----- Original Message -----
From: Chris Johnstone
To: DE News 7 ; DE News 8 ; DE News 9
Sent: Friday, September 17, 2004 6:53 AM
Subject: The Great Turning Times - Sept 2004

Dear reader, 16th September 2004

Have you noticed how much rain we’ve been having recently? In Britain we’ve just had the wettest August ever recorded and many farmers are facing a financial crisis as a result. It has been too wet to bring in many harvests, combine harvesters have got stuck in the mud and crops lie rotting in the fields. The same week I heard about this, I also heard about another disturbing symptom of climate change. The seabird population around Britain is collapsing. Birds like Puffins and Guillemots, which used to be familiar sights for birdwatchers, may soon no longer be. Here’s the news item I saw.

Seabirds in Britain's Northern Isles Wiped Out by Global Warming

Scientists are attributing a rapid collapse of seabird populations around Great Britain's Northern Isles in recent years to global warming. Rising sea temperatures, they say, are upsetting the delicate balance of the region's ecological relationships. Microscopic plankton, which form the lowest rung on the marine food chain, are moving north as ocean waters warm, depriving small fish like sandeel of their primary food source. As these populations of small fish decline, area seabirds, which depend on them as food, stop reproducing and eventually starve.
(Find out more about this at http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1243152,00.html)

It may appear that I’m starting this newsletter on a negative note. But what I’m most interested in – and what this newsletter is largely about – is how we turn ‘negative’ information into ‘positive’ responses. As symptoms of global warming become more obvious and closer to home, levels of concern will rise. Already the government’s chief scientist Sir David King has warned that millions in the UK will be at risk of flooding over the coming decades. At what point will the turning occur, where ecological security starts to become more important than cheap air travel or petrol? The idea of The Great Turning is that we are arriving at that point now. We can all become part of the shift in values, perception, awareness and behaviour needed to move towards sustainable living. I see this as the great adventure of our times. But what will help this turning happen?

A book I’ve been much impressed by recently is Martin Seligman’s “Authentic Happiness”. Based on scientific research on what makes people happy, it distinguishes between pleasure and gratification. Pleasures are usually short-lived and related to bodily sensations. They are very nice, but as soon as they wear off, you can be left feeling hungry for more. Gratifying experiences come from using our strengths to engage in challenging activities that we see as worthwhile. These leave us with good feelings afterwards that last much longer. How does this relate to The Great Turning? There is a common perception that facing global issues is depressing. Because of this, many people avoid looking at what’s going on in the world, leading to widespread denial of our current ecological crisis (see attachment for article about this). What the research on happiness suggests is that if disturbing information acts as a wake up call prompting a constructive response, then in the long run it is likely to lead to increased feelings of satisfaction in life. Joy comes from actively doing something to respond, rather than being a passive on-looker or avoider of difficult realities. Seligman, an international authority on the psychology of happiness, writes:

“Gratification is part and parcel of right action.... It can only be had by activity consonant with noble purpose.”

In other words acting for our world is a way of increasing fulfilment in life. This has certainly been my experience, I’d be interested to hear if it has been yours too. Why is this important? Because constructive empowered responses to climate change and other world issues might become more popular if they were seen as personally satisfying. If the sequence of bad news, concern, empowered response, fulfilment was more widely recognised, then there might be less resistance to disturbing information about our world.
How does this sound to you? What I’m interested in here is how activism for our world can become thought of as attractive and enjoyable.

Another book I read this year is “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. It is about how ideas spread to become trends and then social epidemics. At the moment, terms like ‘sustainability’, ‘ethical lifestyle’ and ‘deep ecology’ are not very infectious. Gladwell uses the term ‘sticky’ to describe ideas that catch on and hang around long enough to be passed on to others. How could ecological awareness become sticky enough to become highly contagious? Perhaps exploring the psychology of what can make it enjoyable is one way. Let me know if you have ideas on this. One expression I’ve heard recently is ‘flourishability’ rather than sustainability. Sustaining, while important, doesn’t sound as attractive to me as flourishing. So that brings me to The Great Turning, the central theme of this newsletter.

I am attracted to the idea of The Great Turning because I see it as a potentially infectious positive vision. It describes a time in the early Twenty First Century when humanity wakes up and engages in the shift to a life affirming society. Recognising that its old way of living threatens continued human flourishing, more and more people act together to promote a deep level transformation. There are three dimensions to this shift. First is the saying No to the old destructive ways. This is where activism, protest and campaigns are necessary. Second is investment/involvement in positive alternatives, both in individual lifestyle and collective organisation. Third is the deep level shift in values, ways of looking at things, psychology and spirituality. This newsletter is about initiatives, events and resources that promote this Great Turning. Focussed mainly on what’s happening in the UK, it can be thought of as a running commentary on the changes (positive and negative) as they occur and also advance notice of events you might be interested in.

