Aubrey Meyer on Climate Change

19 September 2007

Last night the Findhorn Foundation community were privileged to attend a keynote address to open an exciting training programme, Global Climate Change and the Sustainable Energy Revolution, hosted by CIFAL Findhorn. Our dynamic May East, Chief Executive of CIFAL Findhorn, organised for Aubrey Meyer to share his address with the whole community. Meyer is best known for his strong voice on a global climate policy framework, Contraction and Convergence. This approach was first presented to the United Nations in 1990.

aubrey_meyer.jpgHaving not met him before, little did I realise that the violinist serenading the arriving guests was none other than our esteemed guest speaker! It was with delight that I saw him put down his violin and pick up the microphone, and the delight didn’t stop there, Aubrey continued to jump between technical climate change campaigner and concert violinist through his hour-long presentation.

He told the audience about his first ahaa moment in making a commitment to saving the planet. One night when kissing his four year old daughter goodnight she asked him, was the planet really was dying? Staggered by the question, he responded by telling her don’t worry, we’ll sort it out. In that moment his life changed. It was his commitment to his daughter that spurred him on and motivated him to leave his musical career and find solutions to global climate change.

Whilst much climate change data was shared during the talk, a key messages that I heard from Aubrey was that collaboration at a global level is simply not negotiable now. What Africa does affects London, what London does affects Beijing and there’s no ducking and diving, no possibility of passing the buck. “The phoney war of climate change is over – we are going into real pain now.”

I liked his philosophy towards promoting the Contraction and Convergence approach, “I wanted to say yes to everything that was helpful and as few nos as possible.”

His lively presentation ended with a round of questions and true to form our robust-thinking community voiced their views. What came over loud and clear through these audience questions and contributions was how important our community feels the process of tuning into the intelligence of nature is (Dorothy Maclean-style) to find out how the world can work with nature to clean up our excess carbon in time.

I left the event feeling grateful to live in a place where people with dynamic visions are walking their talk. I left feeling grateful to live in a place where attuning to the intelligence of nature is a way to find solutions that elude humankind. I left the event feeling grateful that we have the guts to voice such ideas to the experts. Spirit, and we, have the answers. Let’s go collaborate with other nations, but most of all let us collaborate with spirit.

For more info on the activities of CIFAL Findhorn see www.cifalfindhorn.org
For more info on the Contraction and Convergence approach www.gci.org.uk

Catherine Glennie

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