by Bob Leonard
“If man chooses oblivion, he can go right on leaving his fate to his political leaders. If he chooses Utopia, he must initiate an enormous education program… immediately, if not sooner.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
We have to stop focusing on artificial dualities and past battles and move forward at every level. How do we categorize ourselves? How has humanity been organized? Into nation states, corporations, states and provinces, cities, neighborhoods, families and individuals.
There are entities such as the UN, NATO, EU, the World Bank and the WTO. All these organizations have pan-national status and often great influence. They are run as member organizations and the members are nation states. The nation states vote and retain full sovereign decision making. In this century we are moving to a more globally integrated discourse and economy. This will ultimately evolve to some sort of global governance, or at least an authority agreed upon issue by issue. The road that humanity must travel in the next 10 years will require collaboration and cooperation across disciplines well beyond anything humanity has ever attempted.
This is the first time that every living thing on Earth has the same common enemy: how humanity lives on Earth. It is past time to save ourselves from ourselves.
Nations are currently the highest level of political and governmental organizations. The problem is that nations think nationalistically, not globally. In the 21st century the concept of the nation state remains, but will no longer be the primary authority. We are becoming ever more connected and integrated globally.
The key to moving to a Finite Earth Economy is cooperation and integration at all levels. We live on one planet, though we have many nations and religions. We are in a critical moment for the survival of civilization, and cannot allow our perceived differences to put all of humanity at risk. We must all consider ourselves crew members on Spaceship Earth above all other self-identifications.
What can I do? What can we do?
We must begin at all levels, now. There is no tier of human social organization that has the luxury to wait. At the global level down to the individual level, all activities must be infused with a full-blown sense of urgency. We have delayed and acted incrementally for decades. Now, we have only one decade left to reach our goal of avoiding societal collapse.
Utopia is a true possibility. It can be reached if we think, coordinate and act with an all-inclusive systems approach as R. Buckminster Fuller stated in the quote at the top. All is interconnected on Earth. All levels of human society are interconnected. All of nature is interconnected, and we are a part of the natural world. A single person can take personal actions, can participate at the neighborhood level, at the city level, and can vote at the state and national levels.
Being an aware person who consciously lowers her carbon footprint, lowers her consumption, and changes behavior from being purely selfish and self-indulgent to acting for the greater good is laudable… but it does not absolve one from participating in neighborhood activities, or from putting pressure on local authorities, or from voting in all local, state and national elections.
“What else can I do? Who else can I help and influence? Who needs to get out of the way? Who do I need to support politically?”
Oblivion as manifested by a collapse of civilization will happen if we do not take urgent action. We have free will. It is up to us to decide on the path we are going to take. Do we band together and take a collective activist approach to 2030, or not? There are three distinct paths forward: the catastrophic (business as usual), the risky (protest, recycle, complain and condemn), or probable success (a full blown rework of how we live on Spaceship Earth).
If you have been a long-time environmentalist, someone who has been concerned about climate change for years or decades, you can no longer use that as an identity differentiator. We must do more. We must reach out and educate those who are still oblivious. Inspire them to take action too. We must ALL become active crew members on Spaceship Earth.
There is much to do and no time to lose.