Tears of Delight PM of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern’s Well-Being Budget & Maori Guardianship | Friendship Bench

I am in tears of delight as I listen to the statements of the Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party, Jacinda Ardern, speaking of well-being as the measuring stick at the Davos, Switzerland World Economic Forum. She speaks honestly and earnestly – brilliantly revealing to the other diplomats a lens through which to look that is not measuring the quantity of profits through the GDP, but the quality of life and well-being of the people.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand, politics of kindness, empathy, well-being

New Zealand politics of kindness, empathy and well-being

Among the leaders of the prohibitively expensive and exclusive Davos World Economic Forum, here is yet another example of a leader stepping outside of the dictates of the norm, to instead be a spokesperson for the quality of life. She states that numbers mean nothing, if people are homeless, if the teen suicide rate is high, if people are emotionally and physically ill. It’s another great step for humanity to have an excellent female leader with the bravery to speak the truth. She’s naturally a tremendous advocate for making changes to avert climate catastrophe.

We all know what disasters continue to strike due to industrial practices that are bent on wielding the highest profits, at the cost of health and life of human and species loss and environmental degradation.

Instead of complete lies, such as what comes from the USA present reality-show-muppet-leader, everything that she says speaks truth, conviction and dignity, from the content of her words to her tone and mannerisms. She speaks honestly, as do a number of recently elected female congresswomen in the US. Hurray for the people who are electing these women leaders throughout the world. It is great news.

Not unprecedented in her ideas, the government of Bhutan conceived of the model of Gross National Happiness as a more real measuring stick than the GDP. You can have a high GDP with great numbers, sales and profits that are off the charts…and as you focus the lens in close, you see that the Amazons and Walmarts that are employing high numbers of stressed people, have paved all of the pristine land; expanded their enterprises along with their parking lots stinking of tar and asphalt and wiped out swaths of land that are habitat to creatures who share the planet.

Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index

The construction of the GNH Index includes nine domains

Psychological wellbeing
Health
Education
Time use
Cultural diversity and resilience
Good governance
Community vitality
Ecological diversity and resilience
Living standards

We no longer need an economy bent on profit, so that the computer that I’m using has to be replaced every x amount of years, because of it being built to become obsolete in that short amount of time, as the Superfund sites where the minerals are harvested or skeletons of older models of trash accumulate, to litter and poison water and air. There is absolutely a different paradigm waiting for us around the corner.

Jacinda Ardern aims to to bring the New Zealand Maori philosophy of ‘guardianship’ of the environment into politics.

nothing to fear jacinda ardern urges world leaders

nothing to fear jacinda ardern urges world leaders

weforum Prince William aka HRH Duke of Cambridge, Prime Minister of New Zealand and Labor Party leader Jacinda Ardern, Dr. Dixon Chibanda of Zimbabwe discuss mental health and friendship bench

weforum Prince William aka HRH Duke of Cambridge, Prime Minister of New Zealand and Labor Party leader
Jacinda Ardern, Dr. Dixon Chibanda of Zimbabwe discuss mental health and friendship bench

One of the panelists was Dr. Dixon Chibanda of Zimbabwe. He is one of a total of 12 psychiatrists in the country of Zimbabwe, to serve a population of more than 16 million. He conceived of the idea of training grandmothers to essentially – listen – and the program has been wildly successful. HE created and implemented the ‘practice’ called a Friendship Bench. He talks of the Friendship Bench in this TED talk. Grandmothers in Zimbabwe are trained in cognitive behavioral evidence based talk-therapy; empowering them with the skills to listen, show empathy and provide emotional support.

The grandmothers have actually been more effective than doctors, in treating depression, anxiety, addictions and for patients’ overall success rates.

Grandmother Jack in Zimbabwe helped to pioneer the Friendship Bench program

Grandmother Jack in Zimbabwe helped to pioneer the Friendship Bench program

Grandmother Jack was one of the first grandmothers in Zimbabwe, empowered to provide evidence-based talk therapy. She saw 256 clients whose lives were improved dramatically. She is now deceased.

The Friendship Bench has since been adopted worldwide.

It has morphed to not be simply Grandmothers, but for peers to sit with each other to listen and show their support.  Certainly it helps dramatically the people who are suffering from physical or mental illness, or addiction and emotional trauma. And most brilliantly it also empowers the person who is trained as the listener, who can provide emotional support and empathy.

The Friendship Bench looks to get peers talking to each other about depression, suicide and mental health

The Friendship Bench looks to get peers talking to each other about depression, suicide and mental health

mental illness, friendship bench london for peers to talk to each other about depression

friendship bench london for peers to talk to each other openly

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bicycle before sunflowers

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Our House is on Fire – Greta Thunberg WEForum | It is Worse Than That – Mark Doll

Greta Thunberg’s Special Address, Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum 2019

Greta Thunberg | Special Address, Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum 2019

Greta Thunberg | Special Address, Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum 2019

Greta’s speech, among each that she has made to the public, is remarkable.

