Blog Action Day 2009 - Climate Change
Today on Blog Action Day 2009 I am joining my voice with thousands of bloggers who will be posting about the topic of climate change based on their own perspective and interests.
Solving the problem of climate change can only be based on our recognition that we are one human family sharing a collective fate. We need to mature as a human race and learn to solve problems cooperatively or we will face the consequences of irreparable damage to our environment.
As individuals, we will need to learn to take responsibility for the future of our community. Our individual actions and choices impact the entire world. For perhaps the first time we will have to view the Earth as our common homeland. Because our actions affect the climate, they can impact drought, hunger, and famine in all parts of the globe. We will also have to bear responsibility for our impact on future generations.
Not only must we mature as individuals, but as a community we must learn to solve problems cooperatively. We will need all of our collective knowledge and wisdom from the various fields of human expertise. We must learn to consult with each other and benefit from our diverse opinions.
We must also realize the power of unbiased scientific investigation. Science constrained by political motivations or traditions cannot be effective. We must learn to see things as they really are.
The unequal distribution of the impact of climate change is also a matter of justice. Affluent nations have a greater contribution to climate change because of their higher levels of consumption, while less developed nations disproportionately bear the consequences. They are more vulnerable to natural disaster and have less ability to cope with diminishing resources. As a human family, we must decide who is responsible for making changes and how we can help each other shoulder the impact. All of these decisions need to be made collectively.
These are difficult tasks for a human community struggling with disunity, conflict, materialism, lack of education, and competition for global resources. Solving climate change is not just about recycling bottles or turning off lights, important as these actions are. The real challenge is to change how we view ourselves as a human race, how we relate to our neighbors, and how we solve problems as a community.
How can we begin to accomplish this? Perhaps the best place to start is the education of our children. We can encourage scientific achievement and problem solving skills, and also cultivate an attitude of service to humankind and an appreciation of the human family and the environment in which we live. Another place to take action is at the level of our communities. Let's encourage participative problem solving and openness to diverse opinions in whatever community group we are serving in. Many of the changes required must occur in business and government, but we can facilitate these changes in our own professions where appropriate and also with our votes, letters to our representatives, and the purchasing power of our dollars.
The challenges are many and the risks are great. If we cultivate an attitude of responsibility for the entire human race with which we share this planet and the future generations we will bequeath it to, we can use our collective knowledge to come up with creative and comprehensive solutions. In so doing, we may even find that we enter a new stage in our social development, the realization of our unity as a human family.
- Browse the list of participating blogs.
- Check out the United Nations Environment Program.
- Read Seizing the Opportunity: Redefining the Challenge of Climate Change a statement of the Bahá'í International Community (and the inspiration for this post)