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Report from the CfC Environment Call

June 3, 2014


Report from the Charter for Compassion Environment Call June


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Edited Recording of Environment Call: June 3, 2014

Support Global Partner Calls Thank you so much for your participation on the Charter Education call. Click here for the link to our special donation page for Charter Partner calls. Your contribution—even at the most modest of levels-- not only helps to cover our immediate costs but also serves as a strong vote for our continuing and expanding this effort.   

Lending a Helping Hand  As was demonstrated in our conversations so many of you have access to extensive networks of potential partners and other contacts for education network. Would you consider letting your fellow colleagues and associates know about the Charter for Compassion network?  We can accomplish a great deal more by adding hands, hearts and minds to our end goal of bringing shared dialogue, and compassionate action to our network efforts. If you were on the call, and even if you weren't and are reading this, please consider inviting others to our compassion movement.  It's easy to register. 

Environment Section on the Charter Website

For people interested in the Charter's work with the Environment Sector, please visit and make use of the environment section on the Charter's website.  Even better, continue to help make it your own.  Several people (Kathleen Dean Moore, Tom deBree, Angus Skinner, Rebecca Stauffer) who were on the June 3rd conference call sent us the names of books to be included in the Annotated Environment Bibliography. Just as with all of the Charter's sector, the heart of the Environment's section is the Compassion Environment Reader.  The reader starts out with the Twelve Most Read Articles on the Environment and currently has six chapters.  You take note of the chapter dedicated to the arts and environment: The Poetry of Nature. You'll also find that current environment newsletters, reports such as these, and updated Charter flyers and handouts are all located in a section namedEnvironment: Reports and Documents. Finally, you'll want to review a list of our Environment Parters.  

Charter Staff on the Healthcare Call
Andrew Himes (Executive Director)
Ben Roberts  (Facilitator)
Marilyn Turkovich  (Program Director)  

Marilyn Turkovich introduced today’s speaker, Kathleen Dean Moore.  Kathleen is a true advocate of the environment, a well-known author, and a type of moral philosopher. She is also an academic and is from the Northwest of the US.

Kathleen Dean Moore

Kathleen began by telling us that she was speaking from B.C., Canada on a beautiful day.  In a recent statement about global warming from 500 scientists:  “Unless we take immediate and strong action, by the time today’s children are middle-aged, the Earth’s life support systems will be irretrievably damaged.”  This is unbearably a call to action.  It is moral/ethical issue.  If we let this world slip away, it is failure of compassion.  When big oil executives, in order to increase their profits, knowingly take down the Earth’s systems, it is a moral atrocity.  We need to create an equally powerful global consensus about the moral outrage of climate change. 

A question was presented to moral leaders: Do we have a moral obligation to address climate change?  Dalai Lama’s message was rock-hard pragmatism.  He said it is a matter of our survival. Other moral reasons:

Climate change is a violation of human rights (global warming is a major violation of human rights and right to life).

Climate change is a violation of justice (people will suffer unjustly--the rich nations are offloading the results of their greed to the voiceless and indefensible (future generations, plants and animals, marginalized people, children).

Climate change is a failure of reverence – of the land and the seas. By midcentury 60% of the species will be gone.

The world is irreplaceable.  It is urgently creative. This is the language of the sacred. 

If we fail with climate change, we betray our obligation to the children.  Poet Brian Doyle answered Kathleen’s question, “Why do we have an obligation to the children?” His answer—in beautiful poetic language--was read by Kathleen.  One line reminded us of how much we love our children “when they came to us from the sea of stars.”   How do we truly love the children, and justice, and people of the world?  This is our challenge in this day and age.  

Mind movie: When Kathleen was on a flight recently, the pilot noted they were flying over North Dakota, and he pointed out the many flames that could be seen stretching from horizon to horizon, the result of a huge fracking operation.  How are we able to do this to the earth? Because we have not loved it fully.


Love imposes obligations!  How can I claim to love animals and children if I do not love what nourishes them?  What do we love?  The Earth and our children are a sacred trust.  How do we keep this trust?  What do we pledge?   

Kathleen frequently hears, “Don’t pound us with this anymore. We get it. What we need to know is what to do!”  The deniers of climate change have changed.  “Old deniers” are the oil industry and those they paid to deny—a relatively insignificant group now.  The “new deniers” know climate change is real but feel helpless and think there is nothing they can do.

