“IN NATURE, NOTHING EXISTS ALONE.”
These words from Rachel Carson’s seminal book, Silent Spring, seem especially fitting on this, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
A half-century after some 20 million people took to streets, parks, and auditoriums to envision a just and resilient planet, we find ourselves with an unexpected opportunity to reflect in a more individual way about how far we have come and how far we still must go.
In many places, our waters are cleaner and the air less polluted, victories borne from legislation inspired by those early demonstrations. And yet, we face threats that are even more urgently existential and a world ever more riven by our deep disconnect from the interdependent nature of all living things.
We see that disconnect manifested in everything from startling and rapid changes in the environment, to the often intolerant character of our collective conversations. Conversely, we see an appreciation of interdependence manifested in everything from Omega’s Eco Machine, our all-natural wastewater reclamation system, to the deep wisdom of Indigenous Peoples and the youth climate movement’s demand for equitable solutions that benefit everyone.
At Omega, we are embracing the urgency of the times with newfound commitment. Today, even as we contend with the challenges brought on by the current need for isolation, we are announcing Omega's multi-year Climate Initiative. Our goal: to bring about not only institutional changes, but also expanded local, regional, and international partnerships.
This multi-year plan aims to:
Energize a vocal civic platform that engages with and advances existing and emerging solutions
Deepen our collaborations with local, regional, and international partners, particularly in the area of climate education
Further develop the Omega campus and digital classroom experience as a model of sustainable, regenerative practices
As a first step this year, we will be signing the UN Climate Neutral Now Pledge. Organizations that take the pledge commit to:
Measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions for an agreed-upon period of time
Reduce their greenhouse gas emissions within a specific time frame
Compensate for remaining emissions with UN Certified Emission Reductions (CERs)
Our Climate Initiative is a work in progress. We will be continuing to develop and implement these aspirations even as we navigate the challenges brought on by the coronavirus health crisis. Our goal is to move forward in cooperation and in spirit with you—Omega’s friends, members, and partners.
Contact us at OCSL@eOmega.org to learn more and join us as we raise our ambitions and create a climate for positive change.
Because within these disruptive times lies a profound opportunity to reimagine our future not alone, but together.
Robert "Skip" Backus
Omega Institute CEO
Omega Center for Sustainable Living Founder
© 2020 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies