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Wednesday
Dec182013

« Why I Named Two Rival Worldviews "MultiEarth" and "OneEarth" »

Written the way I write them, MultiEarth and OneEarth, are new words. I use them to name the two worldviews that stand at odds with one another today, though they also go by other names. I like MultiEarth and OneEarth because they immediately convey the truth that only one of the two lives INSIDE the capacities of our magnificent planet. The other requires multiple Earths—an impossibility that creates systems designed to give a minority of people most of the resources while depriving most of the people and other species of even their one Earth share.

Make sense? Sure does to me. So stating it simply one more time: MultiEarth living requires more than one planet’s resources while OneEarth living requires all species to live within Earth’s abundant resources.

That’s the language I use throughout the book, Blinded by Progress, where I call MultiEarth living an illusion that we must and can break out of.

I was looking for language that moved us beyond seeing the world as capitalist vs. socialist. Or, as was so prominent in the 20th century, Communism vs. Democracy. Equally unable to communicate what I wanted to say were contrasts such as “the West” and “the East,” or the “developed world” and the “undeveloped world,” or First World and Third World. None of these communicate clearly the stark reality we face of how much longer our planet will be inhabitable. I wanted a contrast that named explicitly our current reality of having shaped a civilization that was not Earth-centered enough to keep from destroying itself and killing millions of species and humans in the process. For me, MultiEarth and OneEarth says it. If they work for you, please use them.

Whichever words you use, be sure they name the Earth-centered issues within which all other issues need to be considered if they are to truly impact the wellbeing of life. Too many of the rival views we hear discussed in the media continue to frame our issues as conflicts within civilization and do not adequately frame our situation within the context of Earth. It’s a grave error with ultimate and sorry consequences. They keep us inside our MultiEarth illusion. Breaking out of it presses upon us now with urgency.

 

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