Donna Quesada: We have spoken on Awaken a lot about the masculine “running amok.”
And that is what you just touched on…that a lot of these problems are just the excess of masculine energies…that mistaken idea that we can pillage and plunder and it’s ours to do what we want. And it sounds like you would agree with that.
Chip Comins: I would agree with that with the one caveat that what is it about enabling and co-dependence that 3.75 million females don’t understand? So in other words, nobody gets out of this! It’s not about women blaming men but that we are co-dependently in lock step creating it. Now, I’m not saying that men couldn’t use a couple of lessons from being a little less dominant. I think that we all have to get ownership here.
DONNA: So we are stuck in this momentum.
CHIP: A general dynamic that feeds upon itself.
CHIP: So in order to come out…like Einstein said, you can’t solve a problem from within the same frame. So, we are going to have to understand that and rise above the entire situation for our evolution to continue. Or, we are going to have to extinguish all life and start over again. Let the earth cool off for a couple of million years. And that’s another option and quite frankly, that’s part of the natural process. That happens anyway. Whether we do it now or later. I can always remember one of my spiritual teachers long ago, who wrote, God is sort of in the position where he says ‘You can pay me now or you can pay me later’.
DONNA: Yes, the Earth will regenerate with or without us.
CHIP: Oh, yes.
DONNA: I want to ask you…can you speak about the meat industry? It seems like that part of the cause of Global Warming is pushed under the carpet. And I was grateful for the movie that Leo Decaprio backed, Cowspiracy, for bringing that out into the open. Could you speak about that?
CHIP: I was also producer of a movie called Racing Extinction. It got quite a lot of attention and we lit up the Empire State Building and drew attention to the issue. But we did address that issue in the film. Basically, the human meat industry…all the cattle, chickens, hogs…accounts for more methane and greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector.
CHIP: But that’s a calculation that also takes into account cutting down the rainforest to grow feed for the cattle. You have to do a full inventory. So we put that film out there and I appreciate Cowspiracy also. But to think that we can take the human race and turn them all into vegans is wishful thinking. There’s just hundreds of thousands of years of genetics involved here. You can’t take the Lakota Indians and make them into vegetarians. They’ve been hunting Buffalo for most of their existence. Except for the last 150 years.
But that said, we could certainly benefit from a vastly increased plant diet. We all know this medically, spiritually, physically, energetically, it would make a huge difference in reducing our carbon footprint. So we have to think of the solution it terms of these various wedges that Pakolov and Sokolov introduced 15 years ago. So, if we aggregate all of the solutions, we can really solve the problem. So yes, reducing our meat intake. Just if we cut out Beef and eat Chicken it would be an enormous step forward it terms of the Greenhouse Gas…just from that perspective. Never mind the health issues of why Chicken is better. And I’m sorry to all the chickens. We really need to get off of the fish because we’re eating every last one of them. And we are crashing all the species in the oceans. But there are so many other places that we can reduce our Carbon footprint. We could probably talk for a couple of hours just about that.
DONNA: Well, it seems that the obstacles are just too overwhelming. I remember when Oprah had Howard Lyman on her show—the cattle farmer who turned vegetarian—and she got sued by the meat industry for just bringing attention to the problem. Is that changing at all? Are people becoming more wise to what is going on…to the point where the cattle industry can’t stand up that that opposition anymore?
CHIP: I think that we have a litigious society that is based on monetary interests. So, anybody that is threatened is going to call their lawyer. And try to maintain the status quo. But we are also reaching critical mass when it comes to breakdown. So, there is really no way to continue to feed humanity when we are running out of water and the weather patterns are shifting such that we are now running out of food.
And China is starting to buy the US grain crop again. And India…the same thing. So, we are really on the edge of catastrophic collapse. And it’s not just climate. Climate is the source of it. But that extrapolates down to forcing farmers off their land. When people can’t eat and they can’t drink, they start to migrate. It’s what’s causing the migration crisis that we are experiencing in Europe. Which ultimately, I think, led to the election in the United States.
DONNA: So it seems like the obvious…it’s the elephant in the room kind of thing. It’s the population control and no one wants to go there. Would you say that we can’t really face this challenge without facing the fundamental issue of population?
CHIP: I’d say that is correct. We have to address the issue of population and obviously the best way to do that is the education of women and girls in developing countries. And giving them their reproductive power. So they are not just subject to the will of the male and the desire to procreate, which is blowing our population out. I mean, everybody wants to have a family. I understand that. But we’ve got to come to terms that there are just too many of us the way we are doing it. If we had listened to Buckminster Fuller back when he was active in the 50’s and 60’s, we wouldn’t have to be sitting here because the planet could easily sustain 20 billion human beings if we were doing it correctly.
The burning of oil, which of course is life—it’s what life becomes to finish that metaphor we started. This is the point. The oil and the gas are all of the old life. And so, to use what we become for short term energy gain and money and power. Give us our iphones and our computers and everything else that we are utilizing. We are paying a big price for that. And it’s coming down to the decimation of the great herds of elephants and lions and all of the species that are flaming out before our eyes.