Our work is to “throw a rock,” to make one small obstruction in the river of damage in order to change the energy of the flood.  The river will change power and then eddy in new directions and create new systems to get around these obstructions.  Just find your rock and chuck it in the river.  All the sorrows in the world are interconnected.  Every act of grace nourishes each other. 

Question and Answer Period

Gail Koelin: Trained in climate reality with Al Gore.  Started working with people in assisted living community.  Do you have list of suggestions?

Kathleen Quinn: Suddenly people everywhere are talking about this. Elders are a voting powerhouse. Some suggestions:  Ask/encourage people to: Create an institution that embeds their values such as insisting on sustainable and local food, the use of solar power, building gardens that are refuges.  “Until we stop tolerating what makes us sick at heart, nothing will change.”

Marilyn: website for senior citizens

Gola Wolf Richards: Issue of new deniers-- “I’ve got it.  Nothing I can do.”   Needs to be a different interpretation of what you can do.  If you contribute something, you are doing something.  “Understanding the nature of change, changes the nature of understanding.” (download the book).

Kathleen: False dichotomy: people in despair or those in blind hope.  Either one is a moral abdication. Doing what’s right because it is right. Moral integrity. Create life that is a world of art that embodies your values.

John Steiner: Concept is “ladder of engagement.”  Giving people things to do at various levels of commitment. Each step you take puts you into position to take the next step.  Would like to talk about this off-line.

Kathleen: There is the “light bulb list” (just change the kind of light bulbs that you use) to help people get started, but at some time we need to go beyond this- great idea!

Angus Skinner:  You used the word “grace”- engagement with “grace”-- what did you mean by it?

Kathleen: Grace is leaving resentment behind and then going forward.  We can get caught up with fear.  Grace can be synonymous with moral courage.

Ann Manning: Lives in Minneapolis and will have upcoming “Future First Women’s Congress for Future Generations.”  What helps people in the moment to not numb out?

Kathleen: With college students, she quotes Frederick Buechner: “Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.”  Take your passion and turn it towards good.  Young people have an outpouring of creativity.  People are “so busy.” 

Kathleen is a conspiracy theorist-- we are too busy and have to hold down three jobs in order to live and are distracted by entertainment. Our lives should be full and not desperate. I don’t think it’s an accident that we are so consumed by consumerism and are so “busy.”  It serves those who sell the products.

Registrants for the Environment Conference Call

 Abhishek IyerGaurav ChouhanMary Ella Keblusek

AliceGola Wolf RichardsMeral

Allison McbrideHelen PhillipsMimi Stokes Katzenbach

Angus SkinnerHelene WilkieMonica

Anish SudarsananIM StensethMyriam Garcon    

Ann C Manning    isabel    Nancy Anderson

Ann Manicomjames Marcus    Nancy G Wright

Anne SaevigJane BoiesNick Sherwood

Archie AbaireJane DwinellNigel Haggan

Ashley BerryJane Tatum    Nimueh Rephael

Audrey MarnoyJanine JordanNina Roark

Barbara KaufmannJean Ann CampanaPamela Ronson

Barbara KerrJean CiprianoPatricia G Kirkpatrick    

Barbara WarnerJennifer HarrisPatrick Reilly

Basha BrownsteinJennifer J. Wilhoit, PhDPattie Williams

BlessingJennifer Morse

Peter F W Johannessen Osisi

Carmen ClayJim TaylorPrachi Mehta

Carol GrahamJo WinsloePrarit Vashisht

Carolyn Townes    John GaspariRebecca Stauffer    

CaroLynne O'DonnellJohn SheaRenee

CassJohn SteinerRini Nair

Charissa BartonJudith WolfRita

Cheryl HunterKate ThompsonRita Rings

ChristinaKatherine Warman    Samarth Bhatia

Claire BeynonKathleen PloussardSande Hart

Claudia KeithKathleen Quinn    Sarah Farrugia

Connie AdlerKathryn Jankowski    Sarah Martindale

cynthia adkinsKathryn MunsonSarbani    

Daniel Chapman    Keith HaganShaun Campbell

Daniel L GillilandKim Moffitt    Sheila Madden    

Danielle DodgsonLaurieSimone Kunegel

DeborahLesa WalkerSorabh Sharma

Dee KyneLinda Kaun    Stephen Frey    

Denise EdelsonLinda LittrellStephen Mccollum

DharaLise M SparrowSteve Saenz

Diana AmesLouisa HextSue Blythe    

Diane SutherlandLouise White    Susan Gordon

Dina CapitaniLuis Fernando GomezTanya

Donald MeyerMargaret JarrettTerry    

Doris Jane ConwayMargaret KingsburyTerry Edwards

Eileen EppersonMargretta GurleyThomas deBree

Elizabeth Oehrle Marian BoyleToby

Emily MooreMarianneTracey Karsten

Erika HarrisMark SteinerVarun Agrawal

Ernest Lowe    Mark WingateVrishin Bhamri

Frank Chen    Marlene

Fred Taylor    Marlene Everingham

GailMarvie Misolas

Gail KoellnMary

Questions for Breakout Session: What do you love too much to lose?  What, explicitly and in some detail, does that love call you to do?  What is stopping you? What might empower you?

Contributed by Marian Boyle's (host) group (Don Myer, Nick Sherwood, and Laurie Felber)

What do you love too much to lose?
Woodland, water, wildlife, their habitats and food supply due to urban sprawl, land due to rising oceans

What does that love call you to do?

  • The emotion and passion generated by the problems of our environment helps to inspire action.
  • The need for action is driven by fear of what the future holds if we do not act.  We need to make use of this sense of urgency.  But rather than wring our hands, we need to make better use of creativity.  What solutions can we create?
  • We also need facts and practical strategies as we respond to detractors.
  • Those who risk losing their job (example: coal industry) ask what other jobs can they do?  They distrust government and feel pushed out of the decision making process.
  • Need trained workers for new and different jobs of future.
  • Need new change models.
  • We are customers of business and industry.  We (along with shareholders) can voice our expectations for a responsible approach to doing business that does not harm our environment.
  • One practical suggestion to address anticipated loss of water is to build a water pipeline in areas of most urgent need.
  • Popcorn Session

Nimueh Rephael:representing non-profit org called . Have many books for children about how to live sustainably. Looking for Board members.  The media is a block that splits people into their own private lives instead of uniting people together.  She wants to challenge that.  What if media put our incredible news that made people happy- wouldn’t it be wonderful- great ideas coming across the media in a big way.

Dina Capitani: mentioned initiative environmental initiative- planting trees- launched World Environment Day 2014- in Guinness Book of World Records.   Good model to get people engaged and to volunteer.

Marleen Everingham:  “Yes” magazine is only good news.  Check that out!

Fred Taylor:  n his group- talked about concern for children and grandchildren as a way to engage adults.  Organization called “Climate Parents.”  

Susan Gordon: Group called “Spaceship Earth”- international group bringing today scientists and artists.   She works with “Compassionate Equestrian.”  

Lee: She is UCC pastor and is engaged in inter-cultural work. Can come together across faith groups in the idea of reverence.

Kathleen:  “Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril”--  book recommendation.  Also,have study guide- available on website.

Thomas deBree:  Important that we do not underestimate the importance of small actions-- our own, our children’s, etc.  Small action can have momentous impact.


Andrew Himes:  Please go to for Charter membership and make a contribution to the movement. Signing the Charter was a great first step—but now we are asking for your commitment as a member, joining us in the global movement.


Pachamama Alliance (submittd by Sande Hart): We believe that the solutions to the challenges we’re facing as a human family already exist. What we’re missing is the popular will to implement those AND solutions now. 

To generate the critical mass of conscious commitment that can create a positive future, we deliver transformative experiences that:

  • Weave together indigenous and modern world views.
  • Connect human beings with their inherent dignity.
  • Reveal the magnificence and opportunity of this moment in human history.
  • Transform human relationships – with ourselves, with one another, and with the natural world.

Together, we can shift the human systems and structures that keep us separate, becoming each other’s strongest allies in ensuring a vibrant future.

Radical Joy for Hard Times (submitted by Tom deBree) I believe the mission alignment  between Radical Joy for Hard Times' and the Charter for Compassion is an integral, intimate and unique alignment.  We are a small, but mighty little non-profit connecting people and wounded places through beauty and compassion around the globe.  I will be co-leading a Global Earth Exchange event ( one of the annual programs of RadJoy for Hard Times) just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountain on June 21, 2014, along the rising waters and banks of the St. Vrain River.  We hope to see and bring beauty and compassion to the hearts and minds of every participant in that event as we connect with a wounded place within nature that enfolds the river, our home on earth and our hearts. 

In 2015 Radical Joy for Hard Times will launch a new event…The Ground Beneath Your Heart… a community generated event that will be part spectacle, part performance, part ceremony, part consciousness-transforming and sharing… to unfold around the earth like a necklace of pearls on September 12, 2015.  The "pearls" on the necklace circling the earth that day will be specific sites and communities "wounded" by extraction industries.  Participants will share and create expressions of connection, beauty and compassion for these beloved places and re-connect people with their homes and hearts.   

