A message for the deciders at the G-20 and COP-26: « The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. »

 « Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know – the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. »

  • Chief Seattle, from a speech in 1854 during the governor of Washington’s visit to a council of local tribal chiefs

Global chiefs met this weekend at the G-20 summit in Rome. The 2021 summit’s motto is « people, planet, and prosperity » but these leaders represent the earth’s wealthiest industrialized countries, most powerful governments and multinational corporations who are responsible for the majority of the pollution and CO2 emissions that have brought the world to the point of climate chaos. Since the G-20 is the premier forum for international « economic cooperation », it has been evident for decades that « unlimited prosperity for powerful  people » could be a more apt motto.

According to a draft communique seen by Reuters, the heads of the world’s 20 biggest economies began the two days of talks prepared to acknowledge the existential threat of climate change, but stop short of the radical new commitments needed to limit global warming. The communique indicates that major countries are likely to only slightly reinforce previous pledges on climate action, while failing to set tough new targets that activists say are vital to prevent environmental catastrophe. 

These issues will be discussed until November 12th at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Achim Steiner, the UN Development Programme Administrator, stated that: « Some countries in the G20 bloc have been dragging their feet on adhering to the core principles of the Paris Agreement to ‘ratchet up’ their climate ambition. 

COP26 must be the moment where all nations rise to the challenge of climate change, especially high-emitters. As the window to limit global warming to 1.5  degrees Celsius narrows, this is our only pathway to secure the future of people and planet. » 

Every part of global capitalist society is failing to make the « transformational changes » needed to avert the most disastrous consequences of the climate crisis concerning the energy sector, industrial agriculture, transportation, finance and technology. 

Not one is altering their business model or encouraging the modification of rampant consumerism in order to avoid 1.5  degrees Celsius in global warming beyond the pre-industrial era, the critical target of the Paris climate agreement. Most companies avoid making significant changes by tacking a « green » label on business as usual.

A congressional hearing to determine the extent to which the petroleum and gas   industry lied to consumers and governments about their dominant role in global climate change just took place in the U.S. 

Current executives of many of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies and their lobbyists continue to minimize the  climate science that they’ve been informed of for over 40 years. 

Scientific American reported: « Exxon was aware of climate change as early as 1977. This knowledge did not prevent the company (now ExxonMobil and the world’s largest oil and gas company) from spending decades refusing to publicly acknowledge climate change and even promoting climate misinformation, an approach many have likened to the lies spread by the tobacco industry regarding the health risks of smoking. Both industries were conscious that their products wouldn’t stay profitable once the world understood the risks, so much so that they used the same consultants to develop strategies on how to communicate with the public. »

During the hearings, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said: « I think one thing that often gets lost in these conversations is that some of us have to actually live the future that you all are setting on fire.

By 2028, crop yields are already projected to begin to fail, with famine beginning to hit the world’s most vulnerable populations. By 2038, current U.S. drought, fire and extreme heat trends could potentially make whole regions of the U.S. unlivable if we continue the trends that lobbyists are trying to have us pursue. »  

A report in August by the United Nations scientific body concluded that human activity; the burning of fossil fuels and massive deforestation for agribusiness and extractive industries is the « unequivocal » cause of climate change, and has already unleashed devastating changes around the globe.

Meanwhile, most of the colonizing countries of the G-20 continue their destructive extractive practices unabated, all over the globe, as indigenous peoples and their allies struggle against them in order to protect water sources, forests, people, and the rest of the living world.

We are the deciders in our own lives and we can choose now to boycott products from deforestation; gold, palm oil, beef, soy, exotic wood, gem stones, etc. 

Please choose to not purchase items that are transported from 3000 kilometers away and prefer locally-sourced, in-season products.

Buy less, repair, reuse, recycle and share.

We can choose to not contribute to the destruction and, instead, help mitigate the damage in order to insure a more viable future.

Read more details here:


About Barbara Crane Navarro - Rainforest Art Project

I'm a French artist living near Paris. From 1968 to 1973 I studied at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, then at the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California, for my BFA. My work for many decades has been informed and inspired by time spent with indigenous communities. Various study trips devoted to the exploration of techniques and natural pigments took me originally to the Dogon of Mali, West Africa, and subsequently to Yanomami communities in Venezuela and Brazil. Over many years, during the winters, I studied the techniques of traditional Bogolan painting. Hand woven fabric is dyed with boiled bark from the Wolo tree or crushed leaves from other trees, then painted with mud from the Niger river which oxidizes in contact with the dye. Through the Dogon and the Yanomami, my interest in the multiplicity of techniques and supports for aesthetic expression influenced my artistic practice. The voyages to the Amazon Rainforest have informed several series of paintings created while living among the Yanomami. The support used is roughly woven canvas prepared with acrylic medium then textured with a mixture of sand from the river bank and lava. This supple canvas is then rolled and transported on expeditions into the forest. They are then painted using a mixture of acrylic colors and Achiote and Genipap, the vegetal pigments used by the Yanomami for their ritual body paintings and on practical and shamanic implements. My concern for the ongoing devastation of the Amazon Rainforest has inspired my films and installation projects. Since 2005, I've created a perfomance and film project - Fire Sculpture - to bring urgent attention to Rainforest issues. To protest against the continuing destruction, I've publicly set fire to my totemic sculptures. These burning sculptures symbolize the degradation of nature and the annihilation of indigenous cultures that depend on the forest for their survival.
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10 Responses to A message for the deciders at the G-20 and COP-26: « The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. »

  1. Pingback: A message for the deciders at the G-20 and COP-26: « The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. » — Barbara Crane Navar

  2. A good statement of truth. Thank you 🌍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. On all these meetings they should be forced to watch this video about the disaster that mankind avoided. I found it on blogger MSAMBA’s page. I will find the link and post it here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. normabobb says:

    Thanks for reminding us of our place on this earth.

    Liked by 1 person

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