DONNA: It’s heartbreaking. Are you optimistic? I was reading about your program called Start Up Green. You also have a summit that meets in Aspen? Can you tell me about some practical solutions? What can we, as ordinary people, do? Because it sounds daunting. It is daunting.
CHIP: So here’s the good news. As Al Gore says, we always have to look at the solution and we always have hope. And the hope is that we will come to our senses and make more money by consuming less energy. That’s what Start Up Green is about. That’s a program within the A.R.E.D.A.Y. The A.R.E.D.A.Y. Summit where we gather thought leaders. We’ve had great success since 2004. Ted Turner has been to the summit five times. But so had T Boone Pickens. So, while Ted Turner might represent the extreme left and T Boone the extreme right, they come together in the middle. The color of money and trees.
DONNA: Well, that’s the thing. People think money and wealth depends on the status quo. But if it can be shown that change can be equally prosperous…well, that’s what’s going to talk. And it sounds like that is what you are doing—showing companies how they can create sustainable practices.
CHIP: We are interested in connecting the economy and the environment. That’s the nexus. We are also interested in facilitating an ecological economy. What if our world was based on the Gross National Product of planting more trees, growing more fish…increasing species, instead of reducing, them while simultaneously reducing our carbon footprint? What if our monetary value was based on that? That’s the transition that we have to go to. It sounds utopian and impossible, but believe it or not, it’s quite doable. Renewable energy is actually the bridge to get there. Even though we burn carbon to manufacture our solar panels and our Teslas and Chevy Volts, the inefficiencies within the system are so vast that there is great wealth to be created in fixing the problem. It’s the greatest wealth creation opportunity that will ever face humanity.
DONNA: Have there been any success stories…companies that have moved to a more sustainable way of practicing…of doing business…of operating?
CHIP: Many, many, many good stories. Ray Anderson, the Founder of Interface Carpet was determined to make his company 100% carbon neutral and renewable. He almost got there. He passed away about five years ago. But Interface is a great story. I would put your attention to an organization called The B Team, led by my Colleague Keith Joffrey, who has some of the world’s leading CEOs as members…starting with Richard Branson, but also including Marc Benioff from Sales Force. Ariana Huffington is a member. Even Andy Liveris, who is the CEO of DOW Chemical. There are twenty or thirty companies involved, and they are all internally through the corporate structure and governance, looking at how to self impose carbon taxes and reductions…learning how to make more money by burning less fossils. And they are increasing their bottomline by hundreds and tens of millions.
There’s a lot of really bright spots out there. Just because our leaders in Washington don’t believe in climate change or don’t want to believe in it, doesn’t mean that science can be ignored. And the reality is upon us and there’s many, many corporate leaders out there that are in the midst of the great transition from fossil to renewable. I also want to site some of the big, big companies like Google, Amazon…
DONNA: What are they doing?
CHIP: They are making large server farms and they are creating solar to drive that. So, they are moving off of fossils and they are saving money and adding to their bottom line, throughout the entire value chain.
DONNA: So, these will be the role models for other young businesses…that you can make a successful transition to a more sustainable way of doing business and still be profitable.
CHIP: Exactly. That’s exactly right. And I guess, I would like to end our session with some comments about the shift it’s going to take in our consciousness to get there.
DONNA: Please do. If you’d like to share anything before we close, with the Awaken community…
CHIP: So, I think in terms of the evolution of man and how our brains have evolved, in terms of our basic needs…food, water, shelter, love. We are now reaching a place where our consciousness is going to have to take a great leap forward, in order for us to survive what we are experiencing coming at us. That goes towards new ways of looking at our relationships and our families of origin…with our loved ones. But then also, our communities and that just translates up through regionally, our states, our nations and the into the global context.
There are 195 countries on the planet. This shift in consciousness, which is absolutely mandated. In fact, I would dare say, being forced upon us by ourselves, is part of the evolution of the human oversoul. Or, however you want to say we all are. And the human spirit is here to receive this lesson and to overcome these obstacles and move into the next grade… enlightenment. So, that is why we are seeing the Yoga expansion all over the country in the last ten years. Meditation practices in all its types and forms has been expanding wildly as people begin to look in and realize we need to move beyond a fear-based consciousness and fully into a love-based consciousness. Really, I think there are only two choices in the universe and that is what it is.
So, as we make this transition from fear to love, we are going to have to apply that into our physical world. And I think that is probably why we all came to Earth.
DONNA: Thank you so much for talking about that connection to our spiritual growth and this shift that needs to happen in our world. It’s all inter-related and I’m so grateful that you made that connection and I’m also thankful for your time. Thank you for sharing the good work you are doing with A.R.E.D.A.Y., with our listeners.
CHIP: Thanks for having me.
Chip Comins is the Chairman and CEO of the American Renewable Energy Institute, (AREI, Inc), Founder of the AREDAY Summit, Expo and Film Festival, Managing Director of American Spirit Productions, President and CEO of W Energy, Inc. and Co-founder of the Green Girl Minute. He has produced and directed both long and short form documentary films for educational and broadcast television markets, including The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, DOE Wind Powering America, PBS, Link TV and BET.