The recent Copenhagen Conference was a first step, but a failed one. However, climate change is not going away so humanity will have more chances to get it right, albeit at a cost. It is a cost humanity didn’t need to bear. It will be the poorest who pay first. Because humanity is one organic unit we, or at least our children’s children, will pay our share in time – a sad injustice.
While we wait for those with wealth and power to do the right thing we can take up the challenge and begin to create that better world we dimly imagine. For me the two defining qualities of a hoped for global society are social justice and environmental sustainability. By identifying these broad principles that people of goodwill can agree and collaborate on we can develop plans of action.
Environmental sustainability and specifically keeping earth’s biodiversity are defining principles. Unfortunately we face a rear guard action as the forces leading to extinction appear set to accelerate. With climate change an almost certain reality, we can at least work to mitigate the pending genetic carnage. All is not lost. In the small community where I live the local naturalist group is one of the largest and most respected social organizations in the town. Grassroots movements can make a difference.
Social justice is based on equity. There are such extremes in the world that radicalization and social dysfunction threaten the stability of large regions of the globe. Democracy with strong and fair judicial systems are key elements in a socially sustainable world. The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights reflects the human birth right that every citizen of this planet is entitled. It is a good place to start in our attempts to promote universal social justice.
With environmental sustainability and social justice as touchstones for action we can move forward, if not as serried ranks, at least as a loose collective of committed individuals striving to reach our shared objectives.