Commonweal’s Resilience Project

Dear TNS Friends:

The chatter of politicians and commentators continues about all manner of things. But nature bats last. The “Polar Vortex” descends on the Midwest. Here is a beautiful piece from WIRED: “And now the weather: Mars-like, with a chance of apocalypse.”

More than 70% of the planet is basically off limits without serious technological support, because you can’t breathe underwater. Get much higher than 8,000 feet and you won’t be able to breathe as well as you might like; people have lived for years at 19,500 feet, but they probably didn’t enjoy it. And temperature? Extended periods above 95 degrees or just a few minutes below -130 and you’re dead. We humans are, in a sense, polyextremophobic. So maybe that’s why it’s so existentially dreadful for the heart of the United States to be hunkered down under temperatures as low as -65 (with the wind chill, you betcha) at the same time as Australia is pushing up toward 120. That’s a 185-degree difference, and too much of an overlap with the average lows and highs on Mars for any loyal Earthling to be happy with.

People notice the weather. They notice crazy hot or cold. They notice floods, hurricanes, droughts, and fires. They notice more extreme weather. So at a certain point, climate change ceases to be a debatable proposition. It just takes a while.

And, as I do not tire of warning you, climate change is only one of two dozen global challenge stressors that have come together in a perfect storm. We don’t seem to be able to stop it, though we continue to try. So it makes sense to figure out how to prepare for what we can’t stop.

That is the focus of The Resilience Project at Commonweal, our new re-packaging of 40 years of work on personal and planetary healing.

Outer preparation–of families, communities, and countries is one thing. Inner preparation may be just as important. Who are we as we show up for the Global Challenge? How will each of us and all of us live our way through this extraordinarily perilous–yet also challenging and exciting–period of time. How can we live lives of purpose, commitment, wisdom, compassion, and peace in times like these? That is the question.

Here are my two essays on the Global Challenge:“Courage in Dark Times” and “The Change”.

We welcome your interest,


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