skip to Main Content

Climate Resource Library

After being generally aware for some 20 years that our fossil-fueled growth-oriented consumer-culture has been barreling headlong and headstrong straight towards calamity, un-sustainability, and the extreme degradation of our planet, events propelled me a couple of months ago to take a long hard look at where exactly we are in this greater progression. This has been the mother of all rabbit holes, and far more sobering than anything Alice plunged into. I’d take any of Alice’s remedies any day over the red pill that face-on climate awareness is.  

Climate consciousness is perilous territory for so many reasons. Climate threats are almost impossible to truly digest because of the enormity of the thing and how ridiculously complex all of the relevant factors are. Digesting even portions of it, like Alice’s red and white mushroom, can be toxic to your mental health, and certainly clouds your awareness of almost everything else.  And yet… I’ve come to process, through lots of grief, angst, anger, anxiety, and bouts of flat out depression, that though the threat is ominous on par with an asteroid hurtling directly towards us, there is a deep grace and profound clarity in surrendering to the immensity of it all.

Surrendering. Does this mean I’ve given up? Fuck no. My family has embraced as many facets of action as we can imagine might be relevant, from building a lifeboat (metaphorically) to nurturing local community to creating activist art and engaging in eye-opening conversations wherever and whenever we can. Surrendering has been simply accepting that this thing is too big to get a handle on and too unpredictable to even begin to guess as to how it will all unfold.  

Surrendering has taken the form of accepting that when all information is taken into account, we’ve come to recognize that there is a significant probability that most if not all of the forms of convenience and abundance that we have blissfully benefitted from as North Americans will likely not last, though that timeframe is completely unknowable as well. It might be years or decades, there’s just no telling at this point. What we do know is that things are accelerating faster than anyone predicted even a couple of years ago, and that’s alarming in its own right.  

I would rather face that unknown eyes wide open than be surprised by it, though coming to terms with it has easily been the most stressful activity I have ever engaged in. What does resiliency in the face of the unknown mean? How can we adapt to inherently unpredictable conditions? What are the core competencies that will be relevant moving forward in a disfigured world? How can we prepare to be resilient in the face of societal stressors unlike any our society has ever encountered? How will privileged societies that have high expectations and low resiliency beyond money be able to handle food shortages and diminished lifestyles? How will population-dense areas cope compared with more rural areas? There are just so many questions and most of the questions are full of unknowables.

In the spirit of eyes wide open, and after months of exhaustive research, scaling the heights and plumbing the depths of climate and ecological related material, I’ve chosen a relative handful of sources and materials that I’ve found to be the most straight forward assessments and clear-eyed interpretations of the available data. These are the pieces that have given me the most comprehensive perspectives on the threats we face, have provided the best talking points to initiate conversations with family and community members, and have offered action points that feel the most relevant. These pieces have also demonstrated to me that so much of the climate literature is cherry-picked with relevant factors left out for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes even people who want to address the topic just can’t face the full brunt of it and I get that.

These materials are not for the faint of heart, but neither are the times we live in. We are living in a time of standing face to face with Morpheus with the offered pills right at our fingertips ~ the blue pill being continued pretension that everything is ok, look the sun is shining out my window, the government has my back, food will always be on the store’s shelves, and I have endless entertainments and distractions at my fingertips, while the red pill is simply… deep awareness, and informed engagement.

We’ve been preparing for the worst, and nurturing courage for the best. The challenge we’re facing is that best-case scenarios at this point are still pretty grim. I hope these red pills are as helpful to you and they have been for me in choosing to live eyes wide open.

To the Climate Resource Library…

Addendum ~ I fully recognize that I’ve basically made the same post twice over the past two weeks, talking about my climate familiarity project and pointing to the collection of source material I’ve curated. I think this is partly due to my continued processing of this immense topic, and partly really wanting to make sure that this gets shared within my community and for whoever may stumble upon it. It also is starting to really challenge me that the majority of people I encounter on a regular basis don’t seem engaged with this topic at all, and I recognize the bubble of North American entitlement and comfort to be an ultimate pacifier. What’s it going to take?

Confronting Climate in 2020

I’ve spent the better part of the last two months delving deep into the rabbit hole of climate literature. This has mostly been prompted by my discovery of some of the most clearly presented and comprehensive analysis of the issue, namely the Deep Adaptation presentations by Dr. Jem Bendell & Dr. Rupert Read, as well as ongoing narrative by David Wallace-Wells. These seem to be the folks at the forefront of not shying away from telling it like it is. In recognizing a threat, I’m choosing to confront it with eyes wide open awareness.

I’ve also discovered The Dark Mountain Project, which is easily one of the most beautiful, poignant, and relevant confrontations of our global crises through the creative arts that I have encountered. There is so much to be said about the brave creatives who are taking on a re-visioning of our story in light of unfolding events. The Dark Mountain collections are moving us in the right direction psychically, as we need a new story to serve us as our existing story continues to crumble.

