THERE IS A MOMENT when you suddenly realize there is no turning back, when you realize conditions on the planet are such that to forestall dire environmental consequences, you and everyone you know, must make significant and immediate changes in how you live.

I call that singular flash of consciousness the Polar Bear Moment. For many, that first glance of the polar bear floating on ice, had an emotional impact that seemed at once to foretell the fate of the whole species and then command we take action. Consequences for us humans will follow as the once powerful bear stares out, helpless in the face of the human factors we know are responsible for their disappearing habitat, now only tiny islands floating towards extinction.

The Polar Bear Moment may have struck when seeing this iconic image or hearing an astounding fact or some other environmental calamity shaking you to your core with the sheer magnitude of the global predicament.

What was your Polar Bear Moment?

For me, that flash of consciousness came when I read about the largest garbage dump on the planet, which happens not to be on land, but in the Pacific Ocean. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation has documented a floating island of discarded plastic waste that has been accumulating for over 50 years in the currents of the central Pacific gyre. This estimated 3.5 million tons of toxic flotsam that oceanographers refer to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not a patch after all, but the size of a continent. There are no obvious or easy solutions to this environmental dilemma that is poisoning the food chain and strangling ocean life.

What is heartbreaking in the moments that follow the shock is our own responsibility. The unbridled human activity on our over-populated planet along with our propensity for distraction and our disconnection with nature has hastened the end for the polar bear, and by extension, perhaps our own.

What I hope can be sustained from this flash of consciousness is the determination to change how we live, identify what we deem important to conserve, and to strongly commit to combine our efforts with others to save our threatened habitat.

What was your Polar Bear Moment? How has it motivated you to change?


The Chalice and the BladeI drove to across town to the far side of San Francisco recently for the opportunity to speak with one of the most exciting activists writing today.

In a crowded bookstore tucked away in Building C at Fort Mason I met Dr. Riane Eisler, a scholar, author, activist and founder of the Center for Partnership Studies (CPS). On this evening, I joined several dozen other people interested in CPS, who had gathered to learn more about partnership and other objectives of this visionary organization.

Riane Eisler is the author of the international bestseller, The Chalice and The Blade. In this ground-breaking book she describes a way of life based on equality, nonviolence, and harmony with nature. The Partnership Way is explored in each of her books with revolutionary ideas making their way into art, politics, business, personal relationships, education and public policy. Most recently in, The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics she charts a new course for economics and social policy that seeks to correct the flawed systems that misallocate our human and natural resources.

For two decades Dr Eisler’s research has explored the most fundamental questions about human society and our true nature as caring human beings. Why are we so violent? Has it always been this way? What perpetuates the pain and violence we see even in our most intimate relations? How can this be stopped? How can we avoid the mass extinction that is made ever more possible and perhaps inevitable with today’s advanced technology?

She admits her quest for cultural transformation is deeply rooted in her experience as a small child. Riane Eisler fled Europe with her family in 1938 on Crystal Night, the date terrorism exploded across Germany ushering in a madness that gripped the world. Nearly losing her life to Nazi violence has driven her to a passionate search for the answers that her caring heart knew existed. She had to discover the antidote to the holocaust.

Find out how you can join the partnership movement and create a new future on this planet that celebrates pleasure instead of pain, equality and creativity instead of domination and oppression. Help ensure the stories our children tell their children will be different. Read. Act. Donate.

Don’t you want to be one? I do. What if someone like me with no political party involvement (in recent decades at least) could be invited to be a super delegate? I really want to be invited to a party, any party with adults, actually, will do. It doesn’t have to be a political party. I want to attend a party where I can have my way. Or have my say. Perhaps that is the same thing. A party with other super delegates. That is the best part. A big orgy of super people. Saying and doing and voting. It’d be just super. Whirling around Denver on a mountain high of some sort. Healing the Democratic party. Having our way, paving the way to November. Dancing and singing, knowing we are going to make a better (super) future for America.

How crazy is that? No more dancing in the streets, unless you are talking about rioting in the streets. This Hillary-Obama story is sometimes just too sad for me. The tragedy of a contest of “others” both worthy, both necessary, both some how flawed in great and small ways but one is destined to carry the day.

When I am a super delegate, I will stir these two up into a partnership model. Neither one without the other. A new legacy of Democratic leadership; one of inclusion. Of looking at our desire for the federal government to be recast in a new image. Expanding the democracy of the founding fathers beyond their dreams, where mothers and non-whites belong.

A cripled citizenry needs attention. We must reduce the numbers who are hungry in order to gain their attention. Educate and feed a nation to ensure a democracy

There is so much to do. We all have to be super people to even hope at making a dent. We best get cracking. Obama, Hillary, speak to the citizens, the women, the mothers, the ones who care for a living, say how you will listen, say how you will hear and raise the priorities of the nurturers. End the war, and govern by leadership or govern by crisis, either way we have to preserve the planet.

They call these the pinch years. It is the time when life’s complications come at you from all sides. Your beautiful children are suddenly far away attending expensive colleges, aging parents need more care and attention, and your once interesting career consumes a ghastly number of hours that in all honesty you should have spent sleeping. This is the age when it takes considerable effort to stay focused on any of it, least you drift dreamily into some parallel universe with little desire to snap back.

In this other world, I imagine, I have miraculously been granted a sabbatical providing the means and ample freedom to make what I really want to happen my sole purpose.

The sheer number of demands on my attention has reached a critical mass. I am moved to ponder why it has to be so. I am an able-bodied female, intelligent, hard-working, a responsible citizens who pays my bills and my taxes. I take out the garbage, bring home the paycheck, recycle my newspapers, and toss an organic salad for my neighbors at the annual block party.

That’s right, I do it all. At least for now. But as the pinch of these years squeeze my dreams even tighter and I feel a certain pain filling in where joy once was. I look desperately for a more direct and satisfying path to reach my soul’s purpose.