UNDERGROUND TELEVISION RADIO NETWORK



Hope says that society can make a UTURN toward a future that works for all life. This change can only come from allowing the yoUth a TuRN
 since their self interests reach the furthest in time and they have the capacity and vitality to embrace a new vision for humanity. 

The future of media is within the internet. It will be accessible to all everywhere and dominate communications. An Underground Television Radio Network could contain every form of visual and auditory media but also integrate them with touch, movement and smell as technology is adopted.


It is your turn. I offer this domain, assistance, and resources  to visionary youth that wish to take up this challenge. It is in the act of giving a different vision that the vision becomes real. When we communicate what is,  we are free to become what we envision. 

We can only help ourselves by helping others.



Greg Zaller,  gregzaller@gmail.com




Healing or Stealing?

The Commencement Address by Paul Hawken to the Class of 2009
University of Portland, May 3, 2009


When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest,
passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.” No pressure there.
Let’s begin with the startling part. Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on
earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation…
but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, civilization needs a new
operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.
This planet came with a set of instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water,
soil, or air, don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that
spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million
miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food—but all that is changing.
There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn’t bring lemon juice to decode it, I
can tell you what it says: You are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring. The earth couldn’t afford to send recruiters or limos to your
school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the
hint.
And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who
know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.
When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about
what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to
restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world
are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice,
and beauty to this world.
The poet Adrienne Rich wrote, “So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with
no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.” There could be no better description. Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting
the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts,
fisheries, and slums.
You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups and organizations are working on the most salient
issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights, and more. This is the
largest movement the world has ever seen. Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives to disperse
concentrations of power. Like Mercy Corps, it works behind the scenes and gets the job done. Large as it is, no one knows the
true size of this movement. It provides hope, support, and meaning to billions of people in the world. Its clout resides in idea, not
in force. It is made up of teachers, children, peasants, businesspeople, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists, government workers,
fisherfolk, engineers, students, incorrigible writers, weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders,
grieving Christians, street musicians, the President of the United States of America, and as the writer David James Duncan would
say, the Creator, the One who loves us all in such a huge way.
There is a rabbinical teaching that says if the world is ending and the Messiah arrives, first plant a tree, and then see if the story
is true. Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides in humanity’s willingness to restore, redress,
reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. “One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices
around you kept shouting their bad advice,” is Mary Oliver’s description of moving away from the profane toward a deep sense of
connectedness to the living world.
Millions of people are working on behalf of strangers, even if the evening news is usually about the death of strangers. This
kindness of strangers has religious, even mythic origins, and very specific eighteenth-century roots. Abolitionists were the first
people to create a national and global movement to defend the rights of those they did not know. Until that time, no group had
filed a grievance except on behalf of itself. The founders of this movement were largely unknown — Granville Clark, Thomas
Clarkson, Josiah Wedgwood — and their goal was ridiculous on the face of it: at that time three out of four people in the world
were enslaved. Enslaving each other was what human beings had done for ages. And the abolitionist movement was greeted with
incredulity.
Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals, progressives, do-gooders, meddlers, and activists. They were
told they would ruin the economy and drive England into poverty. But for the first time in history a group of people organized
themselves to help people they would never know, from whom they would never receive direct or indirect benefit. And today tens
of millions of people do this every day. It is called the world of non-profits, civil society, schools, social entrepreneurship, nongovernmental
organizations, and companies who place social and environmental justice at the top of their strategic goals. The
scope and scale of this effort is unparalleled in history.
The living world is not “out there” somewhere, but in your heart. What do we know about life? In the words of biologist Janine
Benyus, life creates the conditions that are conducive to life. I can think of no better motto for a future economy. We have tens of
thousands of abandoned homes without people and tens of thousands of abandoned people without homes. We have failed
bankers advising failed regulators on how to save failed assets. We are the only species on the planet without full employment.
Brilliant. We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time rather than renew, restore, and sustain it.
You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it
in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future
instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the
other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a
way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.
The first living cell came into being nearly 40 million centuries ago, and its direct descendants are in all of our bloodstreams.
Literally you are breathing molecules this very second that were inhaled by Moses, Mother Teresa, and Bono. We are vastly
interconnected. Our fates are inseparable. We are here because the dream of every cell is to become two cells. And dreams come
true. In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a community, and without
those other microorganisms you would perish in hours. Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of
processes between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering: one septillion actions at any one
moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes than there are
stars in the universe, which is exactly what Charles Darwin foretold when he said science would discover that each living creature
was a “little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars of
heaven.”
So I have two questions for you all: First, can you feel your body? Stop for a moment. Feel your body. One septillion activities
going on simultaneously, and your body does this so well you are free to ignore it, and wonder instead when this speech will end.
You can feel it. It is called life. This is who you are. Second question: who is in charge of your body? Who is managing those
molecules? Hopefully, not a political party. Life is creating the conditions that are conducive to life inside you, just as in all of
nature. Our innate nature is to create the conditions that are conducive to life. What I want you to imagine is that collectively
humanity is evincing a deep innate wisdom in coming together to heal the wounds and insults of the past.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep
that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the
glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.
This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and the multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never
happened, not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as complex and beautiful as all the stars in the
universe. We have done great things and we have gone way off course in terms of honoring creation. You are graduating to the
most amazing, stupefying challenge ever bequested to any generation. The generations before you failed. They didn’t stay up all
night. They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your existence. Nature beckons you to
be on her side. You couldn’t ask for a better boss.
The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be
hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.
……….
Paul Hawken is a renowned entrepreneur, visionary environmental activist, and author of many books, most recently Blessed
Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming. He was presented with an
honorary doctorate of humane letters by University president Father Bill Beauchamp, C.S.C., in May, when he delivered this
superb speech.



Comments