Best wishes

Chris Johnstone
The Great Turning Times.

If you like this email newsletter, please do pass it on to anyone else you think might be interested. If it has been forwarded to you and you’d like it regularly, please email me with SUBSCRIBE in the subject header. If you want to stop receiving it, please email me with “REMOVE” as a subject header. It comes out four times a year, with editions in September, December, March and June. Copy date for entries is last day of month before next edition. Please let me know of events, news, resources etc that you would like included.

(1.) It was Joanna Macy who coined the phrase ‘The Great Turning’ to describe the story of change required in our times. An article by her about this is viewable at
There is more material on her website at http://www.joannamacy.net
She is coming to the UK in May 2005 and will be running a week long intensive residential workshop at Monkton Wyld in Dorset from May 15th-22nd. Cost £450 (concs. £350) Full board, or limited number of camping places at £395 (concs £295).
Contact Alex Wildwood for booking information.
Email alex@wildwood.org.uk or phone 01453-836566
Joanna will also be giving some public talks – details to follow in the December newsletter.
To find out more about what her workshops involve, I’d recommend her book “Coming Back to Life”, co-written with Molly Young Brown (New Society Publishers,
I also have copies of a chapter I wrote about Deep Ecology workshops, (cost £2), and a booklet introducing Systems Thinking and Deep Ecology (cost £4). Email Chris at dreambeat@tantraweb.co.uk for details.
(2) STOP PRESS - There are a few places left on the following course:

* Introduction to Earth Education - with Steve Van Matre, on 29th September.
£85, at Dartington, Devon.

For more information or to book your place, just email or call
WildWise Events Ltd
Devon TQ9 6EB
Tel: 01803 868269
Mobile 0781 349 2825
Email: enquiries@wildwise.co.uk
Website: www.wildwise.co.uk
3. Newsflash - Pollutants cause huge rise in brain diseases
Scientists alarmed as number of cases triples in 20 years

Juliette Jowit, environment editor
Sunday August 15, 2004

The Observer
The numbers of sufferers of brain diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and motor neurone disease, have soared across the West in less than 20 years, scientists have discovered.
The alarming rise, which includes figures showing rates of dementia have trebled in men, has been linked to rises in levels of pesticides, industrial effluents, domestic waste, car exhausts and other pollutants, says a report in the journal Public Health. In the late 1970s, there were around 3,000 deaths a year from these conditions in England and Wales. By the late 1990s, there were 10,000.
(4) Low Impact Living courses at Redfield Community, Buckinghamshire, October 2004.

DIY for Beginners 8-10 October
This course de-mystifies many practical skills, explains environmentally-friendly ways to carry out many common DIY tasks, and also covers suppliers / buying materials, fixings and timber.
Cost: £150 waged, £100 unwaged. All meals and accommodation included

Living in Communities 15-17 October
This course, now in its ninth year, is offered by Redfield in association with 'Diggers and Dreamers' (the Directory of British Communities).The course tries for a balance of discussion with opportunities to join in the regular seasonal activities of the community, and informal chats with community members. We also look at communities around the world and the historical roots of the current wave of community formation.
Cost: £90 waged, £50 unwaged. All meals and accommodation included

Wind & Solar Electricity 22-24 October
Run your household appliances with the power of the wind and the sun. This course provides an overview of the basic principles and the technology of solar and wind electrical systems offering participants the theoretical knowledge and practical experience required to design and install small renewable energy systems.

