e43 haley – climate as a cultural issue

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Climate change is actually a cultural issue, not a scientific issue. Science has been extremely good at identifying the symptoms and looking at the way in which it has manifest itself, but it hasn’t really addressed any of the issues in terms of the causes. It has tried to use what you might call techno fix solution focused problem-based approaches to the situation, rather than actually asking deep questions and listening.

david haley, conscient podcast, may 6, 2021, united kingdom

I first came across David Haley’s work as an eco artist and eco educator through the Eco Art Network, notably his Going beyond Earthly essay, from which I drew this quote in e19 reality:

We now need aesthetics to sensitize us to other ways of life and we need artists to sensitize us to the shape of things to come.

I was hooked on his thinking and was enchanted when we had a conversation on May 6, 2021.  For example:

Going back to reality, one of the issues that we are not tackling is that we’re taking a dystopian view upon individual activities that creates guilt, syndromes, and neuroses which of course means that the systems of power are working and in terms of actually addressing the power – of speaking truth to power – we need to name the names, we need to name Standard Oil, IG Farben who now call themselves ESSO, Chevron, Mobil, DuPont, BP, Bayer, Monsanto BASF, Pfizer and so on. These are the people that control the governments that we think we’re voting for and the pretense of democracy that follows them. Until those organizations actually rescind their power to a regenerative way of doing and thinking, we’re stuffed, to put pretty bluntly.

I was also touched by his idea of ‘space as habitat for new ways of thinking’ (which made me think of the adage ‘do no harm’):

What I have learned to do, and this is my practice, is to focus on making space. This became clear to me when I read, Lila : An inquiry into morals by Robert Pirsig. Towards the end of the book, he suggests that the most moral act of all, is to create the space for life to move onwards and it was one of those sentences that just rang true with me, and I’ve held onto that ever since and pursued the making of space, not the filling of it. When I say I work with ecology, I try to work with whole systems, ecosystems. The things within an ecosystem are the elements with which I try to work. I try not to introduce anything other than what is already there. In other words, making the space as habitat for new ways of thinking, habitat for biodiversity to enrich itself, habitat for other ways of approaching things. I mean, there’s an old scientific adage about nature abhors a vacuum, and that vacuum is the space as I see it.

As I did with all episodes this season, I have integrated excerpts from previous episodes in this case, from e19 reality in this episode, including moments of silence.

I would like to thank David for taking the time to speak with me, for sharing his deep knowledge of ecological art practices, his insights as an eco educator and for his vision of a path forward that ‘creates space’.

For more information on David’s work, see www.Davidhaley.uk


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