Hello Group-110201

Meeting Details

Next Week is the second Thursday of February. We will view a video by Joseph Campbell, and follow up on the theme of compassion for the month. This Thursday we continue the Montsanto project with a video on the precautionary principle, the two warnings issued by Dr. Martha Crouch, and a paper that Donna found (see below). The video in March will be Economics of Happiness produced by Helena Norberg-Hodge of ISEC, and will probably be at our new location in the clubhouse near downtown Bryan. More details on that later.

I will be at the studio every Thursday, working on our group projects, at least by 10 AM. The studio is open on Thursdays to helpers and participates to view videos and discuss. The project this month is based on the movie “David versus Montsanto,” that we aired on January second Thursday, and has been a rich source of material, and addresses all the levels of organization, as well as the precautionary principle, and the legal project in PA that challenged the “personhood” of corporate factory farming in rural neighborhoods. All this lends itself very well to a study plan we will distribute to other groups and educational organizations.

The kind of study plan that I envision follows a problem-solving model that I’ll discuss in Bare Bones Biology 044, to be aired on KEOS during the third week of February and the posted at http://www.barebonesbiology.com. The audio pre-cast is attached. (Will send later, the email seems to be in a terrible muddle today.)

Our program will discuss the biology, at each level of organization, of whatever we are studying. This is important, because we humans are a biological organism living inside a biological entity, and that fact places strict predictable limits to our problem-solving options. Within these limits, whatever we do not want to violate the needs either of humans or of the ecosystem, as many current actions do, because, if we ignore the limits, our work will not be sustainable into the future. As we consider each level, we discuss the dilemmas that arise because of conflicts among human needs and desires, the health of the ecosystem, the power of the corposystem, and our goal to arrive at a solution that stresses the best of human values.

January with Montsanto:

Independently, we chose the movie David versus Montsanto for our January study, and Marilyn, of our western adjunct is privileged to participate in the UU showing of “The Economics of Happiness,” and Donna found a story in the Winter 2009 issue of UU World (Dinner with Montsanto, Unitarian Universalist World, Page 37, by Michelle Bates Deakin), about a project undertaken by The Rev. Nate Walker of the Philadelphia UU. Rev. Walker’s goal is to inspire Montsanto to adopt a pledge vowing to “do no harm.” Rev. Walker’s sermon on the subject (available on UTube and also on the web site of the church) was sent to the CEO of Montsanto, and they responded.

The short UU World article, with quotes from members of the UU and from some of the top brass from Montsanto, raises a number of questions that fit perfectly into our project. One is that Rev. Walker’s project is directly driven by both the precautionary principle and our need to use methods of compassion whenever possible to resolve our human dilemmas. The other (well, this is personal from a person who has worked in corporations) is that it sounds to me fairly naïve. And as I was thinking along those lines, driving home and listening to I don’t really know what radio program, I heard an interview of an author, a former corporate executive (the title maybe corporate spin??? I couldn’t find it on google.). This man described the modern approach to propaganda in his corporation, and it did remind me of the statements of Montsanto that are quoted in the UU article.

So the question is: How might one address our situation in a way that is more likely to work? And I’m thinking our other video – a report of the attorney, Linzley, from PA, might give us a clue.

Also on the subject of food is the newest report from Lester Brown, who has been gathering data about the condition of the earth for more than 40 years.

See you on Thursday at the studio! ☺