Low-Impact Living Initiative (LILI) is dedicated to helping protect the global environment by promoting sustainable alternatives to various aspects of everyday life. Contact us to find out more about our installations, courses, presentations and manuals.
LILI, Redfield Community, Buckingham Road, Winslow, Bucks, MK18 3LZ
tel / fax: (01296) 714184 web: www.lowimpact.org <http://www.lowimpact.org>
(5) Writing for Change - The Pen is Mightier than the sword. 15-20th November 2004,
Totleigh Barton, Devon UK.
Chris Johnstone (editor, The Great Turning Times) and Elisabeth Winkler (editor, The Soil Association’s magazine Living Earth) will be running a five day course on using writing to express your concerns and to promote change at many levels, from personal, to organisational through to wider social and political change. We will look at writing press releases, campaigning letters, articles and newsletters etc. We will also look at the psychology of change and resistance to change, exploring the role writing can play in influencing this.
Guest speaker – Dave Hicks, known internationally for his writing on global issues.
Course fee £435 (full board, residential, some grants available)
For details contact The Arvon Foundation, Totleigh Barton, Sheepwash, Beaworthy, Devon EX21 5NS
Tel 01409 231338 Email: t-barton@arvonfoundation.org
(6) EUROPEAN SOCIAL FORUM, London : 14th - 17th OCTOBER (see pdf attachment)
The Forum will be launched with a large opening event on Thursday 14th, followed by 3 days of discussion & debate involving leading activists from around the world, as well as music, drama, film-showings & exhibitions celebrating this global movement. On the afternoon of Sunday 17th there will be an
International demonstration through central London. As this will only be 2 weeks before the US election the demonstration on 17th Oct should be a huge display of Europe's opposition to war & the Project
for the New American Century."

For a full list of proposed workshops please visit:
Workshops Will Be Based Broadly Around The Following Topics...
War & peace - Democracy & fundamental rights - Social justice &
solidarity: Against privatisation (deregulation); For workers, social
& women's rights - Corporate globalisation & global justice - Against
racism, discrimination & the far right; for equality & diversity -
Environmental crisis & sustainable society. There may be something on Deep Ecology too.

"The ESF emerged from the spectacular success of the World Social
Forum, which opened in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2001. Its first 2
gatherings in Florence (2002) & Paris (2003) attracted over 50,000
people from Europe & beyond. Social movements, trade unions, NGOs,
refugees, peace & anti-imperialist groups, anti-racist movements,
environmental movements, networks of excluded & community campaigns
come together to debate ways of making 'another world possible'.
These international & European gatherings were sparked by the
protests against the IMF & World Bank in Seattle in 1999. They are
recognition from the local, national & international level, that the
conditions under which we live are shaped by the political economic
system which has been labelled `globalisation'. The ESF is a giant
gathering for everyone opposed to war, racism & corporate power,
everyone who wants to see global justice, workers' rights and a
sustainable society."

REGISTRATION: Demand for places is expected to be high so you will
need to register early. Registration information is available on the
website, but please do get in touch using the contacts below if you
have any problems.
PRICES: For the 4 days: £30 waged; £20 concessions for unwaged &
students. (Proof for concessions will be required when you collect
your pass at the event.)
ACCOMMODATION: We cannot guarantee to find accommodation for all ESF
delegates, but we will endeavour to offer as much cheap & free
accommodation as possible. Please get in touch if you either need, or
can offer, accomadation.
CONTACT: Tel: 020 7833 8440 Email: kesfoffice@gn.apc.org Post: ESF
C/O NATFHE, 17 Britannia St, London WC1X 9JN. Website: http://www.fse-esf.org/
7. Newsflash - The planet goes haywire
Fires and floods, heatwaves and hurricanes - it's been a year of extreme weather. And there's more on the way as global warming kicks in, warns John Vidal

Friday August 27, 2004
The Guardian

There will always be freak weather and temperature and rainfall extremes, but what is extraordinary is that very wet summers such as those of 1903 or 2004, as well as intense heatwaves, storms and droughts, are coming thicker and faster as the world heats up. Ten of the past 14 years have been the hottest recorded, and this is linked by scientists to a rapid rise in levels of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere - which according to ice core samples tested in the Antarctic, are the highest in 440,000 years and still rising.

Almost all climate scientists, atmospheric chemists and oceanographers say the greenhouse effect has arrived and that we should expect more droughts, hurricanes, flash floods, forest fires and giant storms. The kind of extreme weather that happened once in 100 years, they say, could soon take place every 20 years.

Last week the European environment agency produced evidence that Europe was warming faster than expected and that the number of natural disasters had more than doubled in the past decade. Last year's pan-European drought cost 20,000 lives and billions of euros and the later floods affected at least 600,000. The agency, which said that most European glaciers were in fast retreat, warned people to expect more flash floods, mudslides, storms and droughts.

(8) ACTION - Friends of the Earth Climate Challenge

FoE have launched a 'Climate Challenge' campaign to get people to improve energy efficiency in their own lives and send a message that we need to take action NOW on climate change:

"By taking part, not only will you be helping make a difference, our actions will signal to politicians and industry that we can't continue business as usual, destroying the only planet we have."

