unjust to allow people
  • "to lay up riches for themselves, to deck their
    persons, to embellish their homes, to acquire the
    things that are of no benefit to them, and to be
    numbered with the extravagant."
  • None should be allowed to "either suffer want, or
    be pampered with luxuries."
  • (Bahá'u'lláh to the Sultan of Turkey, Gleanings
    from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, CXIV, pp.

  • Shoghi Effendi called for
  • "the exercise of moderation in all that pertains
    to dress, language, amusements, and all artistic
    and literary avocations" and "the abandonment of
    a frivolous conduct, with its excessive
    attachment to trivial and often misdirected
  • (Shoghi Effendi. The Advent of Divine Justice, p.

The spiritual danger of intellectual pride
  • The desire to know everything
  • The pride to think we can know everything through
  • "I think, therefore I am"
  • Rationalist/individualist approach
  • Individual is final arbiter of right or wrong
  • We decide what is true
  • Expression of egotism and self-centeredness
  • Places us above nature, to exploit and destroy it

"Opposing our passions"
  • Desire is a flame that has reduced to ashes
    uncounted lifetime harvests of the learned
  • ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Secret of Divine Civilization, p.

Transforming the inner environmenthumility to
acknowledge there is an unknowable essence we
must love and worship, though our minds cannot
grasp it nor our hearts contain it(Mark Tobey,
Aerial Centers, 1967).
Humility and Environment
  • Every man of discernment, while walking upon the
    earth, feeleth indeed abashed, inasmuch as he is
    fully aware that the thing which is the source of
    his prosperity, his wealth, his might, his
    exaltation, his advancement and power is, as
    ordained by God, the very earth which is trodden
    beneath the feet of all men. There can be no
    doubt that whoever is cognizant of this truth, is
    cleansed and sanctified from all pride,
    arrogance, and vainglory....
  • Bahá'u'lláh

Science for Everyone
  • The expansion of scientific and technological
    activity... must cease to be the patrimony of
    advantaged segments of society, and must be so
    organised as to permit people everywhere to
    participate in such activity on the basis of
    capacity. Apart from the creation of programmes
    that make the required education available to all
    who are able to benefit from it, such
    reorganisation will require the establishment of
    viable centres of learning throughout the world,
    institutions that will enhance the capability of
    the world's peoples to participate in the
    generation and application of knowledge.
  • (Baha'i International Community, Prosperity of

Transforming Communities(Mark Tobey, Coliseum,
The CommunityThe basic unit of social
  • Material needs
  • Economic and educational activities
  • Social and spiritual life
  • Relationship with local environment
  • Balance of local autonomy and larger integration

The challenges forcommunities
  • ...assisting in endeavours to conserve the
    environment in ways which blend with the rhythm
    of life of our community...
  • Universal House of Justice
  • responding to the increasing mixing of the
    peoples of the world by rebuilding human
    communities in all their diversity

Building unity in communities
  • This is exactly what Baha'i communities are
    developing through the institute process and the
    core activities of devotional meetings, group
    study, children's classes and pre-adolescent
  • "The ultimate testimony that the Baháí community
    can summon in vindication of His mission is the
    example of unity that His teachings have
  • (Bahá'í International Community, One Common
    Faith, p. 43).

Convincing leaders of thought ofthe power of
spiritual change
  • A fair-minded observer is compelled to entertain
    at least the possibility that the phenomenon may
    represent the operation of influences entirely
    different in nature from the familiar
    onesinfluences that can properly be described
    only as spiritualcapable of eliciting
    extraordinary feats of sacrifice and
    understanding from ordinary people of every
  • (Bahá'í International Community, One Common
    Faith, p. 44).

Self-organizing transformation based on contact
with the creative Word
  • The culture of systematic growth taking root in
    the Baháí community would seem... by far the
    most effective response the friends can make to
    the challenge discussed in these pages. The
    experience of an intense and ongoing immersion in
    the Creative Word progressively frees one from
    the grip of the materialistic assumptions... that
    pervade society and paralyze impulses for change.
    It develops in one a capacity to assist the
    yearning for unity on the part of friends and
    acquaintances to find mature and intelligent
  • (Bahá'í International Community, One Common
    Faith, p. 51).

Responding to the world'senvironmental problems
  • ...the parallel efforts of promoting the
    betterment of society and of teaching the Bahá'í
    Faith are not activities competing for attention.
    Rather, are they reciprocal features of one
    coherent global programme.... The obligation of
    the Bahá'í community is to do everything in its
    power to assist all stages of humanity's
    universal movement towards reunion with God.
  • (Bahá'í International Community, One Common
    Faith, p. 51-52).

Extending the process of systematic learning
  • As you continue to labour in your clusters, you
    will be drawn further and further into the life
    of the society around you and will be challenged
    to extend the process of systematic learning in
    which you are engaged to encompass a growing
    range of human endeavours. In the approaches you
    take, the methods you adopt, and the instruments
    you employ, you will need to achieve the same
    degree of coherence that characterizes the
    pattern of growth presently under way.
  • Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 2008

This is transformation from the inside
outcoherence between words and actions(Mark
Tobey, New Genesis, 1958)
Addressing the challenges of the outer
environment(Mark Tobey, Urban Renewal, 1964)
Environmental impactsmust be reduced
  • at the global level
  • in each country
  • in every community
  • by each individual
  • through a balance of material and spiritual