The words of this man, Mark Doll, are equally noteworthy and important.

Each are the reason that I decided to take time from the writing of my book to put out another blog.

Mark Doll posted the following comments today and it was chilling and heart-wrenching. But it deserves to be read in the context of this little girl’s courage at Davos.

I hope that for a change, people who do not have the time or patience to read, read this.

“…I realize there is something I have known for some time but have never said, and, since I have just spent another 4 hours of my life in climate change academia I have to get this out of my system.

Please understand that many you reading this won’t live to an old age… and likely will start scrolling after one or 2 more paragraphs… (edit…Ok I was wrong on this point. This is now my 2nd most shared post of all time)

The IPCC report and Paris accord are incredibly overly optimistic and that commits the world to a target that means the death of hundreds of millions if not more.

But it is worse than that.

Even the commitments made by countries in the Paris accord don’t get us to a 2 degree world.

But it is worse than that.

The 2 degree target is now unattainable (unless the entire civilization of the world doesn’t do a 180 today…) target is based on geo-engineering the climate of the earth as well as the sequestering of every molecule of carbon we produced over the last number of years and every molecule we are producing today and every molecule we produce tomorrow…. these technologies that don’t exist wont exist and even if they did would likely cause as many if not more problems than they fix.

But it is worse than that.

The 2 degree target of the IPCC does not factor in the feedback loops that such as the increased albedo effect caused by the 70% loss of ice in the arctic, The release of methane from a thawing arctic. (there is more energy stored in the arctic methane than there is in coal in the world). This is called the methane dragon. If the process of the release of the methane, currently frozen in the soil and ocean beds of the arctic, which has already begun, spins out of control we are looking a an 8 degree rise in temperature. (this ignores the scientists that don’t see this feedback stopping and ends up resulting in the world oceans boiling off and earth becomes Venus…but I digress.

But it is worse than that

The report which give us 12 years to get our head’s out of our arses underestimated the amount of heat stored in the world’s oceans by 40%… so no , we don’t have 12 years.

But it is worse than that.

The IPCC report ignores the effects of humans messing up the Nitrogen cycle through agricultural fertilizers and more… Don’t go down this rabbit hole if you want to sleep at night.

But it is worse than that.

Sea level rise will not be gradual. Even assuming that the billions of tons of water that is currently being dumped down to the ground level of Greenland isn’t creating a lubricant which eventually will allow the ice to free-flow into the northern oceans as it is only the friction to the islands surface that is currently holding the ice back coupled with the same process is happening in Antarctica but is also coupled with the disappearance of the ice shelves which act as buttresses holding the glaciers from free flowing into the southern ocean we are not looking at maintaining the 3.4mm/yr increase in sea level rise (which incidentally is terrifying when you multiply it out over decades and centuries. We will be looking at major calving events that will result in much bigger yearly increases coupled with an exponential increase in glacial melting. FYI Alberta is going to need a pipeline… just not for oil. More likely for desalinated water from tidewater…

But it is worse than that… We can no longer save the society that we live in and many of us are going to be dead long before our life expectancy would suggest.

If your idea of hope is having some slightly modified Standard of living going forward and live to ripe old age… there is no hope. This civilization is over…

… but there is hope.. There is a way for some to come through this and have an enjoyable life on the other side. Every day we delay can be measured in human lives. There will come a day of inaction when that number includes someone you love, yourself or myself.
So we have 2 options. Wake the fuck up. If we do we will only have to experience the end of our society as we know it aka…the inevitable economic collapse which is now unavoidable, but be able to save and rebuild something new on the other side. This would require a deep adaptation. Words like sustainability would need to be seen as toxic and our focus needs be on regeneration. Regeneration of soil, forest ocean etc…. This is all possible.
Option 2 is the path we are on. Think we can slowly adapt to change. This not only ensures we experience collapse but also condemns humanity to not just economic and social collapse but in a 8 degree world… extinction.

I am sick of pipeline discussions. I am sick of any argument that is predicated on the defeatist assumption that we will continue to burn oil at an ever increasing rate. Fact is if we do we are not just fucked, we are dead. I am sick of people who don’t understand how their food is produced, and its effect on the climate.(both carnivores who eat feed lot meat and vegans who eat industrially produced mono cropped veggies as they are equally guilty here as the consumption of either is devastating).

