Climate change presents the single greatest existential threat to life on earth. While the scientific support for this phenomena is robust, the technological, socio-cultural, and spiritual frameworks for how to confront this issue are in their infancy. Outreach to the general public is central in the search for climate change solutions that are acceptable to the masses. Often the barriers to acceptance of a scientific idea derive from the accessibility of an idea to a person’s preexisting belief structures. If a scientific idea contradicts a deeply held belief, it is often rejected. Nowhere is this more evident than in the interface of science and faith, evolutionary ideas often are held to be contradictory to those structures of religion. With climate change, we are confronted by the higher probability of civil unrest due to the strain of natural resources in supporting populations. Civil wars will become more common as water resources become more pressed, crop yields change due to drought and shifting weather patterns, and as access to energy resources become more strained. For example, recent evidence indicates that the Syrian civil war and greater unrest in the Arab Spring may have been sparked by geological fluctuations in the fertile crescent due to climate change. With the rise of global terrorism, this war places the need for sustainability frameworks to confront climate change into sharp focus. Do we want an Orwellian 1984-style militarized global police state to serve as a “stabilizing force” over adopting compassionate policies that incorporate scientific understanding of climate change to promote the acceptance of refugees in new safe locations in developed countries. Industrialized democracies were early emitters of carbon at the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Thus, they bear a responsibility to care for those people who are impacted by their “ecological karma/sin.” Here in Minneapolis, we are presented with an opportunity to present to the world a model system for what can be a beacon of hope in the face of the climate change disaster. We do not need to accept that climate change is an apocalyptic event. Rather, it can be a spark for the reevaluation of socio-cultural and spiritual values that inform the development of compassionate technology that is promotes maximal happiness for the greatest number of people. Here, I outline an urban farming, permaculture, and public science and ethics training program that seeks to address this pressing need for a 21st full of hope in the face of climate change. The central goal of this program will be to confront Islamophobia head on. Inter-religious conflict is at present a highly divisive issue, that fueled by the American media enterprise, needs grassroots efforts to eradicate. We see today in the media a paranoia of those from the Middle East as anti-American. What is needed is for people to stand up to this intolerance with sound science and religious courage. Interfaith cooperation, a cooling salve for a warming planet.
Poet: Data, Climate Change, the West, and the Islamic World
Dr. William Kaya Erbil
I make money any way I can to finish a book of poetry on climate change, the West, and the Islamic World. Been working on this book for eight years. Features a raw and gritty personal story of mental illness. The book explores themes around religion, and tries to place a framework around the current War on Terror/global Islamic fundamentalist jihad. Relates technology and weapons of war to their basic scientific origin, digging deeper to find their mythological sources. Ending with a 500 year time travel journey to illuminate the public on the Islamic origin of Copernicus’s discovery, Arabic language semantics are explored to ask why the West gained a 500 year dominance. Back to 2017, faced with the existential dilemma of climate changed induced geopolitical apocalypse I will compare Islamic finance to Western capitalism and prove it to be superior as a framework for modern ecological economic. All these poems point back to the fight between Ishmael and Isaac. They both will realize that perhaps Ruth or Mary were the ones we should have written more about…