Memorial Day Victory for Love


I am blessed to have an Earthly mother who was an amazing revolutionary. As a child I thought she could see through walls and travel intra-dimensionally, knowing if I was misbehaving. She could foretell the future, make us love the present, and jump back and forth through time, simply by telling her stories.

One story she always loved to tell was how at the age of 18, she went to work in a Texas bank so that she could afford flight training. She wanted to have enough hours of flight instruction and volunteering in the Civil Air Patrol to qualify as a pilot and be ready to join the war effort on the day she turned 21.

I am also blessed to have an Earthly father who prevented me from the worst of my childish longings, nurtured the good in himself and his kids, and was an amazing provider. As the son of a West Texas dryland farmer, he wanted his kids to have chances that he didn’t have. Joining the war effort was one of the few chances he might ever be offered to train as a pilot, get an education, and see the world.

But it was bigger than those personal reasons for both of them. They wanted fervently to stop the insanity of Hitler, the madness of the Holocaust. The horrors of Pearl Harbor were emblazoned in their young brains by magazine photos newsreel films. What they saw inspired them both to join separate units of the Army Airforce as pilots in 1942.

They felt certain the U.S. Military needed to intervene to save the world and stop the global spread of fascism. They believed in what they were doing. Today, we face an enemy more pervasive, labyrinthine, and insidious: Global Climate Change. The climate crisis has been caused in large part by the very U. S. Military that my parents were willing to sacrifice their lives for in 1942. The “Military-Industrial-Complex” that President Eisenhower warned us about has become a reality, and its impact on Climate Change is huge.

U. S. Military is the largest single consumer of energy in the world. Those military planes that keep vigil all around the world burn a lot of fuel, expensive fuel. Expensive environmentally, economically, and socially.

“The impact of the US military on climate change is enormous due to its excessive consumption of fuel oil,” writes John Lawrence of the San Diego Free Press. “The US must spread its influence across the oil producing parts of the world in order to protect its supply of oil.”

The responsibility of the military for the climate crisis goes much further than their own use of fossil fuels. Their excessive consumption of aviation fuel oil requires it to preserve strategic access to oil, so the Pentagon has set up a never- ending loop that is destroying our planet.

”Insatiable militarism is the single greatest institutional contributor to the growing natural disasters intensified by global climate change,” adds Lawrence. As we witnessed in Iraq, the military, the arms corporations and their many powerful political supporters have consistently relied on (and aggressively pushed for) armed intervention to secure oil and energy supplies. The military is not just a prolific user of oil, it is one of the central pillars of the global fossil-fuel economy.

Today, whether it is in the Middle East, the Gulf, or the Pacific, modern-day military deployment is about controlling oil-rich regions and defending the key shipping supply routes that carry oil.

If we look away, without acknowledging the truth of the situation, we become part of the problem. We need knowledge, Vidya in Sanskrit, to truly see and understand our situation. I am not sure what all the solutions are, but I feel that, collectively, we can discover them if we look clearly at where we are and wake up to the need for wise action now.


Up to one million species face extinction because of human influence — many within decades. That’s the stark and urgent warning by the Natural Resources Defense Council in response to a recent report. Delivered to the United Nations, the shocking findings expose the scope and severity of the Trump administration’s disregard for environmental protections and threatened species. Our oceans are warming, plastic-filled waves are rising, and extreme weather events have increased along with murder in the form of rapid species loss.

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey decimated the Texas coast around Houston, causing catastrophic flooding due to a record amount of rain. For many, these floods were the first of the worst of recent climate change disasters. Torrential downpours and violent winds killed at least 68 people and displaced over one million, leaving approximately 200,000 damaged homes along its 300-mile trail. Damages from the hurricane tallied an estimated $125 billion. The aftermath is still being felt through the region.

For others, the realization of climate change came with other destructive hurricanes fueled by increasing global warmth —Katrina, Irma, Sandy, and Maria. In recent years, storms have worsened, fires have spread, and sea levels are rising.

The warmest years on record have been in the past 10 out of 12 years. Since record-keeping began in 1880, the planet’s 10 hottest years were all in your lifetime, between 1997 and 2008. So yes, it probably did snow more when you were a kid.

Arctic sea ice is at the lowest level ever recorded. Ships for the first time can sail along the Northwest Passage above North America. Once a fabled passageway, melting Arctic ice from global warming has let this route become a reality for the first time in over 100 years.

Arctic summers could be ice-free by 2040 or sooner. As the oceans absorb more of the sun’s heat, decades ahead of previous estimates, this ice “mirror” that reflects sunlight back into space disappears, and global warming will increase. Melting ice will cause polar bears and other species to lose their icy habitat and eventually become extinct.

In Glacier National Park, Montana, 82% of glaciers have disappeared Today this beautiful park has only 27 glaciers, compared with 150 in 1910. If either of the rapidly melting ice sheets in Greenland or Antarctica completely melted, they would dump 500,000 cubic miles of freshwater into the ocean would be catastrophic not only to low-lying areas, but it would also mess up the ocean’s complicated currents.

Over a hundred million people will be displaced by just a 1-yard rise in sea levels. Many scientists predict that the oceans will rise at least this much by 2100. As more and more freshwater melts into the sea, this could greatly disrupt the ocean’s vital currents and, ironically, even bring a mini-Ice Age to Europe.

Sea levels will rise by 20 feet if either the Greenland or West Antarctic Ice Sheets completely melt – 40 feet if both melt.6 Maps as you know them would be completely changed, as this would flood much of Florida, Louisiana, Manhattan, China, Bangladesh, the Netherlands, and many more areas.

Every single day, 70 million tons of carbon dioxide are released into our world’s atmosphere.1 That’s 1.4 billion pounds – yesterday, today, tomorrow, and every single day.


As if these environmental tragedies that intensify global warming were not enough, there is the ongoing tradeoff in the US federal budget between militarized defense and genuine human and environmental security. The United States contributes more than 30 percent of global warming gases to the atmosphere, generated by five percent of the world’s population. At the same time, funding for education, energy, environment, social services, housing and new job creation, taken together, is less than the military budget.

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has called the military budget “a taxpayer-supported jobs program and argues for reprioritizing federal spending on jobs in green energy, education and infrastructure – the real national security.”


By showing me how a life of giving to a greater good, my parents, members of The Greatest Generation, modeled the values of a caring culture. They didn’t always make the right moves or logical decisions. They didn’t always know how to love, but by risking their lives so that the world would have less suffering and more happiness, they were truly great.

But they were wrong about one important thing. I don’t blame them. Most of us have been wrong about something, and too many have been wrong about this. It’s the problem that gnaws at children when they go to bed at night and that worries scientists, mothers, and anyone who has a clear mind and good heart. They were wrong to think that defeating Hitler would defeat the enemy.

The fact is, the enemy is a way of thinking, not a person. We can change our thinking, and through that, we can change the world for the better.

While my parents’ service work for the military happened almost 80 years ago, the greatness behind their sacrifices are still quite relevant today. Right now, we face a danger far greater than Hitler: climate change.

What’s more, the Holocaust and climate change are actually related to the same notion of expansion. Just as our mothers and fathers resisted Hitler and his genocide, we must resist self-inflicted specicide rooted in three factors: an ideology of conquest, a condition of ecological panic, and statelessness.
The Holocaust isn’t something that just happened in Germany; it’s something that happened everywhere and it’s still happening today as humans extinguish animal species and poison the air, water, and soil.

When the war was over, my mother and father felt the evil had been thwarted and we would never have to worry about another Hitler, but we still haven’t learned the lessons of that terrible time in history. Hitler thought that all of life is a racial struggle, and that it was normal for us to be frightened, to take what we need to survive, and to always want more, and more, and more. Those are the two sides of Lebensraum, a German ideology promoting expansion, says Yale University’s Timothy Snyder.


My mother was on the leading edge of so much. She taught me to meditate and introduced me to my ancestors long before it was popular to have Cherokee relatives. She helped me to study with Yogis and Elders who for decades had carried on traditions passed from generation to generation, the customs, chants, and dances of Peacemaking.

My father urged me to, “Always tell the truth.” He felt if you could get it out there and talk about it, get your hands dirty, and flesh things out, you could start a farm, build a bridge, or find solutions for almost anything. He thought we could use our imaginations, as Albert Einstein did, “as a preview of coming attractions.”

We become compassionate by having repeated expectations, visions, and experiences of compassion in the imaginal realm first, and then in the material world. That’s the positive tape-loop I want us to attune to.

What a rare day to declare a Victory for Love. And it all begins with YOU!

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NOTE TO READER! This is the second in a five-part series on coping with the Climate Crisis. The first essay addressed Education for Loving the World. This one is on War, Climate, and A Victory for Love. Next time, I’ll address Failure and Imagination, and then the Hidden Brain and Soul Solutions in future pieces. Mahalo for tuning in!


You don’t have to wait another minute. Healing the planet starts in your garage, in your kitchen, and at your dining-room table. Go here for significant strategies you can engage today to help to save the planet.



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