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When it comes to these very expensive and polluting Cop conferences, the words of the French writer, critic, journalist, and novelis, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr still ring true over 150 years on:  “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose “ – the more things change, the more they stay the same…

However, my hope is for a miracle that somehow COP28 might be different.

COP28: Protecting the planet we call home is our moral calling and duty

'Western societies tend to see nature and humanity as separate. But are there other ways of relating to the natural world?’

'Heaven is my father and earth is my mother, 

and I, a small child, find myself placed intimately between them.

What fills the universe I regard as my body;

what directs the universe I regard as my nature. 

All people are my brothers and sisters; all things are my companions.Zhang Zai (1020–1077)

To address the environmental crisis and to suggest possible solutions we need a New Consciousness

“New Consciousness”

'Decades of discourse

led by lawyers,

scientists, economists,

and we are stuck.

They can’t do what must be done:

reach the human heart.

The deep problems are

avarice, arrogance and apathy,

our dominant values gone astray. 

We need not more analysis

but a spiritual awakening,

a new consciousness.

So bring on the preachers and prophets!

the poets and philosophers!

the psychologists and psychiatrists!

Bring on the writers, musicians, actors, artists!

Bring on the dreamers!

Call them to strike the chords

of our shared humanity,

of our close kin to wild things!

Call them to help find a new world!’- A poem by James Gustave Speth

Be Stewards and Custodians, Not Abusers, Plunderers, and Exploiters.

Nourish, Protect and Save our Mother Nature and our Sacred Earth

Leave us a home to live in for generations to come, when you, the humans, have set the world on fire

Wildlife Photographer of the Year on X: "A polar bear carved out a bed from  a small iceberg before drifting off to sleep in the far north, off Norway's  Svalbard archipelago ❄️

 A polar bear sleeps on a melting iceberg off Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. Photo by Nima via The Guardian

Cop1 Berlin March 1995—Cop28 Dubai 30 November- 12 December 2023

We need to talk about...Cops!

...'The difficulty is that the natural world is seen primarily for human use, not as a mode of sacred presence primarily to be communed with in wonder, beauty and intimacy.  In our present attitude the natural world remains a commodity to be bought and sold, not a sacred reality to be venerated.  A deep psychic shift is needed to withdraw us from the fascination of the industrial world and the deceptive gifts that it gives us... Eventually, only our sense of the sacred will save us.”-Thomas Berry in his Foreword to Thomas Merton’s When the Trees Say Nothing, 2003 

Look all around you and witness the mayhem caused on a daily basis as the result of global environmental crisis and climate change. Therefore, to my mind, it is pertinent that at this moment in time, we come together and muster all our abilities to communicate and connect with each other through a sense of passion and honesty that is rarely seen in these type of talking shops, and ask the following two questions, amongst others: 

28 years of Cop summits: where have they got us? 

And why, as it seems, many politicians and other societal leaders have lost the ability to communicate with passion, empathy, kindness, humility, and honesty?

We must always remember that, leadership must not only be on economics, money and business, but, more importantly, it must be on articulating how to live a virtuous life (practice courage, wisdom, temperance and justice) which are vital on how to live well and how to build a better and more sustainable world for the good of everyone. 

Conscious that climate change is a genuine concern, right here and right now, GCGI has a plan to address this and suggest possible solutions to mitigate climate change, by reaching out to all the stakeholders and pleading with them to rise to this global challenge, and be inspired and guided by love, hope, beauty, wisdom and to take action in the interest of the common good. More on these later. For now, let us celebrate and acknowledge the wonders of our planet earth and why we must protect and guard it from all the harms that are being inflicted on it.  

Our Planet Earth, Our Home, Sweet Home, Looks Simply Awesome, Amazingly Beautiful

‘On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space. But the really important part of the story happened an hour and 48 minutes later, when Gagarin returned from space, bringing back a profoundly changed view of our planet. He had become the first human to experience what psychologists call the overview effect.

“Orbiting Earth in the spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is,” Gagarin wrote on an autograph card later. “Let us preserve and increase this beauty, not destroy it.”

