Bound and Boundless; Interdependence Universal; video created for www.sdsnedu.org/ Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities course (Fall/Winter 2014).
Text, art, vocals, video by Michele Baron
text of video:
There are seven continents, hundreds of nations, thousands of cultures living on our interdependent Earth. One central concept, upheld by the United Nations and other governing bodies, by nations and individuals, is that there are “universal” human rights. That is, every human being is entitled to safe, secure, and sustainable life.
The issues involved include food, water, energy, environment, even habitable/living space.
Beyond this, are social justice concepts such as equality, freedom, and the much-alluded-to “pursuit of happiness.”
The right not only to survive, but to thrive.
Balanced with these is one central ecological and ethical reality.
We have, as humans, come to a point in our journey where problems seem as myriad and interchangeable as a mountain of grain—chaff mixed with kernels, all needing sorting, sifting, changing. Grains which could be the source of our sustenance, our life here on Earth, or which could accumulate, deteriorate, suffocate, and extinguish the fragile link to life we share.
Ethical priorities must move beyond concepts of safety, security, sustainability and social justice, to concepts of inclusive/ecocentric ethics, which value diversity of ecosystems and cultures, and are grounded in an awareness of the relative position of human kind within the ecosystems of the Earth.
Out of about 25 million or so species, all are Earthlings.
One is human.
When we move forward, what might be our approach to continuing our lives on this planet?
Within our grasp are solutions to problems of pollution, degradation of our precious air, water, soil; the depredation of resources; the extinction of species of plants, animals, even bacteria which contribute to the chain of life.
What may be our choices, our actions—and what, then, will be our position on this planet of interdependent earth-systems, and Earthlings, when the next day of evolution begins to dawn?
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