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United Nations headquarters in New York at dawn on Monday, where preparations were underway for a climate change summit to be attended by the leaders of more than 100 countries. Photo by Eric Francis.

United Nations Climate Summit Begins

Today is the mighty Libra equinox, the first in which the Sun is exactly square Pluto in Capricorn, with both points precisely aspecting the Aries Point. Apropos of this astrology, leaders of more than 100 countries are convening at the United Nations today for a summit on climate change. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened the summit to focus heads of state and government on the need for urgent action, and to mobilize the highest level of political will needed to reach a fair, effective, and scientifically ambitious global climate deal at the United Nations Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.

Planet Waves
International Herald Tribune cover from Saturday, Feb. 3, 2007, acknowledging climate change and Earth changes for the first time. The Bush administration issued a statement saying it would refuse to act on the problem. The administration is also seeking a quarter of a trillion dollars to fight the Iraq war for the next 18 months. Photo by Eric Francis.
There, it is hoped that governments around the world will agree to the first major climate treaty since Kyoto, which expires in 2012, and to which the United States under the Bush administration) refused to adhere. The December conference will occur under the influence of Saturn in Libra square Pluto, which is likely to highlight a sense of crisis and urgency for action (please see below for discussion of that aspect).

Time is running out for world leaders to take action on the issue of carbon emissions, which trap heat in the atmosphere. Events including the Asian tsunami of 2004 and hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005 helped tip public opinion in favor of understanding that climate change is real. In early 2007, a major report concluded that the damage we are doing to the environment could last more than a thousand years, which seems fairly short, given what is happening. Many kinds of extreme weather conditions, including a nonstop litany of news about droughts, flooding and unseasonable rains, are reminding us that the environment's condition is fragile and it is indeed changing.

Currently, the issue faces a serious challenge: global temperatures have been stable for nearly a decade. Yet according to today's New York Times, "Scientists say the last decade of climate stability -- which follows a precipitous rise in average global temperatures in the 1990s -- is a result of cyclical variations in ocean conditions and has no bearing on the long-term warming effects of greenhouse gases building up in the atmosphere. But trying to communicate such scientific nuances to the public -- and to policy makers -- can be frustrating, they say."

The debate is mired in things like the the carbon emissions trading market, which turns pollution control into a for-profit enterprise but doesn't really solve the problem. And of course, developing nations generally find it most convenient to use gas and coal. Coal alone accounts for 40% of all carbon emissions. If you want to know how reckless existing industry is, see a film called Who Killed the Electric Car?

The world leaders meeting at the UN today really do have the power to make a difference. They can, if they are inspired to, set political and business interests aside and consider the fate of the Earth and its inhabitants -- though often it seems like the minds of people who rise to power are not capable of that kind of thought. Their awareness can respond to our own. We are again poised at the moment when choice is possible.

Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope -  October 2009

Dear Friend and Reader:

Planet Waves
As of Sept. 29, Mercury will be direct after its retrograde in Libra and Virgo, but now something more momentous is happening involving those two signs. Saturn comes into the spotlight. This truly significant planet ingresses Libra at the end of the month, aligning precisely with Pluto in Capricorn as it does so, for the first time since the stunning opposition of 2001/2002. This is a get-serious turning point. It would seem we have some growing up to do; some reassessment of our relationship to one another, to society and moreover to ourselves. We are the ones who are ultimately faced with the responsibility of structuring our lives. Yet there is something larger going on, which is our relationship to our community, on any level you want to define that term. It is people who design the society we live in, and while we may feel we have exceedingly little influence over the course of events, it's also true that most people exert little of the influence we actually do have. As the events of late October and November unfold, we will be faced with a choice: do we respond with fear or with a sense of mission? Do we retreat in the face of a challenge, or do we advance and commit ourselves to progress? How we respond is a test of what we truly believe -- something that can authentically be described as a spiritual test.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Planet Waves
Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Many seasons of your life have been spent figuring out what was bothering you. This has involved a difficult confrontation with the past, during which you're likely to have discovered how much emotional baggage you're dragging around, courtesy of your family and your upbringing. This nagging sense that something was wrong has been the source of so much of your perfectionism. What you're now discovering is that it's best to exchange this for other methods of growth that actually get you somewhere. At the moment, it's equally important that you leave behind the baggage as it is that you leave behind your struggle to sort it out. You're about to embark on a new kind of challenge: something entirely more creative, and that is obviously beautiful. You crave this with all your heart and soul. How many times have you discovered that analysis only gets you so far? At a certain point you have to pick up the world and sculpt it with your hands, proceeding on the basis of feeling. For the next few weeks, you may still need to iron out your concepts. I suggest you boil what you've learned down to a few ideas short enough to write on the wall; something easy to remember, akin to a sharp tool you can hang on your belt and use when you need it.

Planet Waves
Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
For years, your potential has existed like a mirage. You see what is possible; you feel the strength of your ideas and the need to hold a clear vision for yourself; but often this turns out to be like peering into a different dimension, one that you cannot reach or experience as solid. This is a special kind of torture, but for you, its days are numbered. Here is an astrological secret you're unlikely to hear elsewhere. Libra is the most potent creative well of the zodiac. Fortunately since everyone has Libra somewhere in his or her natal chart, we can draw on an unlimited battery of innovation and beauty. You have your Sun placed in this sign; you can be one and the same as this creative well, if you allow yourself to go there; and if you allow yourself the permission to take initiative. Saturn is about to enter your sign for the first time in nearly 30 years. This is likely to represent one of the few times in your adult life that you feel like you're standing on solid ground. Decisions will mean more, and you will finally have a sense of how valuable you are to your relationship partners, business partners and colleagues. Manifesting this will require some elements of letting it happen, and certain elements of making it happen. Trust that you'll know exactly what to do.

Planet Waves
Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
It would be an understatement to say that you've been living through one of the most outrageous identity crises in the history of psychology. Okay, maybe that's actually an overstatement, but you know what I'm talking about. There have been so many elements to this, going back so long, you seem to have a) lost track of them and b) grown accustomed to this simply being the way things are. There is something about yourself, essential to this whole process, that keeps coming in and out of focus. It's like you get it into your vision and manifestation field, then it disappears; then you re-focus, and feel its reality, then it vanishes again. If you study this, you will get a look at how your inner components speak to one another. If you study this over time, you will see how you are gradually integrating aspects of your character that have tended to exist in layers and to act independently of one another, sometimes leading you to make the kinds of strange decisions that can only be accounted for by a lack of self-awareness. You have taken some amazing steps this year to both raise your awareness and integrate many seemingly separate aspects of yourself. As the next few weeks unfold, notice the strange and beautiful feeling emerge that you are one coherent entity, poised to travel a distinct, unique trajectory in life.

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