'8 years later, Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, who saw the Earth from a much greater distance than Gagarin, observed, “The thing that really surprised me was that [Earth] projected an air of fragility. And why, I don’t know. I don’t know to this day. I had a feeling, it’s tiny, it’s shiny, it’s beautiful, it’s home, and it’s fragile.”- Kiona N. Smith in Forbes

Dear Mother Earth,

'I BOW MY HEAD before you as I look deeply and recognise that you are present in me and that I am a part of you. It is from you that I have been born, and you who are always present, offering me everything I need for my nourishment and growth. My mother, my father, and all my ancestors are also your children. It is your fresh air that we breathe, your clear water that we drink, your nourishing food that we eat, and your medicinal herbs that heal us when we are sick…'-Thich Nhat Hanh


Please Protect and Save our Planet, Our Sacred Mother Earth 

…’Respected Mother, you have children who are proud of themselves as brilliant mathematicians, skilled artisans, gifted architects, but few are able to see that you are the greatest mathematician, the most accomplished artisan, and the most talented architect. We only need to look at a branch of cherry blossoms, the shell of a snail, or the wing of a bat to see this truth. We have talented artists, but how can our paintings be compared to the works of art that you reveal to us in the four seasons? How can we paint such compelling dawns or create such radiant dusks? Our musicians are geniuses, but how can our songs measure up to your wondrous orchestra of Earth and Sky, or the magnificent sound of the rising tide? We have brave soldiers, knights, and heroes who have endured extreme heat and cold and traversed mountains and rivers, but how many of us have your patience and capacity to embrace? We have great love stories, but who among us has your immense love that includes all beings without discrimination?’- Adapted from Love Letter to the Earth  by Thich Nhat Hanh

…‘All of us will ultimately be judged, and as the years pass we will surely judge ourselves on the effort we have contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which our ideals and goals have shaped that event.’- Robert F. Kennedy

Photo collage of a hand in front of a disintegrating globe with photos from the Australian floods, U.S. wildfires in the background

 Illustration credit: POLITICO illustration / Getty Images / iStock

Nota bene

A heartfelt and passionate call to all the delegates assembled at Cop28 hoping to change our world for the better. 

Dear honourable delegates,

A Call to Action on behalf of Love, Hope, and Beauty, our Children and Grandchildren.

Can you hear them?

This is what they are saying:

Have a Daily Dialogue and Conversation with Mother Earth to Discover Who You are

And then

 Be Stewards and Custodians, Not Abusers, Plunderers, and Exploiters.

Leave us a home to live in for generations to come

Nourish, Protect and Save our Mother Nature and our Sacred Earth

Mother Earth as Healer and Teacher

Rhythms of Nature Ushering in a Better World

Goddess Gaia 

Photo credit: Mystic Investigations

'Quite simply, Gaia is life. She is all, the very soul of the earth. She is a goddess who, by all accounts, inhabits the planet, offering life and nourishment to all her children. In the ancient civilizations, she was revered as mother, nurturer and giver of life. It’s she who created and sustained us, and to whom we returned upon death.’- Greeting Goddess Gaia 

Dear Delegates,

You owe it to your humanity and honesty to reflect upon the following questions, amongst others, as you debate and reflect on the  state of our world today, and moreover, on how you may be able to propose solutions for change, so that we may reverse the despair and  destruction to hope and construction, moving from darkness to light, where all the web of life can live in peace and harmony together for the common good.

Cop28 could and should become an instrument of hope for a better, healthier and happier tomorrow if it considers the big questions of life, first and foremost. In short, if we want to realise anything good in life, including any goals we may set for ourselves, we must begin by focusing on some fundamental and enduring questions of human meaning as well as the relationship and engagement we wish to cultivate with the entire web of life.  Questions such as: 

  1. What does it mean to be human? Who am I, where have I come from, where am I going to, what is the purpose of this journey we call life?
  2. What does it mean to live a life of meaning and purpose?
  3. What does it mean to understand and appreciate the natural world?
  4. What does it mean to forge a more just society for the common good?

