Environment Living in Society Sustainability

Stronger Together

Stronger TogetherIf we accept the premise articulated by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, that we are stronger together, there is a lot in society requiring our collective attention.

What did we work on? What are we working on? What should we be working on? What did we get done?

If we are separated from the pack, answers to these questions don’t much matter. We might think of ourselves as lone wolves, fending for ourselves in a hostile world, but we aren’t by nature. Being stronger together is a fundamental characteristic of homo sapiens. It’s what we do as a species.

I see three critical issues requiring us to be stronger together to save ourselves from near-term extinction.

The first is applying the golden rule, or the law of reciprocity. When we view the troubles of society through our flawed lenses, there is no other, only the One, of which we are all a part. We should treat others as one seeks to be treated oneself. We should be applying the golden rule to everything we do already. This is basic.

Second is the threat of nuclear weapons. Today, on very short notice, nuclear powers could unleash a holocaust that could end life as we know it. Nuclear war is not talked about much in the 21st Century, however the threat is as real today as it was in the wake of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings. The United States should begin taking steps to eliminate nuclear weapons. As my friend Ira Helfand said, “We need a transformational change in our nuclear policy that recognizes that these weapons are the gravest threat to our security and must be banned and abolished.”

Finally, we are wrecking our environment and need to stop. Just 90 companies are to blame for most climate change, taking carbon out of the ground and putting it in the atmosphere, geographer Richard Heede said. If that’s the case, and he has evidence to suggest it is, the move to eliminate fossil fuel extraction and use can’t come quick enough. Our governments must intervene, and targeting the 90 most responsible businesses should make it easier. The businesses say they are not to blame for demand from billions of consumers driving fossil fuel use. The technology exists to eliminate fossil fuels and we should work toward its adoption with haste.

The measure of August’s passing was in milliseconds, and September will be the same. The election will be here before we know it, as will the next one. What should be our focus? The three issues outlined above represent a viable starting point, and I plan to get to work. Will you join me?

~ Written for Blog for Iowa