Climate change is a reality. We experience it on our farms. Anyone who works with nature has to cope with extreme weather situations nowadays. We are confronted by either withered crops or soils washed away by heavy rainfall. Cattle farming can be like walking a tightrope if the pastures dry out. The water table sinks, springs dry up. The woodlands are dotted with dead trees.
Climate change? For years we have been asking ourselves whether this is a change in the climate or just extreme weather. Is it all exaggerated? Will the computer simulated predictions actually prove true? Perhaps or perhaps not. But the fact is that we are now affected. We are increasingly aware of how the atmospheric envelope is intimately bound up with the whole organism of the earth. Above the earthy humus layer the earth's air and warmth layers breathe. No one has knowingly or deliberately changed something there. Climate change seems to approach us from outside. The periphery, which we were not even aware of, speaks to us: Hey people, wake up!
Whose voice is this? Is it actually ours? We sense that we are not just isolated separate individuals on the earth. We also exist beyond this point, the periphery belongs to us. We have, as it were, a peripheral self. This is an experience in two steps. First, I also exist in the periphery, so that I along with all other people make up the human race, directly, without any distinction of culture, language or background. Secondly, I am responsible, we are responsible for "the whole". Is this really true? Waking up to this knowledge is a shock. Is there really any point in being on this earth, can the earth actually bear my footprint? And for the climate youth, climate change has become a climate crisis and they demand a change to the system.
We come to an expanded concept of the change that is demanded of us: climate change – in the environmental dimension, the social dimension, and the spiritual dimension. How can we get our breath back in these three dimensions: a refreshing breath on the earth, a trusting breath in society, a liberating breath as an individual human being?
Climate change in an environmental sense means we must treat the resources of the earth differently, we must understand the agricultural organism not just from inside but from outside, from the climate issue, from a view of the living organism of the earth. How can we capture the excess carbon in the atmosphere in the life cycles of our farms?
Climate change in a social sense means that the social climate in many countries is at breaking point, as it is in the international community. What is the way forward in Bolivia, Chile, Lebanon, Hong Kong, England, France,... and everywhere, in our communities? How can we reach future-oriented social forms where the human dignity of each individual can be upheld by the community?
Understanding climate change spiritually means developing a new experience of the "I". The "I" is not complete, but develops. And this happens in a dialogue. In a dialogue with another I, with the world, with its own higher self. As a being amongst beings. Not as an ego. How can we arrive at a spiritual climate that enables individuals in dialogue with the world to grow beyond themselves?
The Section for Agriculture and the Youth Section are joint organisers of the Agricultural Conference 2021. It is planned as a conference on earth, climate, culture.
- Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts, GA 26. Michael letter: From Nature to Sub-nature. Leading Thoughts 183-185
- Eco-Alchemy: Anthroposophy and the History and Future of Environmentalism (Dan McKanan)
- Climate: A new Story (Charles Eisenstein)
- Erde und Mensch (Guenther Wachsmuth)
- Sustainable Civilisation (Klaas van Egmond)
- The Limits to Growth (Dennis L. Meadows, Donella Meadows, Jørgen Randers, William W. Behrens III)
- Trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration (Will Steffen)