By their very nature, these questions involve thought and discussion around spirituality, ethics, morals and values, in contrast to today’s dominant neoliberal model which is all about money and more money and the exploitation of our mother nature and sacred earth for personal gains. 

This means that our lives are connected not only to knowledge, power, money, and technology, but also to our humanity, love and wisdom.  Unless the questions we ask encompass the full spectrum of these emotions and experiences, we are unlikely to find the answers we are looking for, or to understand them in any depth, let alone solving problems and attaining goals.

Dear delegates, make this Cop different, make it better, meaningful and rewarding for all. Seize the moment, achieve and accomplish when others have failed.

28 years of Cop summits: where have they got us?

The Unfolding Story of Cops and more Cops!

Cop1 to Cop 27: A Journey to Where and What for? This is the Question!

 Extreme weather caused by climate change has hit every corner of the world.-Photo: flipboard

The first COP meeting was held in Berlin, Germany in March, 1995. Cop2 Geneva, Switzerland. Cop3  Kyoto, Japan. Cop4  Buenos Aires, Argentina. Cop5

Bonn, Germany. Cop6 The Hague, The Netherlands. Cop7  Marrakech, Morocco. Cop8  New Delhi, India. Cop9  UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France. Cop10   Panama City, Panama. Cop11  Montreal, Canada. Cop12  Nairobi, Kenya. Cop13  Bali, Indonesia. Cop15  Copenhagen, Denmark. Cop16  Cancun, Mexico. Cop 17 Durban, South Africa. Cop18  Doha, Qatar. Cop19 Warsaw, Poland. Cop20  Lima, Peru. Cop21  Paris, France. Cop22  Marrakech, Morocco. Cop23  Bonn, Germany. Cop24  Katowice, Poland. Cop25 Madrid, Spain. Cop26 Glasgow, Scotland. Cop27 Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. And now Cop28 Dubai, UAE, 30 November-12 December 2023. (It is worthy to note that there have been no Cop summits hosted by the biggest polluters of them all, namely, China and the US. Quite telling!!)

The catastrophe we thought impossible has already happened 

What the ecological crisis can teach us about Common good, hope, complicity and hypocrisy

Climate Catastrophe Is Coming. But It’s Not the End of the Story

A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change

Congratulations Humans, You have finally done it: You have now suffocated the world!

Congratulations Humans, You have finally done it: You have set the world on fire

Congratulations Humans, You have finally done it: From inside out You are now fully Plasticised!

Congratulations Humans, You have finally done it: You have set the oceans on fire

The Rape of Nature: Now Is The Time To Know That All That You Do Is Sacred

Why should we all become mother nature and sacred earth guardians

And now humans, can you be honest with yourself and answer the following question?

Do we love the world enough to look after it, to save it?

‘​In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. ... A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now.’- Wangari Maathai

Hope, humanity and taking action in the interest of the common good to save our mother earth and nature, history will judge the complicit harshly

Let us be Stewards and Custodians, Not Abusers, Plunderers, and Exploiters.

Now Is The Time To Know That All That You Do Is Sacred

​Land As Our Teacher: Rhythms of Nature Ushering in a Better World

Desperately seeking Sophia: The Wisdom of Nature: A Five Part Guide

Hope and Humanity to Save Our Mother Earth and Nature, History Will Judge the Complicit

Tree of Life is Burning

Neoliberalism, Growthmania, Greed and Profitmania, Commercialism and Consumerism have trumped Virtues and Vision and are mutilating the Tree of Life

Photo Credit: NBC News

Climate change has resulted in 2m deaths in 50 years

Climate change not only is killing us, it has also hugely increased cases of mental illness, anxiety, fear and despair 

See also: From June to August 2023, a series of extreme weather events exacerbated by climate breakdown caused death and destruction across the globe 

Libya’s floods: a climate change and governance tragedy 

If these avoidable tragedies are not genocides and a crime against humanity, then, what are they?

