RDA 13. Great warming

From Regenerative Knowledge Commons

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Pattern page for RDA 13. Great warming pattern
SDG 13, 'take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts', is as superficial and devoid of true consideration to the complexities and immensities of climate catastrophe humanity faces today. And most clearly, it avoids owning up to our immense, intensifying continued contribution to it.

SDG shortcomings

Let's take a closer look at some of the phrasing.

This SDG calls for 'urgent action.' But, what kind of action? Immediately cease all Human activity that is a known primary source of greenhouse gases? That would be highly advisable and definitely urgent. Short of this, any number of perhaps well-meaning, but thoughtless (i.e. non-systemic) urgent actions, may very likely have even more serious unpredictable and unintended consequences.

This SDG suggest we should 'combat climate change and it's impacts.' This arrogantly implies that we should or even could use force to bend the planet's Life support systems back into place, while we change little else in our mode of being. The phrase 'it's impacts', is an outright denial of responsibility for the unparalleled impacts we Humans, as a species, continue to have on our planetary systems.

By far, the most glaring shortcoming of this SDG, is that it neglects to address head on the sets of intertwined planetary systems or spheres, whose health is integral to continuation of complex Life on the planet. The most critical and of most immediate concern are: a) atmosphere and climate, b) biosphere and biodiversity, and c) lithosphere and carbon cycle. Therefore, we've dedicated three new RDAs (13a, 13b and 13c respectively) to address the care of these spheres and the urgent developmental work needed for a radically different mode of Human presence on the planet.


Prominent in Western culture, is a view that Humans are separate from all other beings in the web of Life. This is referred to as a pathology of separation. This pathology has become one of the core organizing principles of Human civilization at a planetary level. And, it has enabled destruction and degeneration of societies, ecosystems, the delicate balance of relations in the biosphere and consequently the atmosphere - hence the great unravelling of Earth's Life-support systems. And yet, we know better. We know this pattern must not... cannot continue. Living systems just don't work that way.

Living systems

Earth is a living, breathing, self-organizing, self-regulating planet. It doesn't just contain Life, it is the only example of Life we know in our Universe. Earth is composed of overlapping and interacting spheres (see 17 spheres of Earth), which all together continually produce the conditions for complex Life.

The Earth's inner core of molten lava, acts as an inner sun, its intense heat energy interacts with the lithosphere, the layer of bedrock and precious minerals beneath our feet, and to some extent with the biosphere and atmosphere, through release of geothermal energy. The processes of the Lithosphere and the Biosphere are likewise intertwined via the carbon cycle. Indeed all living beings are carbon-based creatures. Their interaction continues to shape the planet and makes living soil, the basis for all terrestrial Life. Long-ago beings that died, became the fossil fuels we now extract. The processes of living and dying of a great biodiversity of beings, not only provide basis for terrestrial ecosystems, but are essential to continually produce an atmosphere and the conditions (climate) for those beings to thrive in.

These spheres and their complex interactions--intuitively respected by traditional and indigenous cultures--have only just begun to be understood by modern science in their emergent complexity. Yet, Humans for the last few hundred years of industrial civilization have massively (and arrogantly) disrupted the cyclic interactions that maintain a great degree of aliveness on Earth. Our continual and intensified disruptions have brought about what has by now been given many names, but represents the most extreme, unprecedented global-scale existential confluence of interwoven crises.

The Great Warming

The premise and the promise here is quite simple: Humanity, as part of a necessary evolution, if it is to continue thriving, must heal the rift that separates it from the rest of the community of Life.

RDA 13 is dedicated to addressing Humanity's inner climate--our mode of being Human. Indeed, the possibility to make prominent a higher-order expression of our humanity, based on gracefully reintegrating into--finding our rightful place within the web of Life. Not as dominators, but humbly as enlightened, conscious participants who must choose to belong to the extraordinary complexity and beauty of the living world.

For this purpose, we adopt a phrase: The Great Warming. This phrase is useful for its versatility. At one level, it alludes to the Earth's natural reaction (global warming, climate change, etc.) to Humanity's incessantly destructive activity. And at a deeper level, it represents the response that is required from Humanity--a Great Warming of Human relations, amongst each other, between us and every living being in the biosphere, and most importantly, within ourselves. We are called to heal the artificial split between us and our own wildness as biospheric beings.

Only then, might we have a possibility to not merely sustain or survive, but truly thrive within a living planet. Only then, might we stand a chance to live into our greatest potential as Humankind.

Pattern generators

This aim could be generative of the following patterns in any Community of Place of any scale.

The patterns are organized into various stages of restraint, repair, re-inhabitation, and re-storying. these are neither linear nor necessary sequential.


  • permanently halt all activity everywhere that is known or suspected to be a root cause of climate catastrophe [13.c]


  • restore the regenerative capacity of wild ecosystems and productive landscapes in all Communities of Place [13.1]
  • direct available resources (GCF and others) to allow the most vulnerable bioregions to repair their ecosystems, develop regeneratively toward food/material sovereignty, including funding for the capacity-building of local populations [13.a-b]
  • dedicate, at every level of Human socialization, teachings, experiences, rituals and wisdom traditions that emphasize healing our internal separation from our truest natures, with the aim of regenerating, our and again, a regenerative, Life-sustaining culture


  • integrate bottom-up, place-sourced regenerative development at the bioregional scale in bioregions everywhere [13.2]
  • enable people everywhere to reach their highest potential as humans; make it possible for each to develop their unique gifts (vocation) in service to their community and to Life [13.3]


Note: SDG target linkages in brackets

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