If You Think Earth Day

We’re celebrating Earth Day 2022 like a traffic jam of intersectionality, with the pandemic, Ukraine, America’s fascination with fascism, and of course money, all competing for first to get fixed. And, have you heard, in progress now is the sixth major extinction event on earth? We’re wiping out species like it’s nobody’s business.

Let’s take stock. We caused all these problems, so all we have to do is stop causing them, right? Well, some people have called dibs on being rich, and they’re the people who sell oil, gas, and coal. So until we figure out how to put enough other money and replacement power in their hands, they won’t let us stop driving this car over the cliff. Funny, I thought I heard someone say “No one can give you power. You have to take it.” Vaguely reminiscent of the alpha male crap. But let’s save armageddon for a moment.

We don’t have the technology today to destroy the earth — only ourselves and a lot of the life on earth — but not all of it. What is life? The movie “Lucy” with Scarlett Johanssen and Morgan Freeman describes it as cells moving thru time and passing on what they have learned. “Learn” is a stretch for a one-celled animal, but if you consider that actions determine later events, I think the definition squeaks by.

Anyway, the point is, earth did not create life. Many of the chemicals necessary for life were only found on smaller astronomical bodies like comets and asteroids, which crashed into the earth and started the process. But life created the earth as we know it. There was no oxygen until plants made it, over many millions of years. Nobody knows the future, but if you think you can fix runaway greenhouse effect later, I have a manchin to sell you, cheap, on Venus.

Did we become businessmen when we stopped being animals? When humans invented agriculture and food storage, someone took charge, maybe the guy who built the best storage building, maybe the biggest, toughest guy. Does that make him the one to implement food preparation and sanitation processes, as alpha male?

So why do some want the meanest bastard in charge of the most power? Well, the enemy you know… is what you end up with. You can’t have two alpha males; one is obviously not alpha, so the process begins, to select the alpha. Personally, I find the question uninteresting, but some people can’t live without a strong leader. I don’t mean “can’t live” literally, their heads just explode and they attack everyone in sight until they’ve taken everything that can be taken. In the case of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, that process is thermonuclear war.

We know more about the effects of war than about climate-led catastrophe. We’re approaching tipping points that can lead to the end of human life, and we don’t know which one will “do it,” but we know they’re approaching and it’s all downhill. We don’t get a respite after Covid, Trump, and Ukraine to rest — all we know is, it’s all downhill from here.

But war, glorious war, we’ve been studying blasts and radiation half-life; we only know approximately how many nukes there are, but we know how many will be used. Some people would survive initially, but then civilization disappears. Radiation from bombs spreads over the planet, and eventually nuclear power plants become slow-motion bombs. And all that becomes more likely as the alpha males are impacted by the climate crash.

Specialized species, including all of them at the top of the food chain, will go extinct. How will earth/life respond? A more rapid recovery could be achieved (I wouldn’t say there’s a plan at this time) by way of radiation, which causes mutations, which causes evolution (though the overwhelming majority of mutations just cause death). How ironic, that the thing we plan to kill ourselves with is the same thing that will eventually lead to species differentiation and repopulation of ecological niches.

The reactionary view of evolution is that if they hold their mouths right when they babble, they can make the idea into a tool they can use or sell to achieve power, their only principle. Or make enough noise that no one notices how little they know or care.

We don’t need laws like those that once upon a time enabled the wealthy in countries experiencing hyperinflation to shift their funds overseas overnight so they won’t lose value to inflation, then move it back in the morning when it’s time to do business. We need laws banning burning trees for energy, and giving solar panels to families needing energy, a one-time solution that keeps working.

Another good law would be social security for everyone (like, Earth). So parents don’t need 10 kids (some of whom would live) to support them when they can’t work. It’s a small thing, but population and technology drive each other. It’s how we got here. So yes, conservatives, thank you.

It would have been nice for the wealthy nations to give vaccines to the rest of the world. What would that look like? Nations cooperating for their mutual benefit? That’s not how we got here.

– Chuck Neller

Earth Day Sale and Peace Presence 2022

***EARTH DAY SALE 2022***
April 23rd 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m.

Bring donations of reusable household items in good condition to IGE. Workers needed.
Please call Jeanette at 616-826-4518.

Join us in Peace Presence

Sunday,  12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Wealthy and Fuller

Meet up at 12:00 noon at the IGE Office

Bring signs promoting peace and negotiations.

Resolution for Peace in Ukraine – Stand in Solidarity with Ukraine




Poster to stand in solidarity with Ukraine
Institute for Global Education’s Resolution for Peace in Ukraine

We, the board of the Institute for Global Education in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are committed to dismantling militarism in the world, our own country, city, institutions, and ourselves. We call for an immediate cease fire and advocate for a peaceful resolution to the current fighting between Ukraine and Russia. 
We must think globally and act locally.  Peace begins within ourselves.. We hope that we all find strength and courage to be the peace that we seek now. We work to support members of our community who are wrestling with reawakened trauma and fears for the future.

We call on our President and political representatives to act by returning to the negotiating table before more lives are destroyed. War is not the answer; it only causes suffering and violence for generations to come. CODEPINk, a women-led, peace and human rights activist group asserts, “The United States and NATO have played a major role in exacerbating this conflict and now President Biden must show true leadership by not imposing sanctions that will hurt ordinary Russians, but by engaging vigorous diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine”.

The Institute for Global Education supports peace. We are disturbed by the violence in Ukraine. There are many resources to begin pursuing peace in this world.

Follow these links for some ways to support peace:
Mindfulness Meditation
Non-violent Communication 
Michigan Peace Alliance
Support Democracy Now!
Write letters to Congress and the President  
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Work with religious and peaceful organizations 




Honoring Desmond Tutu by Diane Baum

Desmond Tutu

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we remember Archbishop Desmond Tutu who died at 90 years of age on December 26, 2021. Like King, Tutu was an honored civil rights activist, working for the liberation of his black community, as well as a man who worked for human rights world-wide. Like King, Tutu was a writer and theologian who stressed the principle of non-violence. And as with King, radicals thought Tutu was too moderate while moderates thought he was too radical. In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Prize for Peace – in 1984, twenty years later, Desmond Tutu also won the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Desmond Tutu was born in South Africa in 1931. He was married and had four children. He trained as a teacher, then joined the clergy, studied theology in England and eventually became archbishop in the Anglican church, and the first black man to hold that position in the city of Cape Town.

Tutu never stopped working to bring his principles of justice to reality, nor did he shy away from controversy. He struggled for years to overturn the system of apartheid, and after Black South Africans won their freedom and got their country back, he critiqued corruption in the new government.

Archbishop Tutu then became the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He criticized his own denomination for its stance on women in the clergy as well as homosexuality and worked to relieve the AIDS crisis. Tutu launched a global campaign to end to human trafficking. He honored victims of the holocaust and recognized Israel, but at the same time, he criticized Israel for collusion with apartheid South Africa and for Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. He worked for the liberation of Tibet. He protested the war in Iraq. He was against capital punishment and worked to help political prisoners such as the Sharpville Six. These were just some of his passions.

Desmond Tutu was awarded over one hundred honorary degrees and won many prizes for his humanitarian work. He is the author of seven collections of sermons and many books and articles.
Before his death, Archbishop Tutu directed that he should have a non-ostentatious, earth-friendly (“green”) funeral, using the process of aquemation. Thus Desmond Tutu was buried as he lived, according to his principles and a teacher for us all.