These climate conferences just aren’t working

Are all these Cop summits anything, but an exercise in gimmicky?

If Cop28 does not declare Ecocide a Crime Against Humanity, then, it will, like the ones before it, be a meaningless act of Gimmicky.

Make Crime Against Mother Nature A Crime Against Humanity: Ecocide is Genocide 

a drone shot of a bridge surrounded by plastic waste in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Large-scale environmental destruction affects the future of all life on our planet. It affects our health and well-being, physical and emotional, it affects our way of life, our cultural heritage, our civilisational identity and our existence. Time is now to criminalise and hold to account those who through their actions or inactions are responsible and must be held accountable for their crimes against Mother Nature and all the web of life. Carpe diem! 

‘Nature and Me’: ‘200 words to protect the planet’

Polly Higgins RIP: Earth was her Business

Moving from moral to legal wrong: Polly Higgins

Sustainable Development Goals: Where is the Common Good?

Let us make Cop28 a shining example of a global summit for the common good 

Look all around you, with all these Cops, here and there, can you see anything good that has come out of them? Is Mother Nature, our sacred Earth, our health and wellbeing any better, safer, saved, protected and nourished as the result of these summits? Then, what has gone wrong? What has been the missing ingredient that could have made a significant difference? 

Are our world, our lives, our Mother Nature, our sacred Earth any better, more sustained and safer with all these Cops? If not, then, why not and what may be the solution to the betterment we are all yearning for?

This beautiful Planet is our mother and our home. This sacred Earth is our  ark and all the plants and… | Wild women sisterhood, Spiritual warrior,  Wild women quotes

Climate science is clear - we are heading towards catastrophe. We must significantly reduce CO2 and methane gas emissions in order to limit global warming. We all know that solutions exist. However, we all also know that, what is lacking and hugely in short supply, are the political and economic will, and the moral and spiritual integrity, honesty and trust. In all these years of Cops, conferences, presentations, public and private meetings, handshakes, smiles, group photos and promises, we're still a long, long way from ensuring a liveable, secure and safe future for ourselves and our planet… The consequences of the many shortcomings of these Cop summits are tragic and staggering- ice caps melting and glaciers disapperaing, deserts spreading at an accelerating rate. On top of these climatic blights, intense flooding, droughts and wildfires are happening everywhere more frequently and more violently than have ever been experienced, air polusion is playing havoc with our physical and mental health, and now we have to deal also with plastic everywhere, even in our guts and digestive system. Do we need more evidence of self-destruction? Time to rethink! Enough is Enough!

A Word of Warning: Will Cop28 be any different?  Sadly and tragically, to my mind, having looked at the previous 27 Cops, the omens look very very poor. We must not forget that, given the scale of global environmental challenges we are facing today, Cop 28 is virtually the last chance humanity has to mend its ways, by bringing an end to our addiction to fossil fuels, once and for all. Any deviation from this goal for sure, will subject this Cop to the same destiny of all those before it: Talking shops of blowing hot air, where useless, meaningless promises and declartions are given, sounding their own trumpet!!

See how the neoliberals and uncaring politicians may derail the hope of humanity at Cop28

See also: Who wants to destroy Mother Nature? I will, says Rishi

Cop28 host UAE breaking its own ban on routine gas flaring

We are not equally to blame for rising temperatures, and recognising that is an important step in identifying possible solutions

A Word of Hope: Cop28, can, in contrast to the other 27,  become a different Cop, contributing to the building of a better world by becoming a Forum for the Common Good, where and when the delegates will begin to think about their/our children and grandchildren and act accordingly.

Look All Around You and Pursue the Common Good

See also: In Pursuit of the Golden Rule

A Call to Parents and Grandparents to Protect and Save Mother Nature in the Interest of Their Children and Grandchildren

A painting by Berrin Duma.

Make the Impossible, Possible- And Make the World Better and kinder Again 

Hope is the torch that shines light on the plague of darkness

A path to spiritual enlightenment and hope to heal and nurture our Mother Nature

In his opening speech at COP26, world-renowned naturalist David Attenborough said: “Humans are the greatest problem-solvers on this planet”.

