It is possible to limit the effects of human-caused climate change and restore the envi­ronment—and some big changes are needed if this is to happen. These changes will require a massive movement, spanning the globe, of people from every background. We believe that current barriers to build­ing a sufficiently large and powerful movement include

(1) longstanding divisions (usually based in oppression) between nations and between groups of people within nations,

(2) widespread feelings of discouragement and powerlessness among the populations of many countries,

(3) denial of or failure to engage with the environmental crisis, and

(4) difficulties in effectively addressing the connections between the environmental crisis and the failures of capitalism. The tools of Sus­taining All Life are useful in addressing these issues and others.

The challenge before us gives people everywhere a unique opportunity to advocate on everyone’s be­half. It’s also a unique opportunity to make significant change without setting one group against another. Oppression—including racism, the oppression of In­digenous peoples, classism, and sexism—must also be ended to fully stop the destruction of the environment.

Thousands of years of struggle for survival have been hurtful to our species. It has left us unable to think well about all people and the Earth. It has caused us to develop societies in which groups of humans oppress other groups of humans. The period of actual struggle for survival of our species ended a long time ago, but its effects persist. Emotional hurts, passed down the generations, have resulted in societies based on exploi­tation, oppression, and division. Among these hurts is discouragement—many people feel like we can’t make meaningful change.

Sustaining All Life, a project of the Re-Evaluation Counseling Community, offers tools of mutual support, engaged listening, and a process that frees people from the effects of the hurts and oppression. We can also use these tools to remove many of the difficulties of working together. This personal work heals the emotional damage and, as a result, people are able to think more clearly about the environmental crisis, build and strengthen alliances, and fully enjoy working together to set the world right. This healing work also builds courage and stamina, and the confidence that we can create a just, sustainable future for everyone.

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