Planet Earth – Image taken by a Russian weather satellite
Source: Live Science Online
We all belong to the human race or human species: Homo sapiens. Black, brown, white or yellow, we are bound together as one on Planet Earth. Traveling at 67,000 mph or 18.6 mps around the Sun, our Spaceship Earth is a beautiful, tiny, fragile planet with a paper-thin atmosphere. The few privileged individuals who have seen Earth from outer space share an awareness of our home planet as a living, breathing organism. (See the video, Overview).
We are all part of this organism. There is no separateness, only what we have created in our skewed conception of who we are and our place in the world. Growing inequality in the world’s richest, most powerful nation and across our planet is a signal of distress. If we want to survive, we have to start thinking and acting as one species.
Our global human population has grown beyond levels that can be supported by our planet. Natural disasters, famine, and disease have not contained this growth. According to scientists monitoring our global footprint, our demand for renewable ecological resources and the services they provide is now equivalent to that of more than 1.5 Earths. In financial terms, we are spending more than we earn. Mother Earth is under stress.
We are releasing more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere than the Earth’s forests and oceans can absorb, with devastating results for our oceans and climate. (See NASA’s key indicators of global climate change.) To make matters worse, our forests are shrinking, other vital species (like the honey bee) are dying out, and overfishing has caused the collapse of large-fish populations. These and other developments also affect our economies, our jobs, our livelihood, our neighborhoods, and our families.
On the planet we call home, everything is interconnected and interdependent. We disregard this fact at our peril.
Climatic changes are already underway and progress faster than previous projected rates. In numerous areas across our planet, grass root movements, such as 350.org, are working to bring about change. If we are to survive as a species, we all have to work together in changing the way we relate with each other and with our planet.
In Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho, an internationally renowned Brazilian author, the Greek Copt says to a young man who asks what the future holds:
We were all told from childhood that what we wanted was impossible. As we accumulate years, we also accumulate the sand of prejudice, fears, and guilt.
Free yourself from that. Not tomorrow, not tonight, but now.
UPDATE 26 AUGUST 2013:
For readers interested in learning more about the forces leading us to self-destruction and the way in which racism is used to prevent dissent, I recommend that you read the article, “Crisis of Humanity: Global Capitalism Breeds 21st Century Facism” by William I. Robinson, published today in Truthout.