If we have got ourselves into this mess, the path of self-destruction, given who we are, then, we can get ourselves out of it. Fear without choice is debilitating, but fear as a motivator for change is a cause for hope.

Those attending the Cop28 have the chance to be a trailblazer in halting the wanton destruction of the natural world, our home, our sacred Mother Earth, by being honest and taking action in the interest of the common good.

Make Crime Against Mother Nature A Crime Against Humanity: Ecocide is Genocide 

Make Ecocide an International Crime Against Peace

Photo credit: Avaaz

Large-scale environmental destruction affects the future of all life on our planet. It affects our health and well-being, physical and emotional, it affects our way of life, our cultural heritage, our civilisational identity and our existence. Time is now to criminalise and hold to account those who through their actions or inactions are responsible and must be held accountable for their crimes against Mother Nature and all the web of life. Carpe diem! 

‘Nature and Me’: ‘200 words to protect the planet’

Polly Higgins RIP: Earth was her Business

Moving from moral to legal wrong: Polly Higgins

Sustainable Development Goals: Where is the Common Good?

N.B. I wrote this blog posting Hope and Humanity to Save Our Mother Earth and Nature, History Will Judge the Complicit in 2021 at the time of Cop26 which was held in Glasgow. However, now it is clear that its words and sentiments ring truer and more urgent today than when I first wrote it. In many aspects, that Cop, like many other Cops before it, was nothing but an act of  whitewashing. Let us hope that Cop28 will be different, when the Common Good will take the centre stage and where hope and humanity will shine. Let us seize the moment! Change minds and hearts! Prove to the world that politicians can be good, honest and trustworthy! I know this is a very tall order, but I want to remain hopeful and optimistic that goodness always trumps badness. 

Make COP28 The Dawn of a New Beginning: Nature-based Education to Save the World

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach of us more than we can ever learn from books.”John Lubbock

In all my academic life, spanning over four decades, I have been dismayed, frustrated and overwhelmed with pain to notice that our education model has not embraced the beauty and the wisdom of our mother nature and our sacred earth, corporating them into the teaching curriculum.  This, to my mind, has seriously deprived the students, our future leaders, or indeed, our current leaders, to get a wholesome, values-led education, and thus, has prevented them, to vision and implement policies to heal our world, to better our lives.’- Kamran Mofid

World in Chaos and Despair: A Manifesto for Education to Build a Better World

'Nature and Me'-Part I: Educating the Heart and the Soul of Children to Build a Better World

'Nature and Me'-Part II: ‘A new guide to strengthening the relationship between people and nature.’

Nature and Me'-Part III: ‘This is it! The moment so many of you have been waiting for…’

'Nature and Me'- Part IV: Nature to Heal the World

‘Nature and Me'- Part V:A Beautiful and Inspiring Path to repair our relationship with life

How to lead our lives, function and prosper in an increasingly polarised world?

Wisdom and the Good Life

Ancient Words of Wisdom in Times of Profound Polarisation, Change, Uncertainty, and Self-Doubt

THIS IS THE WEB OF LIFE: We’re all in this together

Man did not weave the web of life – he is merely a strand in it.

Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”

Photo: Pinterest

How to Build a Better World and a Rewarding Life by Bridging Ancient Wisdom into our Modern Living

I am yearning to be more excited than worried about the future

What can we learn from our ancient thought-leaders?

World in Chaos and Despair: The Healing Power of Ancient Wisdom

Journey to Healing: Let Me Know What is Essential

Finding the ‘Common Good’: Caring for each other and working together 

How may this ancient African wisdom help us change the way we think about our personal, societal and global crisis? 

Ubuntu is the path of global transformation in harmony with the web of life

UBUNTU: "I am because we are"

Photo credit: globalelite.tv

World in Chaos and Despair: The Healing Power of Ancient Wisdom

The Healing Power of Ancient Wisdom

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