I am sick of the argument that our oil is less poisonous than someone else’s. Firstly, no it isn’t and secondly, It doesn’t fucking matter. I am sick of people that can’t even handle the ridiculously small only the tip of the iceberg of the changes we need to accept; the carbon tax. I am sick of my own hypocrisy that allows me to still use fossil fuels for transportation. I am sick of those who use hypocrisy as an argument against action.

I am sick of the Leadership of my country that argues we can have economic growth and survivable environment… we can’t.

I am sickened by the normalizing of the leadership of our Southern neighbour who as the most polluting nation in the world officially ignores even the tragedy that is the Paris accord. I am sick of the politicians I worked to get elected being impotent on this subject…

I am sick that the next image I put up of my kids, cheese, pets or bread is going to garner immeasurably more attention than a post such as this which actually has meaning… I am sick about the fact that all the information I referenced here is easily discoverable in scientific journals but will be characterized by many as hyperbolic.
I am especially sick that my future and the future of my children is dependent on the dozens of people that saw this post, said there goes Marc off the deep end again and chose to remain ignorant of the basic facts about our near future.

There is a path forward. But every day we delay the path forward includes fewer of us.

Build community, build resilience, work for food security, think regeneration, plant food producing trees, think perennial food production, eat food that does not mine the soil and is locally produced, eat meat that is grass fed that is used to provide nutrients to vegetation, get to know a farmer or become one yourself, park your car, do not vote for anyone who either ignores climate change or says we can have our cake and eat it too, quit your job if it is fossil fuel related, stop buying shit, Stop buying things that are designed to break and be disposed of, let go of this society slowly and by your own volition (its better than being forced to do it quickly), rip up your lawn and plant a garden with veggies, fruit bushes, fruit trees and nut trees, learn to compost your own poop, get a smaller house on a bigger lot and regenerate that land, plant a guerrilla garden on a city road allowance, return to the multi-generational house, realize that growth has only been a thing in human civilization for 250 years and it is about to end and make preparations for this change, teach this to your children, buy only the necessities, don’t buy new clothes-go to the thrift store, don’t use single use plastic or if you do re-purpose it, unplug your garberator and compost everything, don’t let yourself get away with the argument that the plane is going there anyway when you book a holiday, understand that there is no such thing as the new normal because next year will be worse, understand before you make the argument that we need to reduce human population … meaning the population elsewhere… that it is not overpopulation in China or India that is causing the current problem… It is us and our lifestyle.

Understand that those that are currently arguing against refugees and climate change are both increasing the effects of climate change and causing millions on climate refugees… which will be arriving on Canada’s doorstep because Canada will, on the whole, be one of the last countries affected, understand that the densification of cities is condemning those in that density to a food-less future.

Stop tolerating the middle ground on climate change. there is no middle ground on gravity, the earth is round, and we are on the verge of collapse.”

Care for the Natural World – Treat it with Respect and Reverence | The Duke of Cambridge interviews Sir David | WEForum

Sir David Attenborough interviewed by Prince William aka the Duke of Cambridge, at the World Economic Forum, in Davos – the 22nd to 25th of January. Prince William has very thoughtful and prescient questions. It’s evident that Princess Diana’s son is very in touch with what is essential, and is bringing these points out in his interview to the esteemed Sir David Attenborough, who has a great deal of wisdom to share (working 70 years bringing the natural world to people’s homes through television and documentaries).

Sir David Attenborough interviewed by Prince William, HRH Duke of Cambridge

Sir David Attenborough interviewed by Prince William, HRH Duke of Cambridge

I think this should be required listening, required in schools and by world leaders, especially the bimbo in the Whitehouse and any Republican climate science deniers. Sir David Attenborough says,”presently we’re living in the paradox, in which there have never been so many people out of touch with the natural world (more than half of the worlds population live in metropolitan areas), and yet every breath of air and every mouthful of food that we take comes from the natural world. if we damage it, we damage ourselves. The essential part of human life is a healthy planet. We are in danger of wrecking that.”

Asking what he wishes to communicate to the audience of global leaders, Sir David Attenborough responded.

“Care for the natural world. Treat it with respect and reverence. The natural world is the source of all wonder. The future of the natural world is in our hands. We have never been more powerful or populated. We can wreck it with ease, and without even realizing that we’re doing it.

We wreck it, we wreck ourselves. DO NOT WASTE THE RICHES OF THE NATURAL WORLD ON WHICH WE DEPEND. Do not throw food away, do not use energy wastefully. THIS DISASTER OVERTAKING THE WORLD STARTED IN BRITAIN IN THE 18TH CENTURY, THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. > THE AIM WAS TO CONQUER THE NATURAL WORLD, SHOW OUR MASTERY, WHICH WAS TO DESTROY IT. We know better now. It is time to act.