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This is a review of the takeover of the climate system by the living Earth, colloquially known as Mother Nature, in response to the refusal of global societies to significantly reduce the burning of the fossil fuels that are driving the extreme climate change destroying life on Earth. So it covers issues beyond the conventional science perspective. The framework is based on two papers published at alanbetts.com/research in 2022 and 2023 [2, 3].
In 1976, I realized we were heading for a climate disaster because our leaders did not accept responsibility for the Earth. I had unusual PhD training from Frank Ludlam, who could look at the sky, clouds, and winds and infer a complete forecast of the weather. No one else could, so he became the in-flight real-time forecaster on the bomber missions over Europe in WW2. I learnt from him that if an issue was critical and you could see possible solutions, it was your responsibility. In my case the issue was climate change. So, in parallel with my climate research career, I restructured my life, bought land in Vermont and built a passive solar house with a few solar panels.
Then in 1980, I posed the question: “How do we merge science with wisdom?” I was sent to Tiruvannamalai in southeast India. To my utter surprise, as I sat in a meditation room upon arrival, the Creator took me through my whole life to show me it was all known to her — leaving me ecstatic, transformed with the tools needed to understand living saints and sages.
These are four keys for understanding the living Earth in human terms.
First, the shift to a more colloquial image “Mother Nature is taking over the climate system” is powerful, because this indigenous concept is understood by local communities. It has another huge advantage that it is also free from the male power syndrome that has been dominant for thousands of years and has contributed so much to the exploitation of people, the planet and the current destruction of life on Earth for profit.
The second is that, for European culture, the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD was critical. The Roman Catholic Church was created to meet the needs of the Roman Emperor Constantine for male power for warfare and over women, Indigenous people and nature. Constantine insisted that the Aramaic gospels of the Indigenous Aramaic-speaking teacher Yeshua (whom we know as Jesus) be destroyed, because they referred to the birther of the cosmos and the creation — a female concept. The original Aramaic gospels have only recently been retranslated. The male Catholic priests worshiped a male god safely removed to heaven, so he would not interfere with their human power. Indirectly, the priests ruled societies and influenced the rise of science for more than 1,500 years. Christianity split into many groups, but almost none understand how Yeshua and his disciples as indigenous people revered women, and chose the truth of Mother Nature over male power. In the present era, Pope Francis understands many of these issues, and has pushed successfully for wise strategies on global climate change, and apologized for the abuse of women and indigenous people by priests. Other male power groups like the Southern Baptists still allow their priests to rape women.
The third is that the Indigenous world view which understands Mother Nature takes precedence over amoral capitalism. Historically, this relates to why European and North American societies tried so hard to stamp out indigenous thought, and suppress the culture. For many centuries, Catholic priests supervised the killing of millions of Indigenous people, both to seize their land, and because they feared the Indigenous teachers, who had a better understanding of the teachings of the Indigenous Jesus. On a more humorous note, there are three groups of Indigenous people across Canada, who are associated with three sets of grizzly bears that have not interbred in the past thousand years. Scientists are puzzled how this is possible. But the Indigenous people laugh. They are “our bears” — we have been together through the seasons for a thousand years. Will you come into the forest so you can meet mine?
The fourth is the powerful concept that it is the “Truth that set us Free” to act on behalf of the Creation and Mother Nature. We attribute this deep understanding to the Indigenous Aramaic teacher Yeshua. He had an intimate connection to the Creation, and embraced women as his disciples, so the Jewish and Roman authorities had to kill him, since he was a threat to their male power. However, it is important to understand that the overt takeover of the climate system by Mother Nature is not a religious issue. It is just the reality of the entire web of life and the Creation here on Earth that Yeshua understood so well. However, this truth is still today a direct threat to human power over nature. Many believe we are the “only” intelligent species and that we are “in charge.” Apart from indigenous people, we are the only species on Earth that does not listen to, or communicate directly with Mother Nature, even though we could. The Fossil Fuel Empire lies to bury the fact that “business as usual capitalism” is destroying the stable climate system and much of life on Earth for profit. So Mother Nature, which is far more powerful than we are, appears to be taking over on behalf of all of life on Earth. Buried in well-funded webs of lies, very few in our world can face the truth.
The younger generation must face the truth of the real world we live in, which means also stepping into a frame where Mother Nature can read their minds and help them in deeper collaboration. All the work you do to help the renewable transition will then benefit.
The sequence of papers on my experience are at alanbetts.com/research. The first in an introduction to climate change and the Fossil Empire. The second is a review of my life and journey. The third has this review in the introduction.
1. Betts AK, (2021). Climate Change and Society. AIMS Geosciences, 7(2): 194–218. DOI: 10.3934/geosci.2021012
2. Betts A.K. (2022): The Earth’s view of climate change. AIMS Geosciences, 8(2): 224–232. DOI: 10.3934/geosci.2022013
3. Betts, A. K. (2023): Accelerating Climate Change and the Living Earth. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 13, 2, pp 1-11. DOI: 10.9734/ijecc/2023/v13i21639
Dr. Alan Betts of Atmospheric Research in Pittsford, VT is a climate scientist. See alan-betts.com
This Figure from three frames the clash of realities between Mother Nature’s powerful perspective and the 45 years of criminal behavior by the capitalist ‘Fossil Empire’.