Competition year: 2004
About Wendy C Hamblet
We believe that the globe is a single element, that the world’s peoples are a single people, housed and sheltered by a common mother, the planet Earth, our sacred abode. We take as prophetic and essential to peaceful coexistence on our planet mother the warning of Martin Luther King Jr. immortalized in these words: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” For centuries, the modern world has been focused upon human rights understood as freedom and elevation of our attention to the dignity of individuals. This stage in human conceptual awareness was undeniably necessary to the progress of humankind, as its ideas and ideals attempted to cut across the elitist assumptions of feudal and monarchial lifeworlds. However, though the new focus upon the individual helped to undermine assumptions regarding a “natural” status hierarchy running through the human world, often presumed as “determined by the god(s),” it brought with it a new set of problems. The notion of an autonomous free subject, not understood as obliged to its histories or to the whole of the human world, saw itself justified to center its concerns about its individual happiness, often to the detriment of the whole of humankind or to the planet that is shared by all people and bequeathed to all our progeny. Thus, it is ethically necessary that the guiding impetus and the driving force of the work of the United Nations in the third millennium of the Common Era of the Earth be redefined as the benefit of the whole of humankind, the health of the planet and its myriad creatures, and the equitable distribution of the common inheritance of the common wealth of all nations of the earth.
Reflections in Regard of Planet Earth
In the fast paced society where technology is constantly changing and "bigger and better" has become the ruling principle, environmental issues are often put on a back burner and viewed only as an afterthought by corporations looking to push ahead. National governments, in developed countries as much as in the third world, often look the other way when it comes to addressing the issue of the declining health of our planet, as they vie and compete for business from the very corporations who are the culprits of global destruction. There is a wide variety of issues facing our environment, many of which have been ignored for centuries. Very few voices are raised even today, despite the plethora of knowledge about the damage that has been effected to the planet by dismissal of the earth’s health as a national priority. The global governing body must assume a more aggressive approach to the care of our planet. The question that needs to be posed before enforcement becomes the global priority is how to create a government that takes an active role in cleaning up the environment? How do we create incentives that will promote individual countries to foster the well-being of their plot of the Earth’s surface? At the last Earth Summit a team of superior scientists brought the major ecological problem areas to every nation’s attention. We learned that the world's forest has shrunk in the last decade by an area larger than Venezuela. We found that consumption of resources occurs faster than those resources can be replenished. This problems speaks not simply to the shortage of oil and other fossil fuels, but it also involves the depletion of land, water, plants, and animals,