October 7, 2014

Climate Change—or Change of Heart? ~ Gerard Murphy


Earth is not a platform for human life.
It’s a living being.
We’re not on it but part of it.
Its health is our health.

~ Thomas Moore

Bob Dylan’s legendary ballad, Blowin’ in the Wind poses a series of rhetorical questions: How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man? How many years must some people exist before they’re allowed to be free?  How many times can a man turn his head pretending he just doesn’t see?

The refrain, “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind” has been described as “impenetrably ambiguous; either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind.”

When I reflect on the contentious and inflammatory issue of climate change on our planet, I contend that the answer to our strife is not to be found in the “impenetrable ambiguity” of political posturing: It is to be found in the human heart.

With world leaders coming to New York City last month for a landmark summit on climate change, people around the world took to the streets to demand action to end the climate crisis. It was an inspiring non-violent demonstration of “people power”; there was a total of 2,646 organized events worldwide in 162 countries.

The march in New York was by far the largest climate march in history. The pictures, world maps, and international headlines spoke volumes. This phenomenon was a staggering testament to the collective weltschmerz of a people crying out in unison for change—to change the course of history, reverse the agenda of consumption, and make amends to a living organism we have poisoned, polluted, exploited and degraded more than any other civilization in the course of history.

But was it and is it enough?

No! Eco-activism has as its only goal to change environmental policies on carbon dioxide emissions and reliance on fossil fuels—that is to change the minds of media moguls, corporate CEOs, and careerist politicians in the hope that they will listen to the voices of the masses. This will, in my opinion, have very little impact unless their words, gestures and appeals are singularly directed at the hearts of those who ultimately call the shots.

We are so deeply disconnected from the anima mundi of our planetary home, as to be virtual exiles on the very soil and oceans that birthed us .

Our only hope is reconnection, an exponential raising of human consciousness—especially that of world leaders—from our heart (not head) chakra. In a word: Metanoia—a fundamental and profound conversion of the human heart; a humble and contrite recognition of what has failed and a wholehearted embracing of what now needs to unfold.

Our hearts, in essence, need to be ravished with love for our earthly home with a deep compassion and reverence for all life—human, animal and plant—equally. We need to restore our sense of belonging and inter-dependence. We belong to the heartbeat of creation; we are the natural rhythm of life itself—its evolutionary impulse. Failure to honor this primeval kinship with the earth, or to inspire it in the hearts of our elected leadership, could, in the end, be cataclysmic.

The Earth is a living, breathing, conscious organism. I’m not concerned about its survival. It has cleansed and restored itself before; and will do so again, if necessary. The rub for us is: This time around, we may have gone too far—meaning such a deep planetary ablution may necessarily herald our demise.

The choice is in our hands; but ultimately in our hearts.



Mick Gold, “Life and Life Only: Dylan at 60,” in Judas! Magazine, April 2002, p.43


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Editor: Travis May

Photo: Xavier Badosa/Flickr

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