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Climate: A New Story
by Charles Eisenstein


Climate: A New Story argues that the climate crisis is a symptom of a deeper crisis of being, rooted in the dominant Story of Separation, which posits a separate self in a world of other. This story underpins our economic, scientific, and social systems, driving us towards ecological devastation.

Eisenstein proposes a new Story of Interbeing, an ancient and emerging worldview that recognizes the intrinsic interconnectedness of all things. He argues that a shift in our collective mythology is necessary for healing the planet and that this shift will not be achieved through the conventional focus on carbon reductionism.

Instead, Eisenstein presents a water paradigm as a more direct lens for understanding climate change. He emphasizes the vital role of forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems in regulating rainfall and maintaining climate stability. He critiques the dominant emphasis on carbon emissions as a distraction from the larger issue of ecosystem degradation and argues that even if we achieve zero emissions, climate derangement will continue without a fundamental shift in our relationship to the planet.

Eisenstein explores the limitations of the conventional climate debate, highlighting the shared assumptions of skeptics, alarmists, and climate orthodoxy. He critiques the scientific establishment's inherent confirmation bias and argues that the climate crisis requires us to look beyond a purely quantitative, reductionistic approach to understanding nature.

He advocates for a revolution of love, a shift in consciousness that embraces the sacredness and intelligence of all beings, including the planet itself. He emphasizes the importance of regenerative practices, which seek to heal soil, water, and biodiversity, and argues that this approach is far more effective than the reliance on technology and artificial solutions.

Eisenstein critiques the growth imperative that drives our current economic system, emphasizing that our obsession with quantity obscures the importance of quality and relationship. He argues for a degrowth economy focused on local, community-based systems, and advocates for policy changes such as negative-interest money and universal basic income.

The book concludes with a call to embrace the powers of the land and to recognize that we have allies in our quest for ecological healing. He suggests that by listening to the earth, to the rivers, forests, and mountains, we can tap into a larger intelligence and a more profound way of being in the world.

Key takeaways:

  • The climate crisis is not merely a technical challenge but a symptom of a deeper crisis of being.
  • A shift in our collective worldview from the Story of Separation to the Story of Interbeing is essential.
  • Focus on water, ecosystems, and soil health over just carbon emissions.
  • We must move beyond a quantitative and reductionistic approach to understanding nature and embrace a more holistic and relational view.
  • Embrace the sacredness and intelligence of all beings, including the planet itself.
  • Promote regenerative practices that restore the health of ecosystems.
  • Transition to a degrowth economy based on local, community-based systems.
  • Recognize that we have allies in nature and that the powers of the land can support our efforts.
  • Embrace a revolution of love as the guiding principle for a more beautiful world.

Climate: A New Story offers a powerful and inspiring vision for a more harmonious future, one that challenges us to reimagine our relationship with the planet and ourselves.