Preservation of Nature
  • Bahá'í Scriptures describe nature as a reflection
    of the sacred. They teach that nature should be
    valued and respected, but not worshipped rather,
    it should serve humanity's efforts to carry
    forward an ever-advancing civilization. However,
    in light of the interdependence of all parts of
    nature, and the importance of evolution and
    diversity "to the beauty, efficiency and
    perfection of the whole," every effort should be
    made to preserve as much as possible the earth's
    bio-diversity and natural order.
  • (Bahá'í International Community, Valuing
    Spirituality in Development Initial
    Considerations Regarding the Creation of
    Spiritually Based Indicators for Development. A
    concept paper written for the World Faiths and
    Development Dialogue, Lambeth Palace, London,
    18-19 February 1998)

The spiritual principle environmentalsustainabil
ity is a fundamental responsibility
  • As trustees, or stewards, of the planet's vast
    resources and biological diversity, humanity must
    learn to make use of the earth's natural
    resources, both renewable and non-renewable, in a
    manner that ensures sustainability and equity
    into the distant reaches of time. This attitude
    of stewardship will require full consideration of
    the potential environmental consequences of all
    development activities. It will compel humanity
    to temper its actions with moderation and
    humility, realizing that the true value of nature
    cannot be expressed in economic terms. It will
    also require a deep understanding of the natural
    world and its role in humanity's collective
    development both material and spiritual.
    Therefore, sustainable environmental management
    must come to be seen not as a discretionary
    commitment mankind can weigh against other
    competing interests, but rather as a fundamental
    responsibility that must be shouldered a
    pre-requisite for spiritual development as well
    as the individual's physical survival. (Bahá'í
    International Community, Valuing Spirituality in
    Development Initial Considerations Regarding the
    Creation of Spiritually Based Indicators for
    Development. A concept paper written for the
    World Faiths and Development Dialogue, Lambeth
    Palace, London, 18-19 February 1998)

A new vision of economics
  • The ultimate function of economic systems should
    be to equip the peoples and institutions of the
    world with the means to achieve the real purpose
    of development that is, the cultivation of the
    limitless potentialities latent in human
  • (Bahá'í International Community, Valuing
    Spirituality in Development Initial
    Considerations Regarding the Creation of
    Spiritually Based Indicators for Development. A
    concept paper written for the World Faiths and
    Development Dialogue, Lambeth Palace, London,
    18-19 February 1998).

New economic models
  • ... furthering a dynamic, just and thriving
    social order. Such economic systems will be
    strongly altruistic and cooperative in nature
    they will provide meaningful employment and will
    help to eradicate poverty in the world.
  • (Bahá'í International Community, Valuing
    Spirituality in Development Initial
    Considerations Regarding the Creation of
    Spiritually Based Indicators for Development. A
    concept paper written for the World Faiths and
    Development Dialogue, Lambeth Palace, London,
    18-19 February 1998)

Rehabilitating the Reputationof Religion
  • A global intelligensia, its prescription largely
    shaped by materialistic misconceptions of
    reality, clings tenaciously to the hope that
    imaginative social engineering, supported by
    political compromise, may indefinitely postpone
    the potential disasters that few deny loom over
    humanity's future.... As unity is the remedy for
    the world's ills, its one certain source lies in
    the restoration of religion's influence in human
  • (Bahá'í International Community, One Common
    Faith, p. 42-43 )

Global Governanceframework of lawsenvironmental
and social standardsreplacement of national
sovereigntyaddressing climate changeglobal
management of resourcesequitable distribution

Action in Civil SocietyAcademic and Research
  • UN Decade of Education for Sustainable
    Development UNESCOcat International Expert
    Meeting of Faith-based organizations, March 2007
  • US Partnership for DESD http//www.uspartnership.o
  • European Consumer Citizenship Network (CCN) and
    its successor, the Partnership for Education and
    Research for Responsible Living (PERL)
  • Values-based Indicators of Education for
    Sustainable Development http//www.ESDinds.e

Something fundmental is missingthe pace and
scale of changepossible only with spiritual
transformationin an accelerating process of
organic change (Mark Tobey, Lovers of Light,
The only solution...the World Order of
  • Until such time as the nations of the world
    understand and follow the admonitions of
    Bahá'u'lláh to whole-heartedly work together in
    looking after the best interests of all
    humankind, and unite in the search for ways and
    means to meet the many environmental problems
    besetting our planet, ...little progress will be
    made towards their solution....
  • Universal House of Justice

  • We must overcome
  • - narrow perspectives
  • - materialism
  • We must encourage
  • - spirituality
  • - balance
  • - moderation
  • - consultation

We need generalists -Whole systems specialists
  • 'Abdu'l-Baha described how in the future the
    Learned required "knowledge of the sacred
    Scriptures and the entire field of divine and
    natural science, of religious jurisprudence and
    the arts of government and the varied learning of
    the time and the great events of history" in
    order to meet "the necessary qualification of
    comprehensive knowledge."
  • ('Abdu'l-Baha, Secret of Divine Civilization, p.

The challenge to us all
  • Become leaders in the transformation of society
    and its relationship to the environment
  • Use spiritual principles to guide us
  • Lay new intellectual foundations for social
    change from the inside out
  • Pioneer in building new economic and social
    systems and institutions
  • Bring us back into balance with a sustainable
  • Lay a solid foundation for an ever-advancing

The years ahead will be difficult, but there is
reason for hope
  • Transforming environments
  • is only possible
  • from the inside out

Thank you
  • The planet will thank you too