(9) Rising Tide Climate Change Network Gathering

1 - 3 October, SUMAC Centre, Nottingham
Help build a varied and vibrant network and find out about current Rising Tide campaigns.

Workshops include:
* The Science of Climate Change
* SUV's (4x4's)
* Oil War and Climate Change
* Media Skills
* Theatre of the Oppressed
* Columbia Solidarity Campaign
* Blocking Airport Expansion
* Emissions / Eco-Housing
* Climate Campaigning at the G8
* space to run your own workshop
Crash Pad Accomodation, Creche available on request
Cost: £15 - £30 (depending on what you can afford) includes food

Early booking ESSENTIAL, contact info@risingtide.org.uk or phone 01865 241097
(10) Rising Tide email Newsletter
If you’d like to be kept in touch with climate change campaigning and information, subscribe to the
Rising Tide free email newsletter. To subscribe to this list send a blank e-mail to news-subscribe@risingtide.org.uk
(11) World Carfree Day 2004: Resist Car Culture 22 September 2004

Four years ago World Carfree Network initiated the world's first global carfree day, a victorious day of actions on four continents reclaiming our streets and our lives from the automobile. Every September, people around the world join together for World Carfree Days:

Further info: www.worldcarfree.net/wcfd
Ideas for creative direct resistance against car culture: www.carbusters.org/freesources/action_ideas.php
Sunday 10th to Saturday 16th October, 2004

Footprint Education would like to invite you to join Outdoor Educator, Dave
Key, and Jungian Analyst, Mary-Jayne Rust a wilderness-based ecotherapy

The course is aimed at people working in the healing professions who would
like to develop therapeutic outdoor practices, and at those working in
outdoor education and personal development who would like to learn more
about engaging with the healing power of outdoor spaces.

The course is based at Doune Bay Lodge - accessible only by boat or on foot
- at the western tip of the Knoydart peninsular, on Scotland's wild and
rugged west coast. Know as Britain's "Last Wilderness" Knoydart and Doune
Bay Lodge offer the perfect opportunity to explore ideas and theories in
comfort and then head out into the mountains for two days of practice and
Exploration. The itinerary includes indoor group sessions, lead outdoor activities,
walking and two nights spent in a traditional mountain 'bothy'. There will
also be the chance (subject to weather) to spend reflective 'solo' time in
one of the world's most inspirational landscapes.

All accommodation, local/organic food (where possible), facilitation and
transport ex-Mallaig - including boat charters - are included in the price.
You can find out more and download a booking form at:

Or email us on info@footprint-education.org.

Education for a fair & sustainable future.
e: info@footprint-education.org
w: www.footprint-education.org
(13) Strategic Campaigning Course, 12-13th October 2004, Edinburgh,
Strategic Campaigning training delivered by Greenpeace International training consultant, Michelle Sheather - a short course on how to plan and execute your own campaign whether local, national or international; getting you results that will make a difference to achieving your agenda and goals.

Cost £100-£250 For more information contact: strategiccampaigning@creatingconnections.org
or telephone: 0845 458 3211
(14) Bristol Schumacher Lectures 2004 – Spirit, Nature, Matter
Saturday 30th October, 10am – 5pm,
At The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, next to Bristol Temple Meads station.
With Christopher Alexander (world renowned architect), Miriam McGillis (co-ordinator of Earth Literacy programme at Genesis Farm, US) and Satish Kumar (talking on integrating spirituality, ecology and social justice)
Contact Schumacher UK for info email: admin@schumacher.org.uk
website: www.schumacher.org.uk
(15) Gaia Theory for Beginners – a one day course, Sat Nov 6th 2004
9.30am to 4.30pm. At 8-10, Berkeley Square, Bristol with Chris Johnstone.
Gaia Theory could represent one of the most important shifts in scientific thinking over the last three hundred years. It proposes that the Earth is more than just a dead lump of rock that we happen to live on. Rather it can be viewed as a single living system, or ‘super-organism’, that we are part of. This course introduces the science behind Gaia Theory and also explores what it might mean for us in the fields of psychology, philosophy, ecology and spirituality.
To book, phone Bristol University Public Programmes Office, Tel 0117 9287165
Cost £22 (concs £16.50) Advance booking essential.
details: dreambeat@tantraweb.co.uk
(16) Copydate for next newsletter is end of November 2004. Please let me know of resources, workshops, events, websites, news, etc you’d like others to know about. Contact chris at dreambeat@tantraweb.co.uk