Tipping Points Working Group

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Earth from Space




Dr. William Gellermann, PhD.
Ph.D. in Applied Behavioral Sciences from UCLA -- faculty member at SUNY ( Buffalo ), Cornell and CUNY ( Richmond College ). Consultant since 1970 (clients included major corporations, labor unions, civil rights groups, and government agencies at federal, state, and city level); author of Values and Ethics in Organization and Human Systems Development (1990, Jossey-Bass) -- Retired in 2000. Joined Communications Coordination Committee for the UN (CCC/UN)in 2003; Co-Chair of CCC/UN Board in 2007 and Vice President 2004-2007. Member of DPI/NGO Conference Planning



The Issue
There are a substantial number of well informed people who conceive of the possibility of expanding our view of individual consciousness to a global consciousness [encompassing "all humans" or "all life on Earth"]. One view (Julia Whitty) describes 12 potentially catastrophic "tipping points" (such as reversed flow of ocean currents with catastrophic effects) and she postulates that "we" (all humanity) have the potential to become a 13th "tipping point" that can avoid such catastrophes and, in time, stabilize our Earth's climate at an acceptable level.
This chapter explores 1) the range of views on the possibility of expanding our paradigm of who "we" are; 2) how such a paradigm shift might be brought into being on a global scale; 3) ways in which it might in fact contribute to avoiding the crisis; 4) plans for evoking the paradigm shift on a global scale; and 5) plans for facilitating collaborative action on a global scale (including reports on action already taken and plans already in existence). [The potential for a paradigm shift that will help us deal with the climate change crisis is also discussed in the chapter which deals with “From Ego to Eco.”
Skilful discussion (exploring together rather that debating who is "right" and who is "wrong") will allow some profound ideas and actions to emerge.

The intent of the chapter is also to encourage action reports on actions taken (including expanding networking and collaboration throughout our NGO community) and plans for further action related to: 1) the issues identified in the Declaration and 2) new issues or perspectives developed after the Conference (that emerged as a result of sensitivity evoked by the Conference).