For one who has been painfully and increasingly aware of climate issues and environmental degradation for the last 15 years, the rise in cultural awareness in the last year in particular is validating, though I hope for all of or sakes that it isn’t too little too late. We went from space wanna-be’s to landing a man on the moon in a relative handful of years, so who’s to say that our capacity for surprising change isn’t a relevant factor.

In all of my readings, I’ve compiled the handful of articles and resources that I’ve found to be most relevant and useful in getting a powerful overview of the “State of the Planet”. It’s sobering, and extremely challenging to digest, as the picture that gets painted is dire. It’s no wonder so many of us don’t even want to look or try and convince themselves it’s not even real. But for those that do need to look, I hope this collection helps. In this day and age, it is surely a form of activism to simply be informed.

Eric Geoffrey’s Climate Resources

If you’ve enjoyed your visit, consider signing up for the occasional newsletter that features new releases, inspirations, and other Tales from the Shadow Gallery…

Tuesday’s Tales v1e3

Tuesday’s Tales!

My occasional collection of climate crises inspired ways forward using the arts and creativity to nurture community, awareness, and action.

Something that has inspired me recently:

I marched with an estimated couple thousand mostly school and college-aged humans this past Friday as part of the coordinated global climate strike.  It was amazing to see so many empowered humans standing up for our collective future and taking to the streets. The march was a tour of center city Philadelphia and though I have mixed feelings about inconveniencing the working public (a topic for another time) it did feel profound to symbolically disrupt the daily flow in the city as the climate crises threatens to do to all of us. I plan on participating in as many strikes and Fridays for Future as possible from here on, and one of the projects I’m working on is geared specifically for making a large presence at strikes. Stay tuned for that! (hint: it involves a tightwire…)

What I’ve been reading:

“We Were Made for These Times” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

“My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.”

This may be the single most empowering work I’ve encountered about standing up in times of crises and speaking our hearts.  When I encountered it this week I immediately assumed it was written recently and in direct context of the climate crises. But after some further research, I discovered that this was written over 15 years ago and originally entitled “Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times”. I am floored. This is profound. It is empowering. And it is stunningly beautiful. I have re-read it numerous times over the last couple of days and it grows more poignant and wondrous with each reading.  It is my sincere desire to see this read by everyone standing up for climate the world around ~ the following link takes you to the piece in its entirety.

What I’m thinking about / working on:

I have been ill this past week, change of the seasons and whatnot, and have watched our one-year-old daughter be sick as well.  When you don’t have the tools yet to clear your own nose and you can’t breathe it’s got to be kind of freaky, but she’s been a real trooper.  But taking care of her and self and household hasn’t left much time for larger projects. I’ve been plugging away at staying abreast of global developments and striving for balance throughout ~ this was the great work of the week, staying balanced with compromised health and an increasing flood of climate-related data.  The passage has reminded me of how vital it is to ensure self-care in an increasingly stressed world. Take good care of yourself! We need healthy souls in order to not lose heart.

Quote of the Week:

I’m staying with Clarissa Pinkola Estes:

“What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.”

I love how she’s talking about the 3.5%, but intuitively. The deep wisdom of her soul shines brightly and gives her this clarity to share with us, and I am grateful for her words. I’ve been saying a lot recently that every drop in the bucket counts, and eventually adds up to an overflowing vessel. That’s us right now, and even though there are signs of frustration (Greta saying “We have achieved nothing” at COP25 ) we do need to remind ourselves that it is always darkest before the dawn.

Share this with your friends and anyone you think would be inspired by it! You can also get this delivered directly to your inbox if you sign up for the newsletter.  I am always open to feedback, suggestions, collaborative propositions, and simple Yo Eric how you doin type reaching out and connecting.  

Because Life is too precious and precarious to not make the most of every single day.

I hope you have an empowered and creative week ~ Onwards Team Human! 

Stand up and shine your light!

What Will It Take?

A few months ago I reached out to a fair number of friends and family asking them to video themselves reading a line from a spoken word piece I wrote and then send it back to me.

Little did I know that receiving video clips from so many different people would also mean getting almost just as many different formats and resolutions and other little inconsistencies that ended up making it really difficult to stitch together a couple of dozen clips, and it took far longer than anticipated.

But in the end, all of the puzzles were solved and the result is something that I had been secretly hoping for the entire time ~ the whole is indeed much greater than the sum of its parts. My vision with having a community read of this piece was hoping that it would have greater power with humans from many different walks of life working together to create something.

I’ve been struggling with the fact that each of these questions needs to be asked and contemplated by everyone alive, and this piece was born from my own process of learning how to deal with the immensity of the issues facing us. Because when all is said and done, each of us will end up facing these things regardless of whether we choose to confront them directly or be taken kicking and screaming. I’d prefer head-on and eyes wide open myself.

As always, if this video does anything for you, or makes you think of anyone in particular, please share it and pass it along. The intention behind this effort is to help awaken and stir the pot because every drop in the bucket adds up, and if many of us start contributing drops then the sooner we’ll arrive at a cultural critical mass and begin to effect fundamental changes.

I am proud to present the first public TemplEarth creation, the community reading of “What Will It Take?”

If you’ve enjoyed your visit, consider signing up for the occasional newsletter that features new releases, inspirations, and other Tales from the Shadow Gallery…

A Revolution without Dancing…

The character V in V for Vendetta (crazy how I’ve already mentioned him twice in two weeks..) says “A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having”.

Amidst all of the turmoil and chaos unfolding in Chile having to do with severe economic injustice and imbalances triggered by a hike in public transportation fares, a ballerina from the Chilean Ballet took to the streets to demonstrate that not all demonstrations have to be contentious to get a point across.

My concept of TemplEarth, and how various forms of creative expression can be used as activism for the social, economic, climate, and political revolutions that are unfolding worldwide, is captured perfectly in these series of photos from Chilean photographer paz.pachy (Instagram).

This photo in particular really nails it. It’s the evolution of the man in Tiananmen Square standing in front of the line of tanks. The artist isn’t just blocking authoritarian progress, she’s literally dancing in the face of injustice and oppression. Bravo hermosa bailarina! Bravo!

If you’ve enjoyed your visit, consider signing up for the occasional newsletter that features new releases, inspirations, and other Tales from the Shadow Gallery…

World War III

The message is clear, we need to change how we live, or the Earth won’t be fit, do you think our children will forgive?

Eleven thousand scientists in 153 countries have declared a climate emergency and warned that “untold human suffering” is unavoidable without huge shifts in the way we live.

That needs to be said again, loudly, and frequently ~ We are living in a CLIMATE EMERGENCY.

I understand how challenging it is to face this reality, it’s so big it’s virtually surreal. I’ve known about these issues for most of my adult life and yet it’s still hard to grasp. Perhaps it is my children’s presence that has brought this to the forefront in my path, and perhaps each of us needs to find the personal reason that brings it to the forefront for you, but the fact is inescapable that this is the paramount issue of our times and everything else pales in relation to this global crisis.

Our house is on fire, it is not a metaphor. Yet most of us continue to act like it’s just another day, what are we going to do this weekend, what was your favorite distraction this week, did you see the new _______?

We need to mobilize for World War III, with the same comprehensive urgency our country and allies did with Hitler knocking on the door. Except the foe isn’t an individual country or an evil dictator, it’s our collective way of life, our dependence on fossil fuels, our aversion to discomfort and inconvenience that must be actively combated each and every day until the tides turn and we establish the foundations of sustainable energy systems and food supplies, as well as nurturing inclusive communities, in order to possibly see this through.

I can’t pretend anymore that everything is alright ~ that delusion has become more stressful than facing the reality of our times and the imbalances our species has created. It’s time for action, for empowered movement and inspired creativity to navigate the challenges ahead.

If you’ve enjoyed your visit, consider signing up for the occasional newsletter that features new releases, inspirations, and other Tales from the Shadow Gallery…

The Birth of TemplEarth

The phrase Temple-Earth first came to me in late 2008 while trekking in the Adirondacks of New York. It haunted me and stuck in my mind in a way that few ideas have over the course of my life. I loved the idea of merging the words into one and fusing the concept that a reverent attitude towards the Earth, treating it as a sacred temple, would be a powerful energy to nurture. At the time I thought it to be the title for a piece of music I had been working on and released that celebratory mystical musical journey in 2010 (a story in its own right). At the time I thought that’s that and moved on to my next project, as well as a major change in my life’s trajectory.

Years later, the phrase still haunted me in a way that I began to suspect meant it wasn’t done with me and wasn’t merely the title to a piece of music. I allowed it to gestate and began to think of TemplEarth as the kernel of a community, and once there it began to bloom in a living way, not content to be a static thing on the record shelf.

I’ve been very inspired and shaped over the years by the eco-philosophy writings of Thomas Berry, the spiritual-philosophy of Joanna Macy, and Zen-Buddhism in general, as well as by all of the earth activists and spiritual warriors treading the path. Artists like Alex Grey that awaken our deeper selves through the resonances in their work and music that stirs the soul are constant sources of motivation, and part of the vision for TemplEarth is to cultivate an ever-growing community of artists, musicians, and activists who embody these ideals through their work, helping to stir the pot and help awaken humanity.

The re-awakening of indigenous cultures, and in particular those communities who have arisen to defend the Earth, has been a profound source of energizing direction, as I firmly believe that the emergence of these Guardians and Protectors will usher in a new era of reconnecting with Earth in a fundamental way.

TemplEarth has evolved over the years to embody a philosophy, an outlook, a community, an artistic vein, an arts organization, as well as it’s current gestation as an active seed for a periodic celebratory gathering ~ stay tuned for more as TemplEarth unfolds, for it’s an idea whose time has come.

If any of this resonates with you, please consider connecting, signing up for my newsletter, letting me know of your activities that align, because together we are strong and have the power to enact change, and the more of us there are moving forward with power and vision to help heal imbalances and restore environmental integrity, the closer we are to making it so.

If you’ve enjoyed your visit, consider signing up for the occasional newsletter that features new releases, inspirations, and other Tales from the Shadow Gallery…

Back To Top