Please list Radical Joy for Hard Times website as a resource for the Charter for Compassion, especially among the emerging Environment sector Partners.   You may also wish to note just one or two writings by the Founder and Executive Director of Radical Joy for Hard Times, Trebbe Johnson.  I suggest  "Gaze Even Here" (Orion, November/December 2012) and "Gifts for Broken Places: Attending the Earth/Healing the Psyche" (EcoPsycholgy, March 2014).  Trebbe's book, The World is a Waiting Lover, offers story and deep reflection on her journey toward the founding of Radical Joy for Hard Times. 

Blue Marble (submitted by Nimueh Rephael) I represent Big Blue Marble, a California nonprofit organization. Big Blue Marble is dedicated to nurturing children,  from the moment they start to read, to become the future caretakers of the planet through our award-winning books and programs, for classes and youth clubs. Children need education to learn how to live sustainably. We are currently seeking like-minded, dedicated individuals to serve with us as Board members, especially those who have networks in the education systems or youth clubs. Any location in the USA, or English-speaking country (at this point), is workable. Our location is Newport Beach, California. Visit us at, Nimueh Rephael, Development Officer

Catholic Climate Convenant (submitted by Rita Rings) After decades of steady progress in reclaiming and advancing the Catholic Church’s efforts to embrace an ethic of environmental stewardship, the Catholic Climate Covenant (previously, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change) was formed in 2006 with the support of both the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the National Religious Partnership for the Environment.

The Catholic Climate Covenant supports and complements USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development and the bishops’ Environmental Justice Program.  The Covenant is guided by the participation on our Steering Committee of top staff from fourteen national Catholic organizations.

The Covenant is seen nationally and globally as a catalyst, convener and clearinghouse that urges Catholic individuals, families, parishes, schools and other organizations to embrace and act on Catholic teaching as it relates to care for creation and climate change. As described on the Catholic Teachings page, authentic Catholic teaching on creation care and climate change emphasizes the virtue of prudence, protection of human life and dignity, particular concern for the poor and vulnerable, and promotion of solidarity and the common good.

Franciscan Action Network (FAN) (submitted by Rita Rings), a collective voice for justice made up of Franciscan orders, began building a national network of Franciscan-hearted young adults in the summer of 2012. The Corps is a collaborative effort of lay Franciscans—Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, and Ecumenical Franciscans—as well as Franciscan friars and sisters.

The first local Franciscan Earth Corps initiative was started in 2003 by Rob Breen, a Catholic Secular Franciscan and environmental educator, in upstate New York (beginning in Syracuse and later in Albany).

The starting point for Franciscan Earth Corps is taking action. Pick a green project or charity, or join in the social and ecological justice work of Franciscan Action Network (FAN). Then connect the activity—whether it is community gardening, hiking, or advocating for justice—with spiritual reflection.

Activities in care for creation and spirituality are selected locally—for help check out our list of resources. Members are encouraged to join the Franciscan Climate Campaign and stay in touch with FAN staff member Rhett Engelking who can assist you in organizing a group and developing activities.

The Green Umbrella (submitted by Rita Rings) is a non-profit organization working to improve the economic vitality and quality of life in the region around Cincinnati by maximizing the collective impact of individuals and organizations dedicated to environmental sustainability.

In partnership with our area’s leading planning initiatives — Vision 2015 in Northern Kentucky and Agenda 360 in Southwestern Ohio — Green Umbrella facilitates collaboration among over 200 area non-profits, businesses, educational institutions and governmental entities focused on the environmental aspects of sustainability.  With our members, we aim to meet the environmental, social, and economic needs of today while preserving the ability of future generations to do the same.

We have united around the Collective Impact Model, which has produced remarkable results for the STRIVE Partnership, the collaborative that promotes innovation in our local education system.  The model teaches that success requires having a common agenda, using a shared measurement system, supporting mutually reinforcing activities and maintaining continuous communication.

Green Umbrella is the “backbone organization” that helps all member organizations work better together to promote a more environmentally sustainable region.


Compassion & Healthcare Conference - November 12, 2014, San Francisco, CA:  The Compassion and Healthcare Conference is an innovative conference presented by the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) in collaboration with Dignity Health, the 5th largest healthcare provider in the US that is dedicated to compassionate healthcare. This inaugural one-day conference will include talks by academic experts and healthcare industry leaders. The conference aims to address issues in healthcare such as compassion burnout, physician suicide, and more.

Empathy and Compassion in Society Youth Gather: November 12, 2014, San Francisco, CA The Empathy and Compassion in Society Youth Gathering gathers students aged 14 to 18 from ten schools each year.  Learn more.

Empathy and Compassion in Society Conference: November 13-14, San Francisco, CA 

  • The latest research on how compassion enhances our professional life
  • Universal tools for cultivating empathy and compassion
  • Case studies where these methods have been shown to be effective

Empathy and Compassion in Society aims to present universal and well researched methods for cultivating empathy and compassion, show how these methods can enhance one's personal and professional life, and share concrete examples of organizations and public institutions where these methods have been shown to be effective. Learn more.

Charter for Compassion International - November 15, 2014, San Francisco, CA
An all-day conference dedicated to the work of the Charter. Highlights will include new approaches to organizing and sustaining city initiatives, the unveiling of a new community building toolbox for city and partners, and keynote speakers focusing on compassion related to the Charters' sectors (business, education, environment, healthcare, peace, religion/spirituality/interfaith, science and research and the arts). Register for the day.

Help Yoel Plant 1000 Compassion Trees: Weaving the Green Dream  

Yoel will be leaving the UK shortly to travel to Bali to attend the Green School.  Along the way he will be planting Compassion Trees.  His hope is to plant 1000 trees before he turns 15. His website aims to document the learning journey of a father and his son, traveling to Bali, across Northern Europe and Asia, using mostly trains and boats. 

A message from Yoel's dad: My name is Loic, and my son Yoel and I have a shared dream. Yoel has been offered a part-bursary at the Green School and one of our aims is not to fly there. As Yoel and I are home learning at the moment, we have started exploring what it would take to go from Britain to Bali by rail and by boat, and to devise an awareness campaign about trees and reforestation as we cross thirteen countries. We believe that if we turned our trip into a meaningful project, we would more likely raise the funds.

The overland trip would not simply be about reducing our carbon footprint or promoting slow travel, but also would be an opportunity to document what environmental challenges different countries face, to campaign for a cause, and to inspire other young people to go green.

Can you help Yoel and the Charter in supporting his efforts.  Perhaps you have contacts they might make along the way, offer some seed money for trees, and just keep up with his blog and share it with others.

A SPECIAL INVITATION to honor Dr. Jane Goodall on her 80th birthday, April 3, 2014 and during the remainder of the year.

The Charter for Compassion and the Compassion Games International invite ALL who wish to honor Dr. Jane Goodall on her 80th birthday to participate in the Compassion Relays as part of a 

SPECIAL GLOBAL TRIBUTE.  Dr. Goodall inspires each of us to help create a better world.  As a renowned primatologist, conservationist, and as a UN Messenger of Peace, she is a champion of "3D" compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth).

Wear Compassion and Support Our Partners
Many of you have been asking about Charter products that can be used for individual wear or to help with promoting the message of compassion. Also, you might be looking for extra ways of adding to your fundraising events. Click on the photos above. Each will introduce you to products being offered by three of our partners. You can contact each one personally to make individual or multiple purchases.

Compassion Today! - A New, Free Mobile App 
Lesa Walker, MD, MPH, a Charter Partner and Charter Education Program Associate, has created the new, free "Compassion Today!" mobile app for iOS and Android devices: Please check it out and share this link widely. The app is a portal to "3D" compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth). Enter and access a world of compassion resources with a few simple clicks. The app has news, quotes, action steps, reminders of events, web resources, videos, audio/podcasts (including guided meditation), a photo album, and more. There is also the ability to incorporate survey tools and work with people on research via the app. The app highlights the Charter for Compassion International and the Compassion Games and Relays. Lesa would greatly appreciate your feedback via the “Contact” function on the app or by email sent to

Barbara Kaufmann:
Voices Compassion Education and Barbara Kaufmann, founder, writer and editor for Voices and Violence have extended an invitation to submit material for the next edition of its online publication Words and Violence's 3rd edition, released last fall, featured performance arts as communicator and change agent (film, dance, hip hop, music as messenger and universal language and more…) 

The upcoming 4th edition will address ways in which we “bully the planet,”--  that subject limited only by human imagination: climate change, war, sustainable agriculture, waste and recycling, drilling, bio-fuels, oil dependence, Indigenous land disrespect, ocean and water, animals: humane treatment, farming, extinction…. Words and Violence is accepting submissions for the 4th edition. If you would like a compendium of what is featured